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BBC TwoThis World


Last Updated: Monday, 21 February 2005, 15:57 GMT
Adam and Ezra: Chicago
Ezra (left) and Adam (right)
Persian music at the party reminds the twins of their Iranian heritage

Adam and Ezra Soleymani are identical twins from Chicago and they are about to celebrate their Bene Mitzvah, a Bar Mitzvah for twins.

The family have decided to make the occasion extra special by holding the ceremony in Jerusalem.

It is a chance for the family - who fled from Iran after the Shah was deposed - to demonstrate their love of the Jewish nation. The twins' father Daniel even says he would like to move there.

Bar Mitzvah, meaning Son of the Commandment, is celebrated when a boy reaches the age of 13.

The equivalent occasion for girls is called Bat Mitzvah, meaning Daughter of the Commandment, and is celebrated when a girl reaches the age of 12.

These ceremonies represent rites of passage in Judaism and after they are celebrated, both girls and boys are then obliged to keep the Commandments.

In the Jewish Bar Mitzvah ceremony, boys are called forward for the first time to read - in Hebrew - from the Torah scroll, the first five books of scripture known as the books of Moses or the Law.

This is a public announcement that they have come of age. The boy will then receive his father's blessing. The father thanks God that he has now been freed from responsibility for the boy's sins and rejoices that his son is now a man.

The parents arrange a meal, called the Seudah, for all the boy's family and friends after the ceremony, at which the boy will deliver a sermon of thanks and receive gifts from his guests.

Coming of Age was broadcast in the UK on Tuesday, 22nd February, 2005 at 2100 GMT on BBC Two.

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