Bar Mitzvah Invitations

The bar mitzvah invitations have been ordered! The invitations were on my to-do list for the last few weeks, but got put off due to my business trips. My procrastination paid off in this case, though. We had our eye on a certain design from TinyPrints and lo and behold, that same invite showed up in our mailbox late last week. Ironically, it was sent on behalf of my boy's birthday twin, the young man with whom my son almost shared a service.

Yesterday we headed back to TinyPrints after perusing a handful of other invitation sites and nailed down our choice, a design that is reminiscent of DH's and my ketubah, the Jewish wedding contract in which my father promised five chickens and three goats in exchange for DH whisking me away.

But I digress.

I haven't ordered online invitations or holidays cards, well, ever, so I was delighted to find that TinyPrints would address them for us at no charge. DH had planned to send each and every envelope through our small printer- an operation that seemed doomed to fail, so this was a big win.

Unfortunately, the man of the hour (the 12-year-old) has not tracked down all the addresses we need (no, our school does not produce a directory). For that matter, I have one or two I need to dig up. Still, more than 2/3 of our list is now taken care of and we should be able to get these out before we go to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, which was my goal.


Disclosure: I received a discount at TinyPrints that was offered to me for a general purpose many months ago. As I mentioned, we looked at several sites to find a design that piqued my son's interest (i.e. "wasn't too Jewish." Oy.), and we still dropped a serious chunk of change on our invites and related thank you notes, so no one at the FTC needs to worry about any funny business. I was neither asked nor expected to blog about this, but having availed ourselves to the customer service folks via the online chat, a friend who woks there and, later, the toll-free number, I feel the level of customer support thus far was very good.

My friend Scott pointed this video out on Facebook the other day. Now that it's posted here, I realize I should define at least a few of the terms for my non-Jewish friends so you can enjoy it as much as I do. (I'm also a fan of the Gwynneth Paltrow version of this song from the show Glee.)

Parasha = the Torah portion my son will read. The Torah scroll contains beautifully scripted calligraphy that does not contain vowels or punctuation.

Barchu = call to prayer

Moyel = the person who perform ritual circumcision

Shochet = one who performs ritual slaughter (there's no Kosher meat without this)

Yismechu = a (specific) prayer

Daven = to pray

Shacharis = the morning service

Traditionally, Jews face east (toward Jerusalem) when they pray.

Calamari is not Kosher

Kasher = to make Kosher.

Shul (shuuuuuuuuul in the song) = temple, synagogue

Twitter = a popular microblogging platform

Siddur = prayer book

Haftorah = Book of Prophets. According to some this Book replaced the Torah during times of persecution when reading the Torah was prohibited.

D'var = each bar or bat (girl) mitzvah shares a life lesson based on what is described in his or her Torah portion. Pulling out my fingernails would be a simpler task than getting my son to write his.

Hora = traditional, Jewish folk dance that is a part of many celebrations, kind of a Jewish conga line

Kiddush = blessing over the wine and food said before a meal

Zaidy (we spell it Zayde) = grandfather

Plotz = in this instance, likely sitting on the couch relaxing

Bubbie (Bubbe, Baubee) = grandmother

Chai = life, also the number 18, which is something of a lucky number because the Hebrew letters that make it up add up to 18 when those letters are converted to numbers. Bar mitzvah gifts are often given in multiples of chai (18, 36, etc.)

yarmulke = headcovering, AKA that little beanie Jewish guys wear (note to self: remember to order some)

mishnah = oral law, collection of early thoughts on scripture that were compiled written down around 200 AD

mitzvah = thought of as meaning a good deed, but mitvzot (plural) are actually commandments

A bar mitzvah is literally a "son of the commandments" after the service, he is expected to act as a Jewish adult, fulfilling mitzvot and other communal obligations.

Side note: I remember a cute boy from my class French kissing a friend of mine after (at?) her bat mitzvah party and telling her, "Today, you are a woman." I can't recall if we girls laughed at this or swooned over the news.

My son will be working to raise awareness and funds for a cause, likely a project related to bringing light to a developing country, as part of his mitzvah project that he is doing along with his Torah study and (theoretical) Dvar writing. Look for news about that soon.

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