M: Me, I: Informant
I: Oh I just remembered another one. The traditions I was most excited for when I got bat mitzvahed is like after you finish your Torah portion I think or half Torah portion, um everyone in the synagogue has a piece of candy and they throw it at ya.
M+I: *laughs a little*
I: They throw the candy at you.
M: Uh-huh (agreement)
I: Uh and that’s just you know as like a congratulatory thing, like ‘Get it,’ you know. Like , it’s like, the congregation saying ‘sweet! You did it.’
M: Welcome to adulthood *laughs*
I: yes, yes, that one’s really fun, because I like candy and I think its fun to have things thrown at me, you know.
Context: This practice occurs while doing or watching a bar/bat mitzvah which is the coming of age ceremony done typically by Jewish children when they are 13. The candy throwing occurs after the Torah or half Torah portion of the ceremony. My informant had this at her bat mitzvah ceremony and has participated in the throwing of candy at others.
Analysis: The bar/bat mitzvah represents the transition from childhood and adulthood. Thus, while in the midst of the ceremony, the ‘child’ is in this liminal place where he/she isn’t quite a child, but isn’t quite an adult yet. They are in the process of taking on a new identity. Pranks/joke/riddles and various other traditions are common in other liminal states. In a way, getting candy thrown at you by your entire temple is a prank/joke to test you and help ease you into your new identity, adulthood.