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When it comes to bar/bat mitzvahs, orthodox communities have their own traditions. Religious items like candles and jewelry are common, but money is also a good gift. Candlesticks are also appropriate for young women. In addition to religious items, you should also be aware of the entertainment, which will likely include dancing and music. Considering that bar/bat mitzvahs are among the most important events in the Jewish community, you must be aware of the strong family overtones.
Traditional Bar Mitzvah gifts
One of the most important traditions of the Jewish faith is the wearing of the tallit. While this is a customary part of bar mitzvah celebrations, it is not mandatory. Nonetheless, it is a good idea to give a gift that the boy or his parents will remember for a long time. Among traditional Bar Mitzvah gifts are candles or candlesticks, which can be modern or traditional. An heirloom candlestick may be passed down in the family for generations.
The traditional Bar Mitzvah gift is usually cash. The guest will often gift cash in increments of $18, which is the symbol for “chai,” which means life in Jewish tradition. If the gift is smaller than this, the guests may simply round up to a normal amount like $20 or $50. If the gift does not have a specific value, a gift card will be just as meaningful.
The amount of cash that is given to a young man is determined by his relationship with his parents. If he is a close friend, consider giving him a larger amount of cash than you would give to a casual friend. In addition, give him or her a gift that fulfills the mitzvah of tikkun olam (repairing the world), and make sure to round up to multiples of that figure. Alternatively, give the boy/girl a gift of a certain amount in Hebrew, which spells out the number. For example, the number 18 is the Hebrew word for life, and if you give a girl or boy, she will receive a gift of an amount equal to or greater than $18.
A bar mitzvah gift is not just a token of affection, but also a way to celebrate the child’s upcoming rites. For parents who cannot attend the bar mitzvah, the best way to honor the boy/girl is by giving her/him a gift in multiples of 18 (chai). This way, the recipient will be able to appreciate the sentiment behind the gift and remember the blessings.
A necklace is another great gift to give. A Jewish necklace is an excellent choice, as it brings Judaism to the heart. A necklace with a meaningful symbol is a good idea, as any Jewish person would be proud to wear it. For example, a necklace with the Star of David, or a Hamsa, a Jewish hand symbol, is a thoughtful gift that will be cherished for years to come.
A tallit, for example, symbolizes faith and learning. Most women and men give tallit gifts as part of their Bar Mitzvah gifts. Other traditional Bar Mitzvah gifts include money, educational books, and items associated with the Jewish ritual. If you want to give a personalized gift, you can consider giving an heirloom shawl as a Bar Mitzvah present. If the child’s parents have a wish list for the boy/girl, make sure to ask if it is on it.
Gifts of money
If your child is celebrating a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah, you may be wondering what type of gifts to give. One of the most classic Jewish gifts is a necklace featuring the Jewish star, the star of David. Other symbols of good luck include a Hamsa, which means hand in Hebrew. A necklace with these symbols will be cherished by both the recipient and the giver.
When it comes to monetary gifts, the rule of thumb is to give multiples of 18 dollars. This is based on the gematria system, where 18 represents life. A child preparing to become a bar or bat mitzvah would likely receive multiples of 18 dollars, which is approximately $180. For a close family friend, the value would be 10×18, or $180.
Cash is also a great gift idea for a Bar Mitzvah. Many guests will give a gift of $18 increments to mark the “chai” of Jewish tradition, which means life. If you are not sure of the person’s finances, round up the amount to a normal amount, such as $20 or $50. In addition to cash, you can give a personalized card with a special message from you and your family to the birthday boy or girl.
Another excellent option for a Bar Mitzvah/Bat Mitzuvah is to give the gift of tzedakah, the Jewish charity. Making a donation in honor of a bar/bat mitzvah is an exceptional way to make a lasting impression. You may even want to consider giving a gift card to the cause your child is passionate about.
During the celebration, Jewish books are a good choice as a gift. Books with beautiful bindings are a classic choice. Also, a leather-bound Jewish book is a dignified addition to a home. A tzedakah box encourages the giving tradition. The real present is your presence at the celebration!
There are many Jewish rites of passage, including the Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah. Both celebrations are a milestone in a child’s life, marking an important step into adulthood. Bar Mitzvah gifts should reflect your sincere wishes for their future success. You can find out more about the customs associated with these events by consulting a Jewish gift guide.
Most bar/bat mitzvah recipients receive their first tallit from their parents. These girls will later use the tallit to celebrate their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. However, in many other communities, the bar mitzvah is celebrated when the child reaches age twelve. While the majority of Orthodox rabbis rejected the concept, many have changed their minds.
A yarmulke, which is a Jewish skull cap, is also an appropriate gift. If you can’t afford a yarmulke, you can borrow one from the synagogue instead. Other Jewish ritual gifts are more universally expected, such as pens. Fountain pens are not necessary, however. In fact, Jewish children used to get away with not buying them until their college years.