My Jewish Learning

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Quiz

Traditionally, being a bar/bat mitzvah meant that one was obligated to fulfill the mitzvot, or commandments. Today, boys and girls may mark this event by leading services, reading from the Torah, or doing community service projects. How much do you know about Bar/Bat Mitzvahs?

Question 1. Is a bar or bat mitzvah ceremony required for every Jewish child?
 Only for boys.
 Only for girls.


Question 2. Which of these is NOT a way for a bar/bat mitzvah party to be more socially responsible?
 Have the child donate a percentage of his/her gifts to charity
 Create reusable centrepieces and donate them after the party
 Request that guests make donations to worthy causes in lieu of gifts
 Have the bar/bat mitzvah child and his/her family arrive at the party in a limo


Question 3. In the Book of Numbers, what age does God identify as an age of moral responsibility?


Question 4. True or false: Before the Middle Ages, a pre-bar mitzvah boy was permitted to receive an aliyah and to put on tefillin publicly.


Question 5. When attending a bar/bat mitzvah service, guests should be careful to
 Recite the mourners kaddish as loud as possible
 Prepare to chant the haftarah in case they are asked to do so on the spot
 Turn off or silence cell phones and beepers
 Arrive at least 30 minutes early to get a good seat


Question 6. Which one of these statements is NOT true: The bat/bar mitzvah celebration marks the time when children are
 Obligated to observe the commandments
 No longer counted as part of a minyan
 First allowed to participate in and perform the various rituals associated with full membership in the community
 First allowed to wear tefillin and a tallit


Question 7. True or false: The rabbis of the Middle Ages enacted laws to limit spending on bar mitzvah festivities.


Question 8. In what country was the drasha (Torah discourse) first included in bar mitzvah celebrations?


Question 9. Who decried the materialism of bar/bat mitzvah parties?
 Rabbis in the Middle Ages
 The Orthodox rabbi, H. Pereira Mendes, in 1938
 The chief body of Reform rabbis in 1964
 All of the above


Question 10. Judith Eisenstein, the first bat mitzvah, was the daughter of which Jewish leader?
 Aryeh Kaplan.
 Mordecai Kaplan.
 Abraham Joshua Heschel.
 Joseph Telushkin.