What Do You Think About Giving Seforim As Bar Mitzvah Presents?

6 Oct
I had an interesting conversation online on a Frumsatire post called “Off the derech garage sale: Tefillin, hats, tzitzis, etc” about whether or not to give seforim to Bar Mitzvah boys. My comment started off as a joke, but the last comment was nice. (I’d call it, “bittersweet” if you wouldn’t call me gay for doing so. But you’re an asshole, so I won’t.) A guy, “Dan” starts it off:

Dan October 3, 2011 at 7:30 AM

Hee hee.

I’d like it more if this guy actually accumulated the seforim himself while he was still frum.

As far as that goes. I really should sell off my seforim, because even though I am still frum, I have barely opened one in a year, and I do most of my learning on hebrewbooks when I want to prove somebody wrong or something like that.
In fact, during chazaras hashatz on rosh hashana was the first time I opened a sefer just to learn since pesach.


OfftheDwannaB October 3, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Yes, i think the msg is clear here: give cash or stuff to bar mitzvah boys. Nobody wants a set of pnei yehoshuas. The only time youll use these yeshivish seforim is in yeshiva where -surprise- they freakin have seforim!


Seriously?? October 3, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Actually, I think the message is just the opposite! Since a boy may or may not stay frum, either he should get something that reflects the approach of the giver (like seforim), or nothing at all.

Why should someone who does not want to be Jewish get a bar mitzvah present?


OfftheDwannaB October 3, 2011 at 11:18 AM

I was joking about this being the message. But now that we’re on it, 1: A present is supposed to be something that the recipient will appreciate, not a lesson.
2: 99% of kids don’t want seforim. They want to be jewish, they don’t want super-advanced seforim made by talmidei chachamim, for TC. So if you want to give a Jewish themed present, give a set of artscroll machzorim, a menorah, a kiddush cup, a suit or tie for shabbos, a gift certificate to a judaica place, or a kosher pizza store. There are plenty of jewish themed things that kids want.


Seriously?? October 3, 2011 at 11:49 AM

OK – point taken. Except that this “poster” is selling the “stuff” as well as the seforim.


OfftheDwannaB October 3, 2011 at 12:25 PM

yeah, no, i’m not talking about this dude.


Avrumy October 4, 2011 at 9:35 AM

My bar-mitzvah was before Pesach. How many haggadahs do you think I got? Waaay more than any kid needs, that’s for sure.


Michael October 4, 2011 at 7:48 AM

My Dad owned a bookstore so I got relatively few Sforim for My Bar mitzva (also wasn’t such a frum community).

Got lots of cash, wallets, fancy pens, camping gear, swiss army knife etc. But the only gifts that I still have 25 years later are the books.

Some of them I’ve used or read, some of them have hardly been opened, but they all have a place on my bookcase and remind me of people I knew when I was much younger.



4 Responses to “What Do You Think About Giving Seforim As Bar Mitzvah Presents?”

  1. Judaica art October 6, 2011 at 4:21 am #

    Well, If your goal is to present educational and pedagogical – in my opinion, a bar mitzvah is not the time to educate the child. But if you know the kid and thought it was suitable for the child, if the child likes to read then I’m for giving him such a gift

    • itchemeyer October 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

      I agree with that. Some kids out there like books.

  2. anon October 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    I’m Dan! I’m famous!
    Seforim for sale! I have:
    Gemaras full of notes and maareh mekomos- bound
    Kobetz meforshim on several mesechtos, some both volumes, bound.
    Lots of mussar seforim, Rishonim (full set of shita- some bound, full set of tosfos harosh- some bound), acharonim, roshei yeshiva, contemporary seforim.)

    Mostly used. A couple of relatively new. Includes my stamp I got for bar mitzva with image of tefilin (as if I would forever be a bar mitzva kid).

    • itchemeyer October 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

      Yeah Dan! Yeshivaforum has been the stepping stone to fame for many people. Ride the gravy train

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