YHWH ("Yehovah"/"Yahweh") is the most sacred name of God in Hebrew, and is not pronounced by most Jews. No one knows where the name came from, or what exactly it means. It looks like the Hebrew word "hayah," which is the verb "to be." (According to Hebrew scripture, when Moses asked God who God was, God told Moses I am that I am/I am who I am. ) Jews believe that the name YHWH shows that God is endless. Instead of trying to say it, most Jews say " haShem ", which means "The Name." Some people pronounce this name as Yahweh , or Jehovah . Scholars of religion sometimes refer to "YHWH" as the Tetragrammaton , from Greek words meaning "four letters".
In early scribal practice there was a distinction between a sefer Torah, containing the entire Pentateuch on a parchment scroll, and a copy of one of the five books on its own, which was generally bound in codex form, like a modern book, and had a lesser degree of sanctity. The term ḥomesh strictly applies to one of these. Thus, ḥomesh B'reshit strictly means "the Genesis fifth", but was misread as ḥumash, B'reshit and interpreted as meaning "The Pentateuch: Genesis", as if "ḥumash" was the name of the book and "Bereshit" the name of one of its parts. Compare the misunderstanding of " Tur " to mean the entirety of the Arba'ah Turim . [ citation needed ]
The nature of the gift varies significantly depending on the community. At one time, the most common gifts were a nice pen set or a college savings bond (usually in multiples of $18, a number that is considered to be favorable in Jewish tradition, see: Hebrew Alphabet: Numerical Values ). In many communities today, however, the gifts are the same sort that you would give any child for his 13th birthday. It is best to avoid religious gifts if you don't know what you're doing, but Jewish-themed gifts are not a bad idea. For example, you might want to give a book that is a biography of a Jewish person that the celebrant might admire. I hesitate to get into specifics, for fear that some poor celebrant might find himself with several copies of the same thing!