A reader writes:
Hope you’re well. We’re making our first bar mitzvah in a few weeks’ time, iy”H, and our son will be putting on tefillin for the first time in a couple of weeks. Just wondering what people do to mark hanachat tefillin, if anything. Do you have any ideas?
In Jewish tradition, boys are obligated to lay tefillin (phylacteries) when they turn 13. But learning how to do it correctly takes practice, so in most communities the boys begin a few days or weeks before the actual birthday. Many families choose to mark the occasion. Because tefillin are not worn on Shabbat, the hanachat tefillin is an opportunity for a slightly different gathering.
With our older sons, their school encouraged my husband to join the class’s morning prayer service and provide a small breakfast. This was more than enough for us in the weeks before the Bar Mitzvah. Some parents invite the family to the synagogue or the Kotel (Western Wall) and have breakfast afterward. Then you can take some pictures to display at the Bar Mitzvah.
Do you have a creative idea for hanachat tefilin? If so please share in the comments.
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