13-Year-Old Dog Enjoys Elaborate 'Bark Mitzvah' on the 39th Anniversary of His Owner's Bar Mitzvah

Rambo the dog celebrated his 13th birthday with a "Bark Mitzvah" which included a pet-friendly peanut butter cake, pooch-sized kippah, and a reading from his owner's Torah

dog bark mitzvah
Photo: SWNS

A Jewish family threw their 13-year-old dog a "Bark Mitzvah" — complete with a dog-sized kippah and tiny Torah scroll.

Ruth and Craig Ellenberg, 44 and 52, wanted to celebrate their pup Rambo coming of age in the same way his dog dad did, so the couple planned the pooch's rite of passage for the 39th anniversary of Craig's bar mitzvah

The Ellenbergs extended Rambo's bar mitzvah over two days at their home in Livingston, New Jersey, as so many family members wished to attend to honor their Havanese pooch.

The first day began with lunch on September 5, where prayers were read over the candles and challah, with pint-sized Rambo seated at the table.

The 13-year-old pup then enjoyed a peanut butter cake made with dog-safe ingredients, decorated with a specially made "Mazel Tov Rambo" sign, which the little pet adored.

dog bark mitzvah

There was a ceremonial candle-lighting ceremony and prayer recitals, all while little Rambo donned a puppy-sized kippah and tallit.

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

"At first, he did not enjoy the kippah tied around his head or his tallit, but he got used to both," she added. "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."

dog bark mitzvah

Ruth said Rambo acted like a "spoiled prince" before his bar mitzvah, but now he does it "even more." None of that matters to the Ellenbergs since Rambo is "a very loved member of our family."

The pampered pooch is also used to being the center of attention, as he frequently joins family birthday parties and holiday celebrations in special outfits.

Compliance officer Craig celebrated his bar mitzvah on September 4, 1982, so Rambo's family dug out old photos to reminisce over — and to show Rambo how it's done!

dog bark mitzvah

The same Torah Craig received during his ceremony from his grandparents was read aloud to the dog for his haftorah. Rambo also received his own mini scroll as a gift. Rambo's parents sent out text invitations to their whole family, who joined the celebrations either in person or through a video chat.

"We were concerned some may be offended, but it has been very positive reactions," Ruth said. "They especially loved Rambo's personalized kippah."

"Life is stressful enough; we all needed a happy occasion to celebrate," the dog owner added of what inspired the canine's bar mitzvah.

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