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Posted by Yevgeni Kuritski on August 14, 2014
Looking for gifts is not particularly easy, as one has to take into consideration several elements such as the available budget, the occasion and the person who is to receive the gift. The latter is especially important, as one needs to know very well the receiver of the gift, his/her tastes and preferences, etc.
In the past, it was common to offer handmade gifts and this custom is gathering more ground nowadays. Handmade gifts were the best option when you had not much to choose from, as it would happen that the choice of gifts was limited, as well as for the less wealthy, who would rather use their skills in producing a gift. In addition to this, handmade gifts offered also the possibility to provide one with a gift that would look personal, traditional and even appropriate.
The same dilemmas are valid when it comes to buying a gift for a Jew. However, when it comes to the Jewish population, one needs also to consider, to a large extent, the tradition factor, which leads us to the choice of ”Judaica” objects as gifts.
The term ”Judaica” refers to ”Jewish ceremonial art” and dates back to several thousand years ago. The emergence of Judaica arts in current debates is due to the appearance of very talented craftsmen and designers, opening their small businesses and shops and selling handcrafted Jewish ceremonial objects as gifts for the Jews and their homes. Thus, Judaica gifts suit all tastes, ages and traditions – you can choose jewelry for girls and women, Tzedakah boxes and Mezuzahs for the home, Havdalah or Shabbat candles, richly adorned kippahs and tefillin, Torah pointers for the young boys who are embracing the faith, especially designed gifts for Bar Mitzvahs or Bat Mizvahs, etc. While the choice is very wide, these gifts have the advantage of not simply being good decorations, but also practical in their use for religious purposes.
Offering a Judaica gift is an expression of appreciation and utmost care shown towards the respective person. A Judaica gift is always considered a gift for the soul of the receiver and will certainly occupy a dear place in the home of the receiver. Thus, one can be certain that a Judaica gift will never be tossed aside, as it would happen with yet another vase or painting. Offering a hand-carved Judaica gift would implicitly gather even more appreciation.
For instance, if you are visiting friends who have recently moved into a new home, the most common gift to buy them is a mezuzah. Also, if the friends you are visiting are in fact a newly-wed couple the choice is between Tzedakah boxes, spice boxes, Shabbat candles, a set of glasses with traditional Jewish symbols, and the list could go on.
Moreover, another appropriate gift for the inauguration of a house is to buy the illuminated home blessing, which could be found either as an original or a reproduction. Along with this, in many houses there is also the Mizrah, which is a painting usually hung on the eastern wall of the house to mark the direction towards Jerusalem. Therefore, here is another idea for a Judaica gift.
Should you buy one of these gifts, you are sure to be kept in the hearts of your friends forever. Judaica gifts address indeed the more spiritual and traditional people, who would consider them to a true blessing to the space they inhabit.