For the Bar Mitzvah celebrations of my nephew, Chaim, and a friend’s son, Shmuli, I decided to make miniature tefillin bags filled with cookies to use as favors and cupcake toppers. Tefillin bags store a Bar Mitzvah boy’s new tefillin and are so symbolic of a young man’s unique new adult role as part of the Jewish nation. These sweet miniatures highlight this new role.
A Jewish boy becomes a Bar Mitzvah (son of commandment) at the age of 13 years and at that time becomes responsible for his own deeds and misdeeds. Bar Mitzvah boys begin wearing tefillin (phylacteries) shortly before their Bar Mitzvah. Tefillin contain Torah verses highlighting the relationship between Man and G-d and consist of two black leather boxes, one for the arm (tefillin shel yad ) and one for the head (tefillin shel rosh) .
During morning prayers, the two tefillin boxes are placed upon the arm and above the forehead, symbolic of balanced commitment to G-d in heart and mind. One of the tefillin boxes is placed upon the arm, resting against the heart. The other tefillin box is placed just above the forehead, resting upon the cerebrum.
Tefillin has become a powerful symbol of becoming a Bar Mitzvah and is associated with the new commitments that a Bar Mitzvah undertakes. The responsibility to care for and wear the tefillin is a daily sign of the new responsibility for commitment to G-d, Torah and Mitzvos (commandments) undertaken by a Bar Mitzvah.
Many boys are given their tefillin inside a decorative bag that is embroidered with their Hebrew name. While the tefillin are protected inside the bag, this tefillin bag is unique and symbolic of the great Bar Mitzvah treasure carefully tucked inside.
These unique Bar Mitzvah favors were inspired by mint favors that I saw on Pinterest a while ago. I decided to prepare these favors using tea biscuits that were not coated in chocolate so that the chocolate would not melt and mar the crisp plastic of the mini ziploc bags.
To mix things up a bit, I presented the tefillin bag favors differently for the two Bar Mitzvah celebrations. For Chaim’s, I placed them as cupcake toppers and sent over a cupcake tree embellished with these favors.
For Shmuli’s, I skewered the favors together with an assortment of pareve chocolates to create a stunning centerpiece in a terra cotta pot.
These tefillin bag favors were simple to prepare, versatile and so unique!
tiny 3″ x 3″ ziploc bags amazon zipper bags
square or rectangular mints or cookies 6-pack of Kedem tea biscuits
photo of tefillin bag
Scissors Kitchen Shears
Take a photo of the tefillin bag and scale it down to 2″ x 3″ using MS Paint or any graphics program.
Place four scaled down images on one graphic image and order them as 4×6 prints through your local photo center.
Cut each print up into the four images, each approximately 2″ x 2.75″. If needed, trim each small photo to fit into tiny ziploc bag.
Place a single square or rectangular mint or cookie in each ziploc bag, placing small photo in front of each one. Close Ziploc bag.
Use as favors or cupcake toppers.