When a Jewish boy reaches the age of 13, he has reached the age of Bar Mitzva. In Hebrew, Bar Mitzva means “subject to the law”. According to the Jewish religion, up until the age of 13, a boy is considered a child and he is not obligated by Jewish law.
At 13, his status changes and he is considered an adult that is fully responsible for his actions. As an adult, he can participate in all aspects of Jewish life- he can lead a congregation in prayer, make up a minyan (a quorum of ten Jewish adults required for certain religious obligations) and testify in a court of law. This coming of age is a cause for celebration among most Jewish families.
The best bar Mitzvah gift ideas are those that bring joy to the child and help him remember this special day for the rest of his life.
Bar Mitzvah gifts for a boy
Since the Bar Mitzvah is a special birthday, it is customary to give a meaningful gift. Judaica is always a good option- a kiddush cup (a special cup used to bless the wine before meals), a tallit (a garment used during prayer) or a siddur (a prayer book).
There are no rules regarding appropriate Bar Mitzvah gifts. Many people choose to give money and the parents open a bank account for when the child is older. Also, some Bar Mitzva boys choose a charity that they ask people to donate to.
Judaic jewelry is also a popular choice. The Jewish symbols connect the Bar Mitzva boy to his faith and his new role within it.
We have selected some of our Best Bar Mitzva Gift Ideas – The Moriah Judaica collection
At Moriah, we have designed a unique line of Judaic jewelry. Unlike any other collection in the world, our jewelry combines Moriah Jerusalem stone with precious gems and gold. Moriah stone is stone salvaged from the Temple Mount sifting project in Jerusalem.
The stone dates back thousands of years to the period of the First and Second Jewish Temples. By incorporating the stone into contemporary Jewish art, wearers can take a piece of Jerusalem with them wherever they go.
Here are some ideas for Bar Mitzvah gifts for a boy:
1. A Star of David pendant: The Star of David, also known as a Magen David, is the most recognized symbol of the Jewish faith. It is composed of two overlaid triangles that form a six-pointed star. In Hebrew, Magen David means the “protector of David”.
It is said that the shields of King David’s army had the shape of a six-pointed star and symbolized God’s protection over the Jewish People. According to the Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, the double triangle of the Star of David symbolizes the connection between God, the Bible and Israel.
This Magen David designed by Moriah combines black diamonds with Moriah stone. The black diamonds, set in 18K white gold, give the piece a more masculine look and therefore make it a more appropriate Bar Mitzvah gift.
2. The Chai symbol: Chai in Hebrew means ‘alive’ or ‘living’. It is composed of two Hebrew letters- Chet and Yud. The letters also have a geometrical value of 18 – Chet having a value of 8 and Yud having a value of 10.
The number 18 is therefore considered a symbol of life and is frequently used in Jewish culture (i.e. if you give a gift that is in multiples of 18 incorporates the number 180 then it has more of a blessing). From a Kabbalistic perspective, the Chai symbol is linked to God’s attribute of ‘Ratzon’ or will, and it is a person’s will which truly defines who he is.
In this Chai pendant, the diamond-studded Hebrew letters rest on an elliptical piece of Moriah stone. The combination of diamonds, 18K yellow gold and Moriah stone give the piece a unique composition that is both modern and contextual.
3. The Kotel Pendant: The Kotel or Western Wall, is the holiest site for the Jewish people. It is said that God’s spirit is ever present at the Kotel and millions of Jewish people visit it every year to pray and connect with God.
In recent years more and more families have chosen to celebrate their son’s Bar Mitzva at the Kotel. In a ceremony accompanied with shofar’s and drums (optional of course), the young boy enters his covenant with the Jewish faith. Click here to see a video of what it looks like.
The Western Wall Heritage Foundation can also help you plan your Bar Mitzva at the Kotel completely free of charge.
At Moriah we have designed a distinct Kotel pendant. The Moriah stone (which is the exact same stone as the Kotel itself) has the Kotel stones carved into it, and a singular diamond symbolizing the eternity of the Jewish people set in 18K yellow gold.
4. Zion at Heart pendant: The yearning to return to Zion, or the land of Israel, is a prayer that has been uttered by the Jewish people for over 2000 years. The Jewish bond with the land of Israel has withstood the test of time and Zion has a prominent place in the hearts of most Jewish people.
In this unique piece of Judaica, the land of Israel is carved out of Moriah stone and is surrounded by 14K yellow gold. A singular diamond has been placed where Jerusalem is located.
5. Shalom Pendant: Shalom is one of the most powerful words in the Hebrew language. It has various meanings- peace, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility. It is also one of the names of Jerusalem.
The Moriah Shalom pendant is made from a circular piece of Moriah stone combined with 18K gold and diamonds. At the center of the piece is a vertical gold strip with the word Shalom in Hebrew engraved into it.
For many Jewish men, their Bar Mitzva was one of the most memorable events in their lives. An event in which their entire family and community gathered to celebrate their 13th birthday and the day in which they became full members of the Jewish faith.
The best Bar Mitzvah gift ideas are those that help the Bar Mitzva boy connect with his faith and spiritual values.