web analytics
September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



US Jewish Rage: Bark Mitzvahs (Video)

Inspired by the Christian ceremony of the Blessing of the Animals, Reform Rabbi Fred Schwalb says the event is a simple way to honor dogs, cats and other pets.

Reform Rabbi Fred Schwalb blessing dogs.

Reform Rabbi Fred Schwalb blessing dogs.
Photo Credit: Diane Karsch

The Bark Mitzvah is a celebration that’s held when one’s dog turns 13 months or 13 years of age, or any age in between. To signify the ties that bind one’s dog to one’s Jewish roots, during the Bark Mitzvah the dog would wear a tallit (bitches too!), and a yarmulke. But it’s really tough to put a pair of teffilin on a dog, unless it’s a Great Dane.



Celebrity pet hairstylist and pet entertainer Lee Day has been performing Bark Mitzvahs since as early as 1972, for many celebrities, including Joan River’s dog Spike. Her website recalls that in attendance at the sacred ceremony were Geraldo Rivera & his wife, Betty White, Linda Dano, and others.

Here’s what you get if you register your dog for a Bark Mitzvah: A scroll, a Jewish Prayer to bless the event in Yiddish, a “Yamakah” (that’s how she spells it), a Tallis and a Pen (apparently, in some cases she also ordains your dog if he or she passes the quiz).

In early May, dozens of Somers, NY, dogs officially joined their Jewish families at the Hebrew Congregation of Somers’ annual “Bark Mitzvah,” The Somers Daily Voice reported.

Rabbi Fred Schwalb held the third annual ceremony celebrating and blessing the pets in the congregation. Inspired by the Christian ceremony of the Blessing of the Animals, Schwalb, who has led the Shenorock synagogue for almost a decade, said the event is a simple way to honor dogs, cats and other pets.

A regular St. Francis.

Rabbi Schwalb told The Daily Voice that he had come up with the idea a few years ago, “to remind those in the congregation about the importance of family and community.”

“People very much look forward to it every year,” he said. “It shows you how much people value their pets and I think it’s always nice to see that reminder of the value of community and coming together.”

The proud owner of two American Short Hair cats, I’m relieved no one has come up with a Miaow Mitzvah so far, although I’ve seen references to Cat Mitzvahs. Our cats will never be put through one of those, even though they are strict Shabbat observers (especially the Tuxedo male, Sylvester), and sniff the Bessamim devotedly during Hvadala.

“I think we have a lot of animal lovers in our congregation,” said Diane Karsch of Hebrew Congregation of Somers. “Our dog Zeke is a member of the family and he does bring so much to our lives and it really felt nice having that acknowledged by the rabbi and having that be blessed.”

Incidentally, Lee Day has performed a horse wedding, which means that if your favorite horse is showing an interest in his or her Jewish roots, let them tap 13 times and Day will do the rest…



About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

9 Responses to “US Jewish Rage: Bark Mitzvahs (Video)”

  1. Anonymous says:

    HE SHOULD also BAR AND Bat mitzah them and arrange for circumcisions where appropriate. Do they count as part of the minyan? Rabbi dr. Bernhard Rosenberg

  2. What do you call it when dogs dance at a Bark Mitzvah?

    A canine – a – hora. :-)

  3. Chaiya Eitan says:

    Ridiculous….

  4. Ethan Perks says:

    This is NOT amusing. A Bar/Bat Mitzva is an important right of passage for Jews. Want to have a birthday party for your pet, fine. This is sick. This is sad. No legitamate Rabbi should have anything to do with this!

  5. Gary Dalin says:

    Yes. Deform Jews can count dogs in a minyan whenever one is required. Uh yes, alas, there is nothing in Deform Judaism that requires a minyan.

  6. Laura Greenberg says:

    what's next?

  7. Yori Yanover says:

    Ethan Perks · If you ask me, we're also overdoing the ceremony for humans. It simply means that the child is accountable before a rabbinic court. A birthday party is plenty.

  8. Disgusting but not surprising coming from reform jews. Who needs an enemy when you have such stupid individuals destroying our people from the inside?

  9. No one asked you.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A scene from the opera "Death of Klinghoffer." Protests at Lincoln Center start Sept. 22, at 4:30.
Klinghoffer: Pretending Art Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry
Latest News Stories
Tourists  ride segways down a promenade in Tel Aviv.

