< HOME  Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bark Mitzvahs for Dogs

Bark Mitzvahs celebrated at synagogues have a bit more of an “official” flavor to them.

Often Bark Mitzvahs performed by rabbis begin with the rabbi reciting a prayer or blessing the dogs. The prayer said when seeing beautiful animals is an ideal opener. The rabbi generally ends the ceremony by awarding a Bark Mitzvah certificate to the dog's owner.

One California Reform shul promotes it Bark Mitzvah ceremony with “All participating pets will receive blessings, treats and a special pet kippah/yarmulke.”

One Reform Shul, Beth Shir Shalom in Miami, holds Bark Mitzvah celebrations for the congregation members' dogs on Purim. The ceremony takes place in the synagogue parking lot and not in the sanctuary; thus, there is no chance of a dog having an accident in shul. Bark mitzvah dogs are given certificates, and the dogs’ family members bark and say a prayer.

Temple Kehillat Chaim, a Reform temple in Atlanta, uses the Bark Mitzvah celebration as a way to raise money. The synagogue sponsored a "Bark Mitzvah Day" fundraiser in which about 60 dogs competed in a dog-show spin-off. "Most Jewish" was one of the competition's categories.
I asked my dog, Meathead, if he wanted a Bark Mitzvah. He said "No way." Last time he got around some strange looking dude, he got his cookies chopped off so he doesn't want anything to do with another ceremony.

Wonder if any German Shepherds get invited?


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