A Bar or Bat Mitzvah is not only a rite of passage but something we watch our generations celebrate. One of the many questions people ask is what is a meaningful gift? What can we pass down from generation to generation?
I remember when I was becoming a Bat Mitzvah, the tradition at our Temple was to have the family present the child with gifts, not any gifts, but meaningful gifts. As I stood on the Bimah, I was presented with a Tallit (from my Grandparents). They not only presented it to me but wrapped me in years of tradition. As a 13-year-old, I am not sure how much you appreciate it at the time, but as I was about to go through the very same ceremony with my own children, I knew how much that meant to them, to my parents, and to me. I then went on to be presented with Candlesticks from my parents. It is the responsibility of the Jewish woman to light the candles each Shabbat and while I again didn’t know it then, the Mitzvah of lighting Shabbat candlesticks would be something that I could instill in my own daughter and hopefully, she will instill in hers. The final gift was presented to me by my brother. My younger brother giving me the gift of a Kiddush cup (only because my parents made him) so that I could grow up saying the prayers over the wine on any Jewish holiday.
To this day, I still have all of these treasures. I saved them (because my mother made me at the time). The value to me at this point in my life is priceless. My Grandparents are no longer living, so to have received a meaningful gift that I can hand down through the generations is invaluable. Gifts like Candlesticks, Kiddush Cups, Tallit, Mezuzahs, Menorahs and Seder plates, might not seem like gifts a 13-year-old will value at the time (and I can promise you, they won’t). The value to them later will be celebrating the Gift of Generations.
L’dor vador nagid godlecha From generation to generation, we will tell of your greatness.
Written by Jodi Rankin, CEO & Founder Twin City Mitzvahs