Sunday, April 19, 2015
Recently we were invited to our friends' daughter's Bat Mitzvah. It was the first Bat or Bar Mitzvah invitation we've received, which was exciting. We have a few Jewish friends, but we're not plugged into a larger Jewish community. Our favorite Jewish friend lives in LA and we haven't caught up with her in a year or so. (Note to self, call Amy.)
I did a little research on Google for the Bat Mitzvah etiquette. One website suggested if we wanted to be "in the know" we should give money in multiples of 18. The number 18 is significant: In Hebrew, it is the numerical value for “chai” (pronounced like a guttural “hi”), meaning “life.” Giving money in multiples of $18 ($18, $36, $54 and so on) is symbolic of giving life.
We gave $54 in celebration of the Bat Mitzvah.
They were impressed that we knew about the significance of 18.
I was okay with them thinking we were sophisticated, worldly individuals that are in tune with Jewish traditions.
But when we were asked, how did we know about 18? - my husband answered (honestly) that Google was our friend.
We're not really sophisticated, but we know how to Google.