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BAR MITZVAH by Eric A. Kimmel


A Jewish Boy's Coming of Age

by Eric A. Kimmel & illustrated by Erika Weihs

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-670-85540-5
Publisher: Viking

 Kimmel (The Three Princes, 1994, etc.) interviews those who have experienced bar mitzvah and intersperses their words among the rest of his history of and guide to this Jewish ceremony. One man describes his disappointing journey into manhood; he learned to utter the prayers from his illiterate grandfather without knowing what he was saying or why. This incident may be Kimmel's inspiration for this book, which places the ceremony in context with other cultures' rites. He explains significant aspects of Judaism and Jewish history, and then discusses the ceremony itself- -what to strive for, what to expect (he speaks to all Jewish boys, but the celebration he describes is clearly Conservative). Readers facing this passage (a companion volume for girls is due out next year) have more questions than they know how to ask. Kimmel helpfully answers some of them here. (B&W photos, glossary) (Nonfiction. 11-13)