13-Year-Old Dog Comes Of Age With His “Bark” Mitzvah

  • By: Robert Mealson
  • Date: September 30, 2021
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Folks, Mazel Tovs are in order. Just as his dad did 39 years ago, a boy named Rambo officially became a man. Well, a 13-year-old dog named Rambo celebrated his “Bark Mitzvah,” at least.

In the Jewish tradition, the Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a coming-of-age ritual and celebration that occurs when a child turns 13.  Rambo’s mom and dad, Ruth and Craig Ellenberg from New Jersey, decided to share the tradition with their dog too.


A Pup Becomes A Dog

Parents and now empty nesters, Ruth told SWNS she and Craig had discussed the idea for a while:

“We’ve joked about it with our five kids since Rambo is the only child we have together, we would have this party. Rambo loves attention and he loved this. His favorite part was licking the icing from the cake.”

Rambo’s Bark Mitzvah came with all the standard rites and symbols. The family read prayers and lit candles. He wore a tallit and tiny kippah and even had his own little Torah scroll (although it may be okay if this one falls on the floor.)

Dog tallits like this are available online if you also can’t help but find them adorable. And speaking of adorable, the personalized decorations for this party rival some of the ones I’ve seen at human beings’ Bar/Bat Mitzvah parties.

It only makes sense that the rituals were more for the parents and all Rambo wanted was the treats and attention. Ruth explained:

“At first, he did not enjoy the kippah tied around his head or his tallit, but he got used to both. Celebrating Rambo and adding the Jewish heritage and traditions allowed all of us to step away from the stress of real-life and just enjoy family.”

A Happy Family Occasion During Ruff Times

When photos of their son’s coming of age celebration went viral, Rambo’s parents worried some other members of the Jewish community might find this offensive. They emphasized that Rambo’s Bark Mitzvah was meant to highlight how important he is as a member of their family.

“The reaction from family and coworkers has been very positive. We hope that others share in the joy that Rambo brings to our days. Rambo is always full of love, loyalty, and brings smiles to us all.”


There’s also something very special about a beloved dog following in his human’s footsteps. The haftorah portion read aloud to Rambo during the ceremony was from the same Torah Craig received during his own Bar Mitzvah from his grandparents. Extended family also joined in on the celebration either in person or through video.

As Ruth put it:

“Life is stressful enough; we all needed a happy occasion to celebrate.”

Now, who’s ready for the Hava Nagila?

H/T: People
Featured Image: Facebook

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