Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Jewish Gifts for Your Mother

Every mother appreciates a gift from her child. Moms don’t want their children to go out of their way to buy something overly pricey. What they prefer is for their child to get a gift that is simple yet heavy in symbolical meaning. This can be just about anything; just the fact that it came from you will make it sentimental. However, if you can get the gift personalized, then it will give it even more meaning and make it that much more cherishable.

Jewish gifts such as jewelry often make great gift ideas. Kabbalah jewelry is one accessory that you can get that will make a great present for Mother’s Day or just whenever you want to show your mother that you appreciate her.

Designed Kabbalah jewelry for women

Kabbalah jewelry can take on various shapes and forms. Bracelets, rings and necklaces are the most common, but there are also earrings, anklets and even hair pieces available that can be found in most Judaica shops.

Bracelets and necklaces are often the first choices that people consider when getting a jewelry gift. They are easy to wear and are easily visible, which makes them great when wearing them for fashion.

With the diverse selection of jewelry available, you can pick out the piece that would be perfect for your mother based on the type of band and charms that are included.

 Red String Kabbalah bracelet

A red thread is the most common band used in Kabbalah bracelets. This is symbolical of the red string that was tied around Rachel’s Tomb. Rachel herself was also a devoted mother to Joseph and Benjamin, so a bracelet with a red band would make a terrific present for your mother. If you prefer, there are also bands made from gold and silver chains. If you opt for a ring or a bracelet with a solid band, then you can get a message inscribed in Hebrew. The message can express what your mother means to you.

Handmade Kabbalah jewelry can also include pendants and lockets. This may come with a trinket that can be opened with a small photo stored inside. The outer portion of the trinket may take the form of the hamsa hand or the evil eye. It may also come as a solid piece of metal with the inscription of the 72 Names of God or a prayer.

Whenever you wish to honor your mother, give her a jewelry that carries with it a value that is priceless beyond words.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Elijah's Cup plays an imporant role in the Passover Seder Ritual

Elijah's cup has a symbolic significance in the Passover Seder ritual. During the Seder, there are four expressions to describe our redemption involving the Exodus from Egypt and the birth of the Jewish nation. This is why we have five cups of wine. The first means “I will take you out”, the second means “I will save you”, the third means “I will redeem you” and the fourth means “I will take you as a nation”.

The fifth cup is Elijah’s Cup and plays an important role in the Seder.

Filling Up Elijah's Cup 

As dictated by tradition, at the end of the Seder meal a cup of wine is poured. This is what is known as Elijah’s Cup. It is filled and placed in the open front door of the home at which time there are Psalm verses recited to ask G-d to take his wrath and rain it down upon the oppressors and persecutors of the Jewish peoples. According to legend, at that very moment the home is graced by Elijah’s presence. This is a very old part of the Jewish tradition and there are several meanings behind it.

One meaning is connected to the description of Passover found in the Torah. Passover night is a guarded night when long ago G-d wrapped himself around the Jews in protection. This was His protection from the plaque that killed the first born Egyptian babies and the night that His protection over His chosen people was most obvious. By opening our doors and placing the wine in the threshold, we are showing the trust we still have in him to provide us with protection.

By opening up our doors we are opening up our hearts and home to Elijah and allowing him in. We don’t just do this on the eve of Seder. We also hold his presence dear when our male children are circumcised. During this special ceremony Elijah testifies that the Jews are scrupulous in regard to the mitzvah of the circumcision and testifies that all the men who are present at the ceremony are circumcised as well. 

This is an exciting time for the Jewish children as they all gather around Elijah’s cup to see if maybe they can glance a ripple in the wine. Any sort of movement gives hope that the prophet has actually joined them. This is a fun game of pretend when you are a child, but Elijah’s role in history is nothing to joke about. His cup holds special meaning for the Jewish people and serves as an inspiration, giving a deeper meaning and focus to the Seder.

