I will give the boy a Chumesh or Gematria. Also, hope that someone in the family will encourage him to continue reading and reflecting on them beyond age 12.

A: Just like at a wedding, bring the gift to the reception. Don’t give it to the family at the actual service. Most likely, there will be a gift table at the reception where you can drop it off.

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A: If you know the child or the family well, write something personal. Keep in mind that this is a birthday and a very special religious accomplishment for the kid that took a lot of time and preparation. Otherwise, a simple “Congratulations!” or “Mazel tov!” (the Yiddish word for “congratulations”) is standard. Here’s a great example:

I like the idea of giving your son a judaica gift certificate.

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Answer: They may. But if not, a general congratulations card is just fine.

You're right. Israel is most definitely the place for your grandson (or anyone) to mark his becoming a bar mitzvah. But even better would be to begin planning your (and his) aliyah. Living here is even better than just coming for his bar mitzvah. Mazal Tov!! I think books are the way to go in the gift dept. For those not related, I've been known to give a stamp with a pasuk and his name to mark all his sfarim.

Mazel tov upon your grandson's Bar Mitzvah. I like to give a gift certificate to a beautiful Judaica Book Store. I want the Bar Mitzvah boy to be inspired and excited about choosing his own books, shofar, tzedakah box, kosher clock, becher, CD's, DVD's and/or menorah.

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Remembering the indefatigable Jewish leader whose life embodied the saga of the Jewish state.

Q: Okay, so it’s appropriate to give something in multiples of 18, but, honestly, how much should I give?

Mazal -tov on your simcha, R' Salomon!! The best gift would be a family biography of your family history from a Jewish perspective showing your grandchildren their family roots. Also, a family tree with the names along with the family biography would be an added touch. P.S. While you are in Israel, perhaps you could administer some psychotherapy to the small group of charedim in Beit Shemesh verbally abusing frum school children.

money is traditional, however it is not multiples of 7, but of 18. give what you can afford, in multiples of 18 is meaningful, with a heartfelt note of good wishes. perfectly classy and acceptable.

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give an amount that is a multiple of 18, the number means life. You don't need to give that much if you aren't comfortable. My daughter just had hers and she got anywhere for 36 to 300, depending on the guest. You can probably give 54 and be fine. Enjoy.

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What a great way to have us all attend Tuvi's Bar Mitzvah. May you and Temmy enjoy great nachas from the kids and grandkids and get to celebrate every milestone for many good years to come in good health. The greatest gift to give your progeny is the gift of you! Love, Yerachmiel and Chanie

Kurt Vonnegut and encounters with the Infinite source of existence.

Q: I don’t know the kid very well, what should I give?

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Arielle Sperling is an editorial intern at MyJewishLearning and Kveller. She is a rising junior at Colgate University where she is double majoring in English with a creative writing concentration and environmental studies. Her work has appeared in The Jewish Week newspaper and The Colgate Portfolio.

I read your comment (Jan.12.2012) regarding Bar Mitzvah gift and would appreciate if you could share it with me, as my grandson will have his Bar Mitzvah in two months - Toda Raba

Bar Mitzvah present for my brother

For a video on What to Expect at a Bar/Bat Mitzvah,  click here and scroll down to the bottom of this article.

Rabbi Yaakov Salomon, C.S.W. is a noted psychotherapist, in private practice in Brooklyn, N.Y. for over 25 years. He is a Senior Lecturer and the Creative Director of Aish Hatorah's Discovery Productions. He is also an editor and author for the Artscroll Publishing Series and a member of the Kollel of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath.

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simple book that he will refer to for years

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Please provide more information about the source and contact. Todah Rabah.

My grandmother gave me a silver dollar and in the following years I obtained 9 more. Even though silver dollars appreciated maybe 30 times. I never sold them. Instead I gave them one at a time to my grandchildren as they were born.

Shalom Jews! I am from Heinsberg Germany but i moved to America to become a lawyer. My 12 yr old boy is having a Bar Mitzvah I want to get him a good gift for under 10 bucks? Any suggestion will be taken kindly. Thankyou and Mazal tov!

Chai checks, or checks of any amount, are usually deposited by the parents into the kid’s college fund.

It's a bit much to expect people to pay for their plate when you're planning a fancy event and inviting families. A gift in a multiple of 18 is symbolic (Chai). I would probably give $25 per person attending, $25 if my kid was going to a friend's Bar Mitzvah or $50 if I was going alone as an adult.

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Q: Do I give a different kind of gift if I’m invited to a bat mitzvah rather than a bar mitzvah? And what’s the difference?

Mazel tov!! My father-in-law has a very wise older cousin who spoke to him on the day of his Bar Mitzvah. He said the most important thing about a Bar Mitzvah is not the gifts. It's about the money you get when you return the gifts!!!