The Torah Service

The Torah Service – Bar/Bat Mitzvah


The Bar (son) or Bat (daughter) Mitzvah (B’nei = children) reads directly from Torah as part of the ceremony to become a responsible member of the community. The Torah service:



In our service the Torah is handed to each of us as a symbol of our commitment and love of its’ teachings.



ALIYAH – means “to go up”.  As each B’nei Mitzvah is called for the aliyah she will touch the corner of

the tallit or prayer shawl to the first word of the part to be read (parashah) and then will chant

a blessing before and after the parashah.


Blessing of the Torah (translation)

Before the Reading:

Aliyah: Praise the One, to Whom our praise is due!

Congregation:  Praised be the One, to Whom our praise is due now and forever!

Aliyah: Praised be the one, to Whom our praise is due now and forever!

We praise You, Eternal God, Sovereign of the universe:

You have called us to Your service by giving us the Torah.

We praise you, O God, Giver of the Torah.


After the Reading:  Aliyah:  We praise You, Eternal God, Sovereign of the universe:

You have given us a Torah of truth, implanting within us eternal life.  We praise You, O God, Giver of the Torah.



Each B’nei Mitzvah will chant part of the portion from the Torah scroll.


The Torah is divided into 54 portions and over the year, the entire Torah is read.  Each week, every Jewish congregation in the world reads the identical  Parasha (portion). The words are chanted in what is believed to be some of the oldest music in the western world, this chanting is called Trope.

The Hebrew text in the Torah is handwritten without vowels or punctuation marks.  The English translation of part of our portion, reproduced below without vowels or punctuation, illustrates how difficult it is to read the Torah correctly..




 After the reading, the Torah is lifted high so everyone can see it before it is wrapped and dressed to go back into the ark.  The congregation sings: “This is the Torah which Moses set before the  Children of Israel, according to God’s word as given to Moses…”



Following the Torah reading, the Haftarah (writings of the Prophets) is chanted, this is thematically related to the Torah portion.



Discussion of the Torah reading. D’var Torah is in the tradition of the rabbis of talmudic times and gives an interpretation as to the significance and the contemporary relevance of today’s Torah portion.



THE TORAH IS CARRIED AROUND THE SANCTUARY TO BE NEAR THE CONGREGATION.Many like to touch the torah with the Siddur (prayer book) or a Tallit and kiss it to show love of Torah…

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