Traditions and Cultural Considerations for Particular Social Events (Term Paper Sample)
Term Project (Individual) - Prepare and present a report to the class on traditions and cultural considerations for particular social events – weddings from different religious perspectives, Quinceaneras, Bar or Bat Mitzvahs, Debutant Balls, funerals, ethnic holidays, etc.
Reports are expected to be a minimum of 6 pages double-spaced and accompany proper APA citation of sources (in-text and on a separate page).
Topics are chosen by each individual student but must be social-event related. There is no need to get approval for your project by the instructor. You are invited to also compare two or more social events, for example compare a Bar Mitzvah with a Quinceanera – if you choose to do so as opposed to focusing on one social event. This is just another option to go about this project.
Written reports that are not adequate (not thorough, non-referenced, etc.) will not be graded and the group will not receive credit for this activity. Inclusions will depend upon the topic chosen, but may include food and beverage, activities, traditions, ceremony procedures, etc.
The Jewish community remains one of the richest in culture and traditions. There is strict adherence and observance of traditions among the Jews. Among the most observed traditions include those that seek to crown young boys and girls into adulthood. Each gender has special social occasions that signify transition from childhood to adulthood. Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah are the two great events for male and female Jews respectively. During these occasions there are particular traditional and cultural practices that are observed. This paper has focused on Bar Mitzvah, the transitional ceremony from a boy to manhood among the Jewish community.
Although Bar Mitzvah is seen as a rite of passage for Jewish boys from childhood to adulthood, there is a deeper religious significance therein. Bar Mitzvah is translated loosely to mean, â€˜of the commandmentâ€™. When boys attain the age of 13, it is expected that they should enter phase where they are taught certain religious teachings (Nebens, 2015). As such, this ceremony is meant to allow the boys to begin strict adherence of the holy laws and commandments as stipulated by the Jewish culture and religion.
Under the Jewish culture, children are not obligated to observe the law and religious commandments (Metter, 2014). It is believed that their minds are too young to understand and appreciate the significance of these laws. They are often encouraged to pay attention to the instructions given, but there is not much strict imposition of the same. However, upon the attainment of 13 years for boys and 12 years for girls, they are believed to have reached certain level of maturity. As such, they have the ability to understand and appreciate significant religious teachings. The Bar Mitzvah is therefore a ceremony that ushers the boys into a new phase where they have the obligation to observe all laws and religious teachings. Bar Mitzvah publicly confers the rights and obligations that are associated with religious maturity (Nebens, 2015). Besides having the expectations of observing religious teaching, boys at this age also have a right to assume roles of religious leadership.
Becoming a Mitzvah is not optional or a choice. Further, it is not mandatory that an official celebration is conducted to celebrate the same. Even in the absence of a celebration, upon the attainment of 13 years, a boy is now deemed ready to observe the commandments of Torah. In most cases, families often opt for a huge celebration as this is considered a big step in the life of very young man.
Conducting the Ceremony
The ceremony of Bar Mitzvah dates back many years. Despite inflation of other cultures, the manner in which this ceremony is conducted has remained the same. It is conducted in a synagogue which is a place that is considered holy and scared (Nebens, 2015). The significance is so that it is seen to be conducted in the presence of God. There is a variance from one community of the Jews to the other in regard to the manner in which the ceremony is commemorated. However, even with the disparity, there are certain core components that remain similar across the board.
Tefillin is one of the main components in a Bar Mitzvah. Tefillin refers to black boxes made of leather. Inside those boxes are parchments with inscriptions from the Bible. Upon attaining this age, boys are now allowed to bind the straps of leather round their hands (Hilton, 2014). It is a requirement for every person who have attained the required age to wear the leather strap during early morning. The significance of wearing the Tefillin is to act as a constant reminder to the people o...
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