Jewish Advance -- June 21, 1878Confirmation (Editorial)
One of the greatest triumphs of Reform [Judaism] is the introduction of the ceremony of confirmation on the Feast of Shavuoth. It is a triumph over the materialistic tendencies of the age inasmuch as it brings to the synagogue a number of worshippers who would ordinarily spend the day worshipping the Golden Calf--or Mammon.
The ceremony of Bar Mizvah [ceremony of confirmation when a Jewish boy is thirteen years old], which is still maintained by Orthodox Israelites, is devoid of significance. The boy who has attained his thirteenth year is called up to the Torah and recites a blessing. Sometimes he also makes a speech which is concocted by the teacher in highfalutin language. Sometimes this happens on a Sabbath when the portion read suits neither the person nor the occasion. And 2if the Bar Mizvah gratified the private sentiments of the boy, there was nothing in the Orthodox ritual of a similar nature to impress the Jewish girl of her religious duties.
The ceremony of confirmation has remedied these deficiences. It has elevated the idea of Bar Mizvah to a new height--giving it a greater significance in the eyes of Jewish boys and girls. Reform Judaism has saved Shavuoth for the synagogue. Otherwise it too would be lost to the synagogue--like the Sabbath days and the days of the other festivals [Editor's note: The writer is referring to the decline of synagogue attendance].
I B 4, I B 3 b, III B 3 b, III C
Secondary listingsJewish // Attitudes > Mores > Family Organization > Parent-Child Relationship (I B 3 b) ?
Jewish // Assimilation > Nationalistic Societies and Influences > Commemoration of Holidays > Religious (III B 3 b) ?
Jewish // Assimilation > National Churches and Sects (III C) ?
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