The US warns people to buy gas masks if visiting, Israel warns of world-wide anti-Semitism.

Unwelcome sign for Jews.

This happened in Britain in 2014, not in Germany in 1939.

A scene from the opera "Death of Klinghoffer." Protests at Lincoln Center start Sept. 22, at 4:30.

The Met’s upcoming opera trivializes the murder of Jews, pretends Jews have no connection to Israel, and portrays terrorists as victims.

Toy doll filled with ammunition was discovered in package destined for Uzbekistan.

Never, never, never take packages from someone without knowing what is inside.

Anti-radical Islam begins to trump anti-Semitism.

The presence of ISIS has created a “great need” for Hezbollah to remain in Syria, says an official from the Lebanese terror group’s executive council.

Gadi Yarkoni, the last person injured during Operation Protective Edge, was released today from Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva.

Hamas denies its politburo chief Khaled Meshaal will leave Qatar; the monarchy evicted Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

United Nations peacekeepers are pulling out of Syria and heading for the Israeli side of the border due to deteriorating security.

Police arrest three in connection with anti-Semitic vandalism in Sderot, including slathered green swastikas and dripping red Satanic symbols.

Yaalon revealed that most of the “8200″ signers do not do reserve duty, and the few that do, haven’t done any in years.

Residents of Gaza Belt communities in the south headed for bomb shelters on a false alarm at midday Monday. Northern Israel was hit earlier.

11:41am Talk about really bad timing. Sirens heard in Shomron communities were an (unannounced) siren test in the community of Maaleh Shomron. The siren was heard in Karnei Shomron, Ginot Shomron, Yakir, Nofim and Emmanuel. It was *only* a test. 11:39 am OK. Now this is just strange. Rocket Siren heard in Karnei Shomron (in the Shomron) […]

12:04pm IDF says there was no rocket launch at Israel from Gaza. Gazan sources say a rocket misfired and landed inside Gaza. No explosions or rocket landings were heard inside Israel. Conclusion: It’s more likely that no rocket was launched and it was a false alarm. We will update this article, if we learn something new. […]

PLO chairman Mahmoud Abbas reportedly plans to ask French Pres. Francois Hollande to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a sovereign nation.

For the first time ever, Israel appoints a woman to serve as ambassador to an Arab country. Einat Schlein is posted to Jordan.

More Articles from Yori Yanover
rain ATM

A Jerusalem woman is trying to hold on to her umbrella while withdrawing some cash at a Meah Shearim ATM, Sunday, March 9, 2014. The rain appeared out of the blue (which is how rain should), after a warm week that started to feel like summer. Well, it don’t feel like summer no more. Last […]

Rabbi Meir Mazuz (seen visiting a synagogue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn) declared in a public Internet psak that it is legal for a Jew to go up to temple Mount.

Needless to say, Shas, the Haredi Sefardi party, is not happy.

“The only difference between this world and the time of Meshiach is our bondage to the gentile kingdoms.”

Here’s the Israeli Navy boat INS Hanit arriving in Eilat on Saturday, March 8, 2014, after capturing the Klos C, which was carrying dozens of advanced Iranian-supplied weapons made in Syria and intended for Palestinian guerrillas in the Gaza Strip. Here’s Israeli Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ram Rotberg speaking with the INS Hanit soldiers in […]

Pat Condell has a new video out, so, sit back, have fun. By the way, Message to Offended Muslims should not be confused with Message to Off Handed Muslims. Also, I’d love to hear what he has to say about Haredim.

The description that came with this picture says: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with American actor Bette Midler during an event at the house of Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan in Hollywood on March 6, 2014. But Bette Midler is not really an actor, she’s a singer who made movies for the LGBT community and […]

We will shut them up in the campuses, we will shut them up in the high schools, we will shut them up at the 92nd St. Y.

An Israeli female soldier (because they’re better at removing babies from their homes) evacuates a baby from a settlement in Judea and Samaria some time in the recent past. I’m thinking, if the baby was angry enough, couldn’t he evacuate in return, right there in her arms? Imagine the same picture, except with a settler […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/the-latest-us-jewish-rage-bark-mitzvahs-video/2013/05/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: