Torly Kid has been serving the tween market for more than 4 years now and as we watch our neighborhood children grow, we are experiencing lots of celebrations. One of the celebrations that many kids come to us to help prepare for is the bar/bat mitzvah. We've got you covered in the "What to Wear" department, but we've also heard these questions come up a fair amount.
First, what does it mean?
"Bar Mitzvah" literally means "son of the commandment". "Bar" is son in Aramaic and Mitzvah is commandment in both Hebrew and Aramaic. "Bat" is daughter in Hebrew and Aramaic. Technically, the term refers to the child who is coming of age, and it marks the time where children can assume the obligations of observing the commandments as well as taking part in leading religious services, forming binding contracts, and testifying before religious courts. In summary, it is a time when the child begins to be viewed as an adult.
Second, what kind of gift do I give?
If you know the child or family well, a personal card saying congratulations or "Mazel Tov" is perfectly appropriate. You can say "Congratulations on becoming a Bar Mitzvah!" In addition, checks are still the gift of choice. Traditionally, checks in multiples of $18 is symbolic of giving "chai'" or life. Since the Bar/Bat mitzvah is a celebration of a birthday, chai checks are appropriate.
Third, what happens in the synagogue?
You may be offered a tallit - or a prayer shawl at the door. It is a shawl with fringes at the corners which remind its wearer to observe the commandment of Judaism. You may decline the offer of wearing the tallit if you don't want it. Wearing a kippah, or a yarmulke however, is not a symbol of religious identification, but is rather a non-denominational act of respect to God and should be worn.
Fourth, what do I wear?
Dress should depend on the venue of the celebration which occurs after the service but is usually anything but casual. As mentioned above, Torly Kid loves to keep kids looking super stylish for these special celebrations. We carry dresses from Miss Behave, Sally Miller Couture, T2Love, and many more brands. We also carry suit pants and dress shirts from Appaman, Toobydoo and La Miniatura. See below for some great options to looking sharp at a bar/bat mitzvah!
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Have other questions you want answered? Can you offer some advice on the subject? Leave a comment below.