"Two is company, three's a crowd," the saying goes.
Or, three can be triplets, an instant "triumvirate" that makes life interesting for them, their parents, teachers and others around them.
On Saturday, Sykesville's Rabinovitz triplets -- Chad, Michael and Allison -- made their bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvah together at Martin's Westminster.
Their parents, Susan and Chuck, were proud and relieved.
"No one really knows what to call it," Mr. Rabinovitz said, "it's not often that you have all these celebrations happening at once. Any bar or bat mitzvah is a lot to arrange, but three at once is very unusual. This would probably be triple difficult for anyone else, but we've been doing three of everything since they were born."
The bar mitzvah has a tradition dating to the earliest days of the Jewish faith. It is a ceremony to honor the boy who has reached the age of 13 years and one day, at which point he is considered an adult in the eyes of the congregation and can take part in a minyan, a group of adults reading the traditional prayers in the synagogue.
The three Rabinovitz children became 13 on Sept. 4.
The child, now an adult, reads from the Torah (scrolls imprinted with the traditional prayers of the faith) in the ceremony, usually one of the traditional daily prayers.
"The most significant part of the ceremony is the reading from the Torah," Mr. Rabinovitz said. "This shows that the child is assuming his adult role in the synagogue."
Even the celebration that follows the ceremony is deeply rooted in tradition, going back to Abraham, who "made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned," weaning being regarded as not from his mother, but from "evil inclinations" on attaining the age of his religious majority.
The bat mitzvah is an important milestone for a girl.
"The bat mitzvah is more of a social thing," Mr. Rabinovitz said. "It doesn't have the historical tradition of the bar mitzvah, but now as many girls as boys go to Hebrew school, and the bat mitzvah is a celebration of their completion of Hebrew school."
The triplets have studied for seven years, including one year of tutoring from Rabbi Herbert Kumin, who helped arrange the triple ceremony with the family.
"We are very proud of them," Mr. Rabinovitz said. "This is a milestone in their lives.
"It hasn't been easy for them to keep up with their religious instruction. They're active kids, involved in all the sports, but they've also been able to keep up with their religious studies and do well in school -- this is quite an accomplishment for them."