David's Bar Mitzvah

Presented below is the text of the program for David's Bar Mitzvah.


It is our pleasure to welcome you to the Bar Mitzvah of our son David VanDeventer Tepper. On this day, David will experience the love and support of his family, his friends, and his congregation as he becomes an adult Jew.

There are some family members who are with us in spirt only. David's maternal relatives live in Massachusetts, and were unable to attend his Bar Mitzvah. Both of David's grandfathers are long deceased. We dedicate this service to these beloved relatives and ancestors.


Congregation Yad Shalom is a small conservative Jewish congregation serving Western Fairfax and Prince William County. In Hebrew, Yad Shalom means Hand of Peace. David has been a member of Yad Shalom for one year. For the previous four years, David had been a member of Chabad Lubavitch, an orthodox congregation in Fairfax, where he learned the Jewish religion, Jewish traditions, and Hebrew.


On this Shabbat morning, David becomes an adult in the eyes of the Jewish community. David will lead the congregation in the Shabbat service, will chant from the Torah, and will relate his Torah reading to his own life. David will also chant a Haftarah from one of the books of the prophets.

The preparation for this day has been long and intense. From this day on, David will accept the adult obligations of a Jew: the wearing of the tallith (the prayer shawl), being counted as part of a minyan (a quorum of ten for prayers), having the honor of being called up to the Torah, and being responsible for individual acts of tzedakah (giving to those less fortunate).


Amidah: Central prayer of the service.

Aleinu: Closing prayer of the service, announcing the unique destiny of the Jewish people, and looking forward to peace.

Aliyah: Being called up to the Torah to say the blessings and/or to read the Torah portion during services.

Challah: Traditional braided egg bread eaten on Sabbath.

DVar Torah: Commentary or sermon on the Torah portion.

Haftarah: Reading from the Prophets, linked to the subject matter of the Torah portion.

Havdalah: Ceremony concluding the Sabbath and festivals.

Kaddish: Prayer of praise to God.

Kippah (pl. kippot): Skullcap traditionally worn by Jewish males. Also referred to by its Yiddish name, yarmulke.

Minyan: Quorum of 10 adult Jews required for some prayers.

Shabbat: Sabbath.

Shalom: Hello, goodbye, peace.

Shabbat Shalom: Traditional greeting for the Sabbath.

Shma: Central prayer of Jewish belief in one God.

Siddur: Prayer book.

Tallit: Prayer shawl.

Tefillah: Prayer.

Torah: Direction, instruction. The Five Books of Moses.

Trope: Signs above and below the Hebrew text indicating the musical melody to chant when reading the Torah/Haftarah.

Tzitzit: Fringes on the four corners of the prayer shawl, reminders of the 613 mitzvot (commandments) in the Torah.

Yad: Pointer used to follow the Torah text while reading.


The number on the left of the page represents the page number in the Siddur (prayer book).

Hebrew words are in italics.

Reader identifies an individual chosen by the cantor to read a portion of the service. This may be followed by a responsive reading by the congregation as a whole.


The prayers in this section prepare the worshipper for the morning service. These selections praise and acknowledge God. Readings are drawn largely from the Psalms.

62 Presentation of the tallith; blessing led by David

The tallith is a fringed shawl traditionally worn by Jewish men over the age of 13 during prayer. It is a treasured religious object throughout a Jews life. The most important part of the tallith are the tzitzit (fringes) on the four corners. The fringes are knotted in a certain pattern to symbolize the number 613. They serve as reminders of the 613 mitzvot (commandments) given by God to the Jewish people. Davids tallith has the Hebrew blessing stitched along the atarah (the collar).

63 Reader leads at top paragraph "Praised are You wondrous ways"

65 morning blessings

72 the Psalm for Shabbat

82 Mourners Kaddish

The kaddish, the most famous one of which is the mourners kaddish, is used to separate sections of a service. It uses many adjectives to praise God, to proclaim his sovereignty, and to affirm faith in God at all times. All forms of Kaddish have the same theme - thanksgiving for life.

