Q. Why do boys have Bar Mitzvahs? [Nathan aged 7]
A. A Jewish boy becomes Bar Mitzvah on his 13th birthday. This is based on Ethics of the Fathers that teaches that at 13 years old a boy must keep the mitzvot. This is the age at which the boy begins his adult life and a symbol of this new maturity is the responsibility to keep mitzvot. Becoming Bar Mitzvah is usually marked by the boy being called to the Torah and even reading a section of it, as this is the first time he is entitled to do so.