Bar/Bat Mitzvah Gifts – Should you give money and if so, HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU GIVE??!!
People are always asking how much money is okay to give for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift. Firstly, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is the celebration of a Jewish child making the transition into Jewish Adulthood. Rather than sending money, you might decide to send a symbolic gift such as Jewish Books, Shabbat Candlesticks and so on, or something useful for the child as they grow older such as travel luggage. You needn’t send money at all.
But if you have decided to give money for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift…. The question is: HOW MUCH MONEY SHOULD I GIVE?
THE JEWISH SYMBOL OF LIFE (18)
CHECK OUT THE TABLE BELOW.
So, we have a long standing Jewish tradition of giving money to each other in multiples of 18. 18 in Jewish numerology means ‘Chai’ (life) which is pictured above. By giving money to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child in multiples of 18 you are symbolically blessing the child with a long and happy life – super nice, right?
Obviously, it’s not compulsory to give money in multiples of 18 but it’s a great idea because after all it is a long standing Jewish tradition and that's pretty cool. As an example, if you were going to give them £50, then up your game and give them £54 instead and so on.
How much money you give all depends upon your relationship with the child, how close you are, any family or community traditions, how posh the party is :) Remember that this is not a Jewish Wedding or Engagement, the gift is for a young boy or girl.
Here's a peak at the Hebrew Alphabet where you can see the two letters that make up the word Chai above (life) if you add together 10 (Yud) and 8 (Chet) you get 18.
If you’re attending a Bar/Bat Mitzvah of a Jewish friend and you don’t know the child so well, maybe it’s a colleague from works child, or a relative you don’t see all that often, don’t feel pressured to go overboard with your gift. Nobody would want you to feel any pressure, that is for sure.
And hey, if anyone gets broiges (angry/upset) with you for not giving enough, they clearly aren’t a friend worth having in the first place!
Now if you've never been to a Bar/Bat Mitzvah before then you should think of the occasion as somewhere above the importance of a special Birthday but below the importance of a Wedding. That should help you decide what’s appropriate - Good luck and enjoy the party!