Bar Mitzvah & Bat Mitzvah Gifts

Sure you have heard of them, perhaps you even been to one or two of them in your time. Hava Nagila, senior aunts and uncles singing karaoke, old women kissing rabbis, Limbo and "You are the Sunshine of my Life" by Stevie Wonder:

Bat and Bar Mitzvoth are so common that they are well-known events throughout the Western world. Every gentile in the United States of America has heard of these coming of age celebrations thrown by and for Jews.

Around 500 B.C.E to 400 C.E., Aramaic was the commonly spoken vernacular throughout the Middle East and it is through this tongue that we arrive at the term Bar or Bat Mitzvah. The term means son ("bar") of commandment ("mitzvah") and celebrated at the age of 13 for a male and 12 for a female (Bat Mitzvah), it is literally the celebration commencing the entry to adulthood. For a Jewish male, it is at this age that he is expected to fulfill the major commandments such as donning Teffilin phylacteries in the morning and attending synagogue three times a day.

The wild party celebration which follows the religious ceremony is a new tradition, perhaps founded by Jews in America, whereas the religious ceremony is an ancient tradition. This religious ceremony followed by a fun celebration is somewhat akin to a wedding.
In the event that you get invited to a Bar or Bat Mitzvah you will be expected to bring a Bar Mitzvah gift. Showing up empty-handed, so to speak, would be a bummer. Showing up empty-handed is like not bringing an offering to the Holy Temple on Pesach, Shavuot or Sukkot in the good old days. It is bad Derech Ha'aretz (manners) and it has been known to cause Mariat HaAyn (eye-raising).

Keep in mind that the gifts should not be brought to the actual synagogue service; rather they should be brought to the reception following the religious part of the ceremony. There really are no "traditional" gifts which you can give. Instead, when looking for a gift, try to keep the interests of the child in mind and shop as you would for any other 13-year-old boy or 12-year-old girl. A possible Bat Mitzvah gift or Bat Mitzvah gift would be a unique jewish jewelry piece, ususally something meaningful that stays with the recipients for many years. A money check or cash is a common gift, but might either be too personal or too impersonal. If you do decide to bring a check or cash gift, try to give sums which are multiples of 18 this number represents "Chai" which means "life."

If you want to make your gift something really really special, there is a very very special Web store which you can visit that caters to just this. Make sure you check out and search through the vast array of both Bar and Bat Mitzvah gifts. carries such top-notch designer and arts and crafts lines as, Mizze Jewelry, David Gerstein, Iris Design, King Solomon Legend, Ester Shahaf, Nathan Halpern, Laly Cohen, Jack Jaget, Holy Land Jewelry, Michal David and Imprint Jewelry.

Among other things, at this store you will be able to find ample appropriate Jewish gift ideas. Happy shopping and Mazal Tov!>