When Jewish boys turn thirteen years old, they are considered to be “barei mitzvah,” of “sons of mitzvah.” In addition to being a celebratory time, this age has major religious implications. According to Judaism, when a boy turns thirteen he is obligated in all the commandments incumbent upon Jewish men. This means, for example, that he must fast on Yom Kippur and don tefillin daily, he may join a miniyan, or a quorum, and more.
On the week of the boy’s bar mitzvah he gets an ailyah, in which he is called to read from the Torah during prayer service. The boy reads a portion of the Torah with the aid of a Torah pointer that somebody holds. These Torah pointers are long stick-shaped objects that point at the words of the Torah for the one reading from it. This helps the reader not get lost, which would break the fluency of the reading.
In addition to reading from the Torah, the now-man uses his Judaica synagogue items for the first time. These include a Tallit and Tefillin. You can find tefillin for different prices, depending on the type and size. There are beit yosef tefillin, dakkot tefillin, gassos tefillin, and even adult and bar mitzvah-size tefillin.
Tefillin, of course, are a great bar mitzvah gift, and they come in an assortment of tefillin cases. You can find tefillin velvet cases, cases with images of Jerusalem, and more. A popular trend nowadays is to embroider the boy’s Hebrew name on the tefillin case, and perhaps even the date of the bar mitzvah. This way, even when he decides to buy a new case, the old one will always have a sentimental value.
While Ashkenazi male Jews use the tallit, prayer shawl, only after they wed, most Sephardic Jews start using them on their bar mitzvah. There are several types of tallitot, such as wool tallit, Kind David tallit, beit yosef tallit, and even silk-like tallit. Like the tefillin, the tallit also makes for a great bar mitzvah present and is also stored in a case. Search through our collection of Tallit cases and Tallit Bags. Since there are so many types of tallitot, and the boy is going to wear it every single day, Shabbat, it is a good idea to consult with them about their personal preference before purchasing a tallit for them.
Since the thirteen year old can now also perform the kiddush ceremony, you can purchase a Kiddush Cup for him. There are countless kiddush cups,such Sterling silver though painted wood and ceramics, to name three. If you want to make the cup special for the Bar mitzvah occasion, you can ask an artisan to engrave the boy’s name or bar mitzvah date on the cup.
Additionally, you can always opt for picture albums and picture frames as bar mitzvah gifts. If you have a picture with the bar mitzvah boy, you can enlarge it and put it in a beautiful, personalized bar mitzvah picture frame. Such frame may have the boy’s name on it, images of Jerusalem, or motifs that you happen to know they boy loves. This will surely be much appreciated by the young adult.