Posted by Ben G. on February 25, 2014
Many Judaica webstores offer bar mitzvah packages, which they usually calll a "bar mitzvah set." I tried a few times to figure out how to put together bar mitzvah set options, but since the possible combinations are endless, I gave up.
Almost everything on our website could conceivably go into a bar mitzvah set, a term that means something different to every parent. Some parents of bar mitzvah boys plan to buy a tallit, tallit bag and a set of tefillin. Others want a fabulous handmade tallit, matching tallit bag, matching kippah -- and no tefillin. And still others have in mind a traditional wool tallit with special tzitzit, a nice tallit bag with the bar mitzvah boy's name embroidered on it, and perhaps a PVC cover.
Since we are just about the only webstore on the globe that specializes in tallits, we can usually offer bar mitzvah parents a distinct advantage in the form of superb service, expert advice and a range of options that's hard to find.
Last week we received an unusual order for a bar mitzvah from a customer in Europe. He wanted two tallit sets and a set of very expensive, superb quality tefillin.
He wanted the Galilee Magen David Tallit Set. I once spoke with the daughter of the designer, and she told me that of all the innumerous tallit sets her mother designs, the Magen David Tallit is her favorite.
The other tallit was very basic, a traditional wool tallit with blue stripes. I didn't probe, but my guess is that either the Magen David Tallit is for the bar mitzvah and subsequent Shabbos use, while the other tallit is for weekday use, or else the second tallit is for a brother, and they wanted something simple so that the bar mitzvah boy wouldn't be sharing the limelight.
Sometimes we also have cases where the father of the bar mitzvah boy deems that in honor of the big event, it's a good time for him to get a new tallit for himself.
Another interesting detail of this order was that the father ordered both talleisim with thick Ptil Tekhelet tzitzit, one tied according to the Raavad, and the other according to R. Amram Gaon. We rarely get orders for Raavad tzitzit tying, and we don't even offer R. Amram Gaon tzitzit. But I am now reconsidering, because the R. Amram Gaon tying technique is very appealing aesthetically, and very straightforward halachically.
He also insisted we send the order via Federal Express, which costs an arm and a leg. For parents who are placing an order shortly before the bar mitzvah (say 2-3 weeks), we offer two express shipping options that are much more affordable