Twenty to thirty people lined up for the breakfast buffet that cool morning. Close friends and family were there to celebrate Ally’s 16th birthday and Bat Barakah. Ally is the daughter of our dear friend from church.
There were no balloons hanging from the ceiling, nor was there a DJ filling the house with loud music. There was only an LCD projector, a laptop, and a simple sound system.
What is Bat Barakah
Bat Barakah, or Bar Mitzvah, is a Jewish rite of passage for 13-year-olds. “Bar” means son and “Bat” means daughter, while Barakah means blessing. So Bar/Bat Barakah means blessing of the son or daughter. I’ve only seen this in movies, and it was my first time to witness an event.
Today, when we say blessing, we connect it with material possessions. We often forget that it’s not always about wealth or something tangible. Blessing our children does not mean giving them what they want or spoiling them. To bless our children can mean saying a prayer to them.
In Ally’s Bat Baraka, her parents expressed their desire to bless their daughter in front of their friends and family. It was their declaration that their daughter is no longer a child but a young lady. They wanted their community to see their daughter the same way. A select group of women were to speak blessings as well to Ally.
The blessing will remind Ally to choose God and choose life. If she chooses to live her life for God, the Lord will develop her physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Deuteronomy 30:19-20 says, ” This is the day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that i have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
Ally’s dad added that God will also confirm Ally’s identity and to whom she belongs to. Ally is a woman of God, and He will also reveal Ally’s true purpose in life as she continues to follow Him. Other women stood to speak blessings to Ally. Soon the six women who were chosen to bestow blessings to Ally were called one by one.
When Ally’s mom bestowed her blessing to Ally, she started with, “There is nothing more to say. I don’t need to tell you anything because you already know. We always talk about anything and we do that all the time.” Ally was homeschooled together with her two other siblings and they created a unique bond with each other. More than the goals achieved, lessons learned and formulas memorized, it’s the moment by moment conversation they had with each other that really mattered.
There was a funny moment when Ally’s mom took out her katana. (The katana is one of their props when the family used to dress up for Cosplays) It was a warning to Ally’s future suitors should they hurt their daughter, they have to face not only them but their famous katana.
Then, the dad took the stage again and presented Ally a purity ring. It had two hearts and a cross at the middle which symbolizes Ally and her future husband with God at the center. Wearing the purity ring is a vow Ally makes that she will remain pure and preserve herself until the day she gets married. What a poignant moment between father and daughter.
What an inspiring rite of passage! It was a reminder for me and my husband to speak blessings to our children too. We hope to do the same with our children until they reach a certain age. But more than the celebration, it’s the commitment to bring up our children in the way of the Lord. There is no perfect parent, neither is there a perfect child. But we have a perfect Father in heaven who trains us through his Word. It is our job to pass on the training to our children and to their children’s children.
Our children will also serve Him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord. His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born. They will hear about everything He has done. Psalm 22:3-31