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What message can I inscribe on a Bar Mitzvah gift?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

Library » Life Cycle » Bar/Bat Mitzvah » Age of Responsibility | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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Question:

I will be attending Bar/Bat Mitzvahs of grandchildren, and I'm giving them each an ID bracelet with their initials on it. Any suggested word(s) appropriate for back of bracelet? Thank you. BubbyLove

Answer:

Congratulations on these joyous occasions.

Bat/Bar Mitzvah means "Son/Daughter of Mitzvah"; i.e. a person obligated to fulfill G-d's commandments. Until the age of 12/13 a girl/boy is not mature enough to be obligated by these commandments, but at the age of 12/13 s/he becomes a Bat/Bar Mitzvah.

To live life in accordance with commandments, rules, and regulations is not easy. But that is true only so long as you think the laws are arbitrary, random and meaningless.

No one considers the "Do Not Enter" sign posted at the end of a freeway exit ramp to be demanding. Everyone understands its purpose, and we are all thankful that it is there.

The worst tragedy for a "Bar/Bat" (son/daughter) is when he or she does not understand the meaning and purpose of the "Mitzvah". The greatest gift one can give this child is to help him understand the connection between him/herself - the Bar/Bat, and the Mitzvah.

I therefore suggest inscribing the following:

"you are a holy people" (Deuteronomy 14:2).


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RELATED CATEGORIES

Life Cycle
Life Cycle » Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Mitzvah
(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
Bar Mitzvah
The thirteenth birthday of a Jewish male. On this day -- customarily celebrated with a modest party -- the adolescent reaches adulthood and is responsible to observe all the commandments of the Torah.
Deuteronomy
The fifth of the Five Books of Moses. This book is a record of the monologue which Moses spoke to the Israelites in the five weeks prior to his passing.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.