Popular Judaica Gifts

Judaica describes religious items for use in celebrating Jewish holidays or Jewish-themed art.

Here are some essential Judaica Items:

Mezuzah: A beautiful, small case (could be made of any material) containing Judaism’s most sacred prayer the Sh’ma.

Kiddish cup: A unique goblet used during the prayer over the wine as we usher in each holiday, from weekly Shabbat to special holidays.

Menorah: A 9-(8) branch candelabrum used for Chanukah festivity. Holds eight candles and the shamas (helper candle) which is used to light the other ages.

Shabbat candlesticks is a set of candlesticks which is used to hold the two candles we light to usher in Shabbat weekly. This is reserved for women and during the lighting of the Shabbat candles is the best time to pray for whatever one needs… Jews NEVER blow out candles, whether Shabbat or Chanukah candles; They let them burn out themselves. These candlesticks are perfect wedding, housewarming, and Bat Mitzvah gifts for Jewish friends.

Seder plate: Passover is the only Jewish holiday that is primarily celebrated with a service at home (the Seder), not at synagogue. The Seder plate is the centerpiece of our home celebration, holding all of the important items used during the service. Seder plates have sections to hold the items, but they can be as varied in design (glass, metal, ceramic, bone china; traditional, classic, contemporary) as their owners. Perfect for engagement, wedding, anniversary, and housewarming gifts for your Jewish friends.

Elijah’s cup: The prophet Elijah is said to visit each Seder and we fill a special cup of wine and set it in the centre of the table for him to drink from when he arrives. Elijah’s cups make a lovely Passover gift.

Spice Container: Usually in the shape of a tower, containing sweet smelling spices. This is used in the Havdalah ceremony every week when the Sabbath goes out at dusk and is symbolic of having a sweet week.

Kippa or Yarmulke: A thin, slightly-rounded skullcap traditionally worn at all times by Orthodox Jewish men is called a Yarmulke and it is sometimes adorned by men (and some women in Conservative and Reform communities) during services to show devotion to God. It makes a nice gift.

Tallit: The Tallit is the prayer shawl worn by men during services.

Hamsa: A hand-shaped amulet which is used for protection by both Jewish and Muslim people, it is shaped in the form of a symmetrical hand, with thumbs on both sides. The Hamsa is used to ward off the evil eye and can be found at the entrances of homes, in cars, on charm bracelets & chains and more. In Jewish use, Hamsas are often embellished with prayers of a protective fashion. Hamas makes great Jewish gifts for all occasions.


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For more details, please visit: Judaica Arts Gallery from Joy Schonberg.

About Joy Schonberg

Joy Schonberg is an Art Historian. Formerly head of the Judaica Dept. of Christie's Int'l, she is presently an appraiser of fine arts, lecturer and President of Joy Schonberg Galleries a gallery dealing with Antique Judaica, paintings, silver artifacts, and archaeology. She can be reached at JoySchonberg@aol.com or at http://www.joyschonberg.com
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4 Responses to Popular Judaica Gifts

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