Judaica Arts Makes for Great Religious Gifts by: Joy Schonberg
To about 15 million Jews all over the world, religious devotion goes hand in hand with their attachment to judaica or the Jewish art objects that embody the spiritual and ethical principles of Judaism, the religion as old as humanity itself. The uniquely crafted Jewish arts and artifacts serve as markers that Judaism is practiced in a place of worship. Similarly, you can be sure it is a Jewish family that dwells in a house adorned by plentiful judaica objects.
It’s an ageold tradition and part of religious belief for the Jewish faithful to give judaica as present to family and friends not only during religious holidays but for also for ritual purposes. When a Jew person is welcomed to the adult world, for example, a mitzvah is performed with the most beautiful Jewish art object that can be found. The belief is that the more exceptional the art object, the more praiseworthy it becomes before the eyes of God.
Because Jewish art objects are closely identified with this religion and way of thinking, these objects are also offered as everyday gifts to family members and friends if only for a
demonstration of thoughtfulness. Both the gesture and the gifts keep people together, in touch with their Jewish roots. The gifts are also a way of expressing love and esteem, not to mention respect for Jewish rituals and beliefs.
There are many Jewish gift items designed for a bar mitzvah which include tallit, teffilin, shofar, Menorah and Challah cloth. For Passover Seder holidays, there are Matzah plates and other religious articles. The busiest period for Jewish giftgiving is Rosh Hashanah or the Jewish New Year. It falls on the first and second day of the Jewish month of Tishrei.
Jewish art objects that are religious in character are mostly used in homes. These include Jewish candles, Jewish prayer shawls, Shabbat candles, challah plates and challah trays. Candles play an important role in Judaism. While some are merely decorative they still make great Jewish religious gifts. Chanukah, the festival of lights, is commemorated by the lighting of the eight Jewish candles on the menorah with the ninth candle – the assistant. The havdalah candle is braided, usually about a foot long used at the end of Shabbat.
Handinhand with the importance of Jewish candles are candlesticks. The Menorah holds nine candles, eight to commemorate the days the original oil lasted and one helper candle used to light those eight. There are also special candlesticks used in the Shabbat. Jewish candlesticks are popular as wedding gifts.
As every day gifts, Jewish jewelry and souvenir items are in great demand. Any reputable judaica store has jewels decorated with a Magen Star of David, Chai or Hamsa. People buy these jewelry pieces as gift for a loved one or an accessory for themselves.
Here are other Jewish art and religious objects that are yours for the asking:
Jewish prayer shawls Tallits or Talis are worn during morning prayers, Saturday services and on holy days. Jewish prayer shawls are among some of the Jewish religious items that make great gifts, particularly for bar mitzvahs. There are many different styles and designs of Talis. Challah trays A loaf of challah is one of the signature Jewish foods at Shabbat and holidays. Loaves of challah can be brought to the table and served on challah trays made of silver or ceramics. Challah plates Many Jewish hostesses like to set the table with challah plates. Often these challah plates have Jewish religious symbols on them. Judaica arts Antique Judaica paintings, Judaica lithographs, Kiddush cups, Spice boxes, Chanukah lamps, Passover items, Torah ornaments and archaeological items.