83 Barukh She-amar

96 Reader leads responsively Psalm 145, a Psalm of David

105 Cantor begins Shabbat service with Shochen Ad


The Shacharit begins with a formal call to prayer. It centers on the Shma, the cardinal principle of Judaism, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.

107 Barchu

The Call to Worship.

108 El Adon

110 Et Shem

111 Vha-vi-aynu; led by David

112 Kriat Shma, cantillate Vahavta; led by David

The Shma is one of the oldest and most significant Jewish prayers, proclaiming God's power, nearness and unity. The Shma consists of three excerpts from the Pentateuch and expresses God's oneness, our obligation to love God, to have Gods precepts always in mind and teach them to our children. It details rewards and punishments in connection with fulfilling Gods commands, and reminds us of the tallith. The Shma itself, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One," taken from Deuteronomy 6:4, is so important in Judaism that it is recited every evening and morning of a Jew's life. It is the first prayer taught to children, and it is to be the last thing a Jew says before death.

It is always to be recited or chanted with great concentration.

113 cantillate top of page

113 Reader leads responsively in English in middle of page

114 Mi Chamocha

115b Shaharit Amidah for Shabbat; led by David

Central to every Jewish service is the amidah, said while standing. It contains various blessings of praise, petition, and gratitude.

116 Kedushah

The blessing for the Sabbath day.

117 V'Shomru, Kadshaynu; led by David

And you shall keep the Sabbath.

119 threefold blessing, at bottom of page

120 Sim Shalom; led by David

138 Kaddish Shalem


The Torah is a scroll, handwritten on parchment by a scribe. It contains the Five Books of Moses. The

Torah is the holiest object of the Jewish people. When the Torah is removed and when it is returned, the congregation rises in respect. The Torah is divided into 54 portions and is read in weekly rotation throughout the year during services.

The Torah portion for this week is Vayyetze from the book of Genesis. It tells about Jacobs betrayal by his uncle, and his persistence and continued belief in God despite his travails.

To prepare for his bar mitzvah, David has been studying the Torah and the Haftarah with their distinctive melodies. When the Torah portion is completed, the Haftarah, a related reading from the Prophets, is chanted. Davids Haftarah is from Hosea 12:13-14:10. When David finishes chanting, he will give a brief talk, dvar Torah, on today's reading.

139 Torah service

141 Shma Yisra-el procession with Torah congregational aliyah (call to the Torah); led by David

142 blessings before and after Torah readings

146 Hatzi KaddishVzot ha-TorahBrakhah before the Haftarah; led by David

Haftarah reading; led by David

David's reading from the Prophets following the Torah reading.

147 Brakhot after the Haftarah; led by David

148 Reader: A prayer for the congregation

148 Reader: A prayer for those who serve the community

148 Reader: A prayer for our country

149 Reader: A prayer for the State of Israel

149 Reader: A prayer for peace

149 a personal meditation

151 Reader leads Psalm 145, Ashrei, responsively (Hebrew)

153 Returning the Sefer Torah

dvar Torah; led by David

David's remarks on the weekly Torah portion.


The musaf is an additional short service which concludes with various hymns and a wish for shabbat shalom, a peaceful Sabbath day. Finally, David will recite the Kiddush blessing over the wine and braided challah.

182 Ein Keloheinu; led by David

183 Aleinu; led by David

The Aleinu is known as the dangerous prayer, because during the Spanish Inquisition it was recited on pain of death. It reminds the Jew that God gave him a unique destiny, and it calls upon him to remain true to Gods commandments and retain his identity, even in the face of persecution. It closes by looking ahead to the coming of the Messiah and a time of everlasting, universal peace.

184 Mourners Kaddish

Recited by those in mourning. A prayer of praise to God, emphasizing life and its goodness.


187 Adon Olam; led by David

315 Kiddush for Shabbat Day; led by David

The Kiddush is the blessing over wine. The Kiddush is also recited before dinner on the eve of the Sabbath or a festival, to inaugurate the day and proclaim its sanctity.

Shabbat Shalom Umvorach

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