Writing a Bar or Bat Mitzvah speech can be a daunting task. The sheer importance of this life event can make even the coolest heads experience moments of stage fright. Composing and rehearsing a well-written, heartfelt Bar Mitzvah speech can eliminate some of the anxiety that is so commonly associated with this familiar ritual. At BarmitzvahCards.net, we understand what you're going through - so we will attempt to provide a comprehensive review with suggestions and tips of how to create the perfect Bar or Bat Mitzvah speech.
Most mothers and father who
speak at their sons and daughters Bar or Bat Mitzvah want to be able
to say something profound, meaningful, and memorable. The best tip is
to stick to writing from your heart. As corny as that may sound -
it's very true. But for those who need more guidance than that... here
is a basic outline and a few ideas.
While all Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah attendees are there to focus on the young man or woman - it is the parents' speech that is often the most eagerly anticipated. With that being said, it is very important to spend a considerable amount of time and thought on a very special introduction. A short story or fond memory about your boy or girl that speaks on their character is a popular way to start a speech. As always, famous Jewish quotes are another common segue.
Unlike with your teenager's
speech, there are no best practices or rules to follow. Your speech
can last anywhere from a short toast - to a 10 minute spiel. Go with
the flow and proceed with whatever you are comfortable with.
A few ideas for topics to cover (it's alright to choose one, none or all!):
- Share your own experiences on becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah
- Your feelings about and wishes for your child in reaching adulthood
- An anecdote that represents your child's personality
- Why you are proud of your son or daughter?
- What does Judaism mean to you?
- Which characteristics about your child remind you of your forefathers (or foremothers)?
- Include Israel and mitzvoth. Donate, organize, or otherwise provide charity to celebrate this milestone occasion.
Conclusions commonly contain
a few thoughts dealing with thanks and gratitude. It is a respectable
way to end a very important speech. The ideal Bar/Bat Mitzvah speech
should be informative, sentimental, & entertaining. It is important
that you are satisfied with the results; otherwise keep trying until
you are. This is among the most memorable moments in your life - make
sure everything is absolutely perfect for you and your child!
For the Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah:
Although your children's
speeches will usually be written with the help of your tutor or Rabbi
- we still felt it might be helpful to go over some of the basics
for an effective Bar/Bat Mitzvah speech.
Often, one of the toughest parts of writing a B'nai Mitzvah speech is coming up with the right words. It is not uncommon to start your speech off with a famous quote or words of wisdom. A powerful statement that is relevant and meaningful can set the tone for the rest of your speech, and is always a safe addition. Poems are also a popular way to lead. Depending on what type of mood you would like to set, this introduction can be philosophical, reflective, or even humorous (to an extent). It is easy to find a list of profound sayings using a search engine. Start by looking for a particular topic, author, or meaning - in no time you will have the perfect introduction for your Bar Mitzvah speech!
After the introduction, a greeting is proper. This section usually offers a warm welcome for everyone kind enough to attend the ceremony. There is also a thank you of sorts for all those sharing with you this special coming of age moment in your life.
Depending on your synagogue, you may have a choice between speaking from and giving commentary about a recent Torah and/or Haftarah portion - or you may have specific requirements. Either way, it is very important that you spend a good deal of time and energy thinking about the meaning and how it can be applied. It's customary to highlight one or more portions of the reading and provide additional dialogue or personal knowledge on the subject. Being one of (if not the most) important aspects of your speech - it cannot be stressed enough to put some personal thought and reflection into your words.
Personal Feelings about
Describe the impact being a Jewish adult will make. What will you do to show your ongoing, growing commitment to Judaism?
Reiterate thanks to:
- All in attendance
- Your Parents
- Your Rabbi
- Your Family and Relatives who traveled from out of town
- Hebrew school teacher (if applicable)
These are some of the main points to cover in Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah speeches. While speech writers are common place and can be hired for cheap - it is important to personalize yours and incorporate your own feelings, attitudes, and experiences. As difficult as writing it may be, when it's all over, you'll wish it wasn't. Hopefully this helps - and don't worry - it will only be remembered for the rest of your life!
A few tips about Bar and Bat
Mitzvah speech writing:
- Take time to brainstorm
- Organize your thoughts into lists
- Take your lists and provide commentary on each topic
- Re-order everything until it flows right
- Take a day or two off - re-visit your speech and make any necessary edits
- Share with someone close to get feedback (optional)
- Rehearse! Rehearse! Rehearse! (Out loud too!)
- When giving your speech - Relax! Relax! Relax!
- Make sure your speech was recorded. It will be priceless to you in a few years
- Enjoy this special day!