The synagogue began in ancient times as a place for the public reading of the Torah, the five books of Moses. These five books are hand-written on parchment by a scribe, using quill and ink, as has been the practice for millennia. Later, but still thousands of years ago, synagogue also became a house of prayer and study. For the past two thousand years or more, the Jewish people have read Torah in synagogue on Shabbat using chant (trope) designed to punctuate and interpret the text. Bar or bat mitzvah celebrates the time when our young people reach the age at which they can be called to (and read from) the Torah. Family and friends rejoice at this milestone, as a young person becomes a full and equal member of our community.