Bar/Bat Mitzvah gifts
A book of blessings for a boy or girl celebrating their Bar\Bat Mitzvah.
The book presents pairs of words, chosen by family and friends, woven into a book-like crown. The intersection between the words illustrates a significant process in the transition from childhood to adulthood and symbolizes the magical moment when a thought is realized in an action.
The design of the book was inspired by the Tefillin (phylacteries) and its two boxes – the “word of thought” represents the Tefillin worn on the forehead and the “word of action” represents the Tefillin worn on the hand. The words create a halo of thoughts and welcome ideas which will in turn lead into actions performed willingly and wholeheartedly.
An article by Rabbi Isser Frankel which describes the essence of the Tefillin served as inspiration for creating the gift:
“Tefillin are placed on the head “over the brain” and on the arm “adjacent to the heart”. These two organs: brain and heart – are the most important in the system of human organs – the dwelling places of one’s mind and soul.
Inside the tefillin boxes, which are house-like are four passages from the Torah written on parchment paper. The hand tefillin has four passages written consecutively on one scroll, whereas the head tefillin has four separate scrolls.
This is symbolic. The head tefillin “over the brain,” symbolize man’s thoughts. In contrast, the hand tefillin which rests on the arm, symbolize man’s actions. One’s thoughts before taking action can be “numerous” and varied, but one’s action should be singular – in one direction. ”
Rabbi Isser Frankel – “Bar-Mitzvah golden book (SEFER HAZAHAV)”
When we initially contacted you, I was familiar with your work. I knew you were exceptionally creative and that the gift we would receive at the end of the process would be unique and different.
I didn’t know, however, what to expect. I asked for a Bar Mitzvah gift for my eldest son. I didn’t know I would get so much more. While working with you on creating the gift I discovered just how every single detail is important to you, how you want to be accurate in the final result and how much our son’s experience of the gift is important to you. As if you were making the gift for your own son. And the final result – a book of special blessings written by family and close friends about the Bar Mitzvah boy, a heartwarming experience to participate in and to read.
Only when you were finished with the book and I held it in my hands, I understood why you insisted on every single detail. You assumed responsibility for the entire process. You chose the pages, so they were just right: in terms of size, weight, pleasant to the touch, beautiful, all the way to the book’s unique cover which gives the sense of sacredness, and the content, although written by different people is presented with one language. Your hand is evident in all, but discreetly. You managed to collect imagery from my son’s world and weave it masterfully as a gift for him. He was an invisible partner in the process.
Today, after having given the gift to our son, and experienced his excitement and seeing all the participants very moved by it, I look at the this beautiful thick book; I can imagine my 13 year old, in the years to come, seated in a wide chair, a rocking chair in his yard, and his grandson sitting next to him- celebrating his Bar Mitzvah. Together they will open the book and read. They will discover what this said and what that thought about their grandfather. They discover similarities between their father or their mother or the grandchild himself. This picture, of the two of them sitting there together and the book between them, makes me very happy.
Iris, thank you for all the work you invested, your attentiveness, dedication, meticulousness and the way in which you accompanied this process.
I look forward to future collaborations.