Bat mitzvah gift

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-19-2006
Bat mitzvah gift
5
Sat, 10-15-2011 - 1:12pm
Okay, I know we have addressed this issue before, but when I did a search I came up with a thread from 2007. Just thought it might be time to get some updated info.

Anyway my daughter will be attending the first Bat Mitzvah of her "bat mitzvah" year this year next weekend. It has been 6 years since we have been down this road so I don't know what is typical now. The bat mitzvah girl has been in my daughter's religious school class for about 5 years and there are only 8 kids in the class so even though they are not close they have known each other for a while. Dd wants to give her a gift, but I don't know what to give her so I was thinking just money. Do you guys have any input on what is appropriate? Plus can anyone explain that whole multiples of 18 thing? I don't know what that is about.

Thanks,
Robin
Community Leader
Registered: 01-13-1997
Mon, 10-17-2011 - 10:15am

Well, I can at least help you with the multiples of 18 thing... The word for "life" in Hebrew is "Chai", made up of 2 letters, chet yud. If you assign numerical values to these 2 letters, yud is 10 and chet is 8, so the total is 18. So, 18 is a "lucky" number meaning "life". People wear jewelry with "chai" on on it. (This is similar to Roman numerals, where 18 would be XVIII.)

So, it's customary to give monetary gifts in multiples of 18, but certainly not necessary. People still give round numbers as well.

I've been out of the kids b'nai mitzvah circuit for a while, so I can't advise as to what might be appropriate. Do you know any parents of kids a year ahead of your dd at your religious school? They could tell you what the kids did last year. Or, even ask another parent of the current class.

Janet


Avatar for laura0681
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2005
Tue, 10-18-2011 - 7:56pm

Hi Robin,

                         

                                  

Avatar for laura0681
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2005
Tue, 10-18-2011 - 7:59pm

Janet,

                         

                                  

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-16-2011
Wed, 11-16-2011 - 3:56pm
Well what is a bat mitzvah anyway? The young girls is entering into legal Torah status where she is now responsible to follow the mitzvot. A really nice book, which she might not appreciate right away (but who needs instant gratification) is a book called Sefer Ha'Chinuch (book of education). It was written by a great Rabbi in 13th centary Spain and is a classic. It takes the reader through every mitzvah in the Torah and clearly and concisely explain the significance and meaning. In fact the Rabbi who wrote it, Rabbi Aharon Halevi, wrote it as a gift to his sons for his Bar Mitzvah. So the language can be understood even by children.

It can be found in English and Hebrew.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-19-2006
Sun, 12-04-2011 - 10:44pm
Thanks all. Sorry I didn't respond sooner, but I do appreciate all of your advice. I ended up giving money, but I like the idea of either the book or the necklace for her best friend in the class. The necklace sounds neat because I think that in years to come it would be fun to have a neat piece of jewelry from a close childhood friend. But then the book sounds good too, because dd's friend is very studious and serious while dd is very silly. I am sure that dd's friend would really appreciate the book in the future and is likely to even appreciate it now. Thanks all. Robin