Bar and Bat Mitzvah Blessings

Required Bar and Bat Mitzvah blessings for a B’nai Mitzvah service are listed below. There is a BRIEF description of what each prayer is about along with two audio versions — one is at a slow tempo and the other is at a normal speed. The goal is for you to be able to learn to chant the Bar Mitzvah prayer with the audio at slow tempo and gradually get to a point where you are chanting the Bat/Bar Mitzvah blessings at a normal speed. You can also download a PDF copy of each of the blessings and annotate as you learn. Some of the PDFs have markings indicating how you should chant each word in that particular blessing. 

Avot V'Imahot

The prayer Avot V’Imahot directly translates to Fathers and Mothers. It connects us with our ancestors and reminds us of the covenant that our three forefathers (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) and four mothers (Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah) made with God.


Gevurot means strength. This prayer acknowledges that God has power and might. The prayer specifically talks about God’s power over such things like weather and life and death.


The Shema is considered to be the most significant prayer in Judaism. You say the Shema twice a day and affirm that there is only one God.


The V’ahavta prayer expresses our love for God and explains how we should show our love for God by taking certain actions. This includes practices like wearing tefillin while praying and putting a mezuzah with the words of the Shema and V’ahavta on the doorpost of your home. 

Torah Blessings

The Torah Blessings are recited before and after each aliyot which are kind of like the different paragraphs of your Torah portion. An Aliyah (the singular version of aliyot) literally means to ascend or go up. Typically, family and friends will go up to the bima to recite these blessings while the B’nai Mitzvah reads the Torah portion. The B’nai Mitzvah will recite the Torah Blessings for the last aliyah, or final paragraph of the Torah portion, called the maftir.  

Haftarah Blessings - Before

It is customary to end the Torah service on Shabbat by reading a Haftarah portion from Nevi’im, the book of Prophets. As a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, you will start with the blessing before the Haftarah before reading your portion. 

Haftarah Blessings - After

You will finish off with the after part of the Haftarah blessing after the Haftarah portion is recited. 

While the V’ahavta and your Torah Portion have the same chants, the Haftarah chants are different. The chant is based on trope, a musical notation system. The Haftarah has its own specific trope separate from the Torah trope which is why the melodies will sound new and different when learning the Haftarah blessing. 

Kiddush- Friday Night

Kiddush means sanctification or to make holy and bless. The Kiddish is the blessing said over wine to sanctify Shabbat and other Jewish holidays. 

Tallit Blessing

You recite the Tallit blessings before putting on your Tallit — prayer shawl — for the B’nai Mitzvah ceremony. 

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