Rites of Paws-sage: Muzzle Tov! From Blessing of the Animals (ISBN 1402729677)
Copyright 2007 by Diana L. Guerrero. All rights reserved. Reprint permissions click here.
Pet Mitzvahs began in the 1980s as early harbingers of a trend now popular among pet owners of all faiths. Today pet mitzvah outfits, specialty Star of David snacks, appropriate collars, and themed pet tags for such events are common. Savvy shoppers may just order a complete "bark mitzvah" package. So, just what is so captivating about a terrier in a tallit? The answers vary as much as the people who throw such celebrations.
Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels of Temple Beth Shir Shalom, a progressive Reform synagogue, held the shul's first community bark mitzvah around 1981. The affair continues to be held in the "barking" lot; participants receive a bark mitzvah certificate and, for a token fee, a commemorative photo.
In an interview with Orange County Jewish Life, Rabbi Neil said, "We do this event mostly as a lark, but the reality is that there is this beautiful underlying seriousness to it...it's a way to bring the community together."
Rachel Zuckerman, a reporter for the Forward, a Jewish newspaper, suggested that bark mitzvahs have become accepted rover rituals offering ways to celebrate canine family members while raising money for synagogues and related charities..."
Animal Lover's Gift
Blessing of the Animals is a mix of historical fact, fun, quirky descriptions, heartfelt sentiments, and novel ceremonies involving pets and other animals. You can order the book now from our secure shopping cart or use the links (coming soon) to order from your favorite online source.
Drop by our many different web sites to peruse the latest in animal training, behavior, and pet trends. Please don't forget to sign up for the newsletter before you leave so we can keep in touch!
The newsletter is free and goes out once a month. Your information is kept confidential and we don't share it with anyone. Scroll up or click here to sign up now.