Townsville’s first ever barmitzvah

January 11, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Sassoon Chabad RARA House in Townsville has hosted the city’s first barmitzvah.

Barnabas lays teffilin for the first time before his coming of age ceremony. L-R Rabbi Ari, Barnabas, Benjamin, Zoltan, Katie and Anna

Family and friends coming from as far away as Cairns to join his parents and the Townsville Jewish community at Chabad RARA of North QLD to celebrate the barmitzvah of Barnabas Sarnyai.

Rabbi Ari Ruben said: “Barnabas’s barmitzvah marks the first transition into Jewish adulthood for our little community, one we are sure will be marked by upstanding values, leadership, and meaning.”

The Chabad RARA movement in North QLD’s rabbi added: “We are thrilled to be celebrating this milestone with our small but wonderful community.

While the actual transition into adulthood as a Barmitzvah occurs automatically upon the 13th birthday, it is tradition from time immemorial to mark the occasion with celebrations, festive meal, and dancing, as well as a series of observances that vary across the Jewish landscape. The ultimate purpose of a Barmitzvah, however, does not lie within the customs of the day. Rather, it is the impact and lifelong effect of the experience on the boy’s identity as a Jew.

The true meaning of a Barmitzvah is its role as a foundation for a lifetime of dedication to Jewish observance and growth.”

There are an estimated 250 Jewish people living in Townsville with RARA being in contact with 100 to date.

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