This Elijah's Cup can be purchased at Judaism.com.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Traditional and Modern Shabbat Candlesticks by Israeli Artists

Today, I'd like to show some unique designs of Shabbat Candlesticks by Israeli designers. Shabbat candlesticks make popular Jewish gifts since they are both decorative and practical..
Jewish people all around the world observe Shabbat by kindling lights and performing Kiddush service. And so, Shabbat candlesticks have become one of the most popular Judaica items.

Here I shall bring you Shabbat candlesticks in unique designs by Israeli designers . Israeli artists have created a wide selection of candlesticks in assorted materials and style. You can find these pieces at this Judaica Store.

Lighting Shabbat Candlesticks

The ritual of lighting Shabbat candles every Friday night before sunset, the Jewish family welcomes the Shabbat by lighting Shabbat candles. Two candles are traditionally lit to welcome the Shabbat. Around twenty minutes before the sun goes down, the mother or daughter says a quiet prayer while placing her hands over her eyes. In case there is no woman in the household, a man may light the candles.

The woman who recites the blessing covers her eyes so she would not enjoy the sacred candle light before blessing is completed. The blessing over the candles is: "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to light the Shabbat candles". According to tradition, as Shabbat comes in, the skies open up, and it is time for the woman who recites the blessing to make her deepest wishes.

 Why do we light Shabbat candles?

The act of lighting Shabbat candles represents the Creation of the Light. In lighting Shabbat candles we fulfill two Mitzvahs: to honor the Shabbat, and bring domestic peace and tranquility (Shlom Bayit).

Decorative Shabbat Candlesticks - beautify the Shabbat Since it is important Mitzvah to honor the Shabbat, it is appropriate to beautify the ritual with special candlesticks. Shabbat candlesticks are made from assorted materials and styles. Shabbat candlesticks can be made from metal, wood, crystal and more. Shabbat candlesticks come in various styles: traditional or modern, western or eastern. Shabbat candlesticks will often include prominent Jewish symbols as Jerusalem or the Star of David.

Jerusalem Shabbat Candlesticks

Decorative Shabbat candlesticks make popular gifts for many Jewish occasions. Contemporary Judaica designers have created a wide selection of Shabbat candlesticks to glorify the Shabbat. You can also find travel Shabbat candlesticks, specially designed to be carried anywhere you go.

Travel Shabbat candlesticks

Whatever style you prefer, Shabbat candlesticks make a perfect gift for festive occasions in the Jewish home – weddings, housewarming, Bar or Bat Mitzvah and Jewish holidays.

Modern Shabbbat Candlesticks by Israeli artist Agayof

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Give Someone a Luck Charm - Jewish Jewelry featuring the Hamsa Hand

If you're looking for a suitable gift for the upcoming holidays, a Hamsa hand necklace or a bracelet is a great idea. In the last few decades Hamsas have become very popular all around the world. The symbol has been adapted by various cultures including Islam and Judaism.
All around the world the Hamsa hand is basically used for the same purpose: to ward off the evil eye and bring good fortune.

Today, the Hamsa hand is one of the best known Jewish symbols. In Jewish tradition, the Hamsa Hand is associated with Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron.  It is called Hamesh in Hebrew, the hand of Miriam or the protected hand of God. In the Kabbalah the five stretched hand of the Hamsa hand are thought to represent the five books of the Torah.

The Hamsa hand thus, can be often seen on Kabbalah inspired jewelry. It should be noted
however, that the Hamsa hand is not a religious object.

Hamsa necklaces and bracelets become more and more popular since they bring symbolism and personal style. 

The shape of the Hamsa hand resembles of a hand with five fingers but unlike the human hand, the Hamsa Hand is symmetrical, with thumbs on both sides. Hamsa necklaces and bracelets often incorporate several motifs that are believed to ward off negative energies. Based on the Kabbalah teachings, certain symbols are considered to bring good luck and abundance such as images of fish and Hebrew inscriptions as the 72 Names of God.

Hamsa necklace or bracelet is a great gift for a family member or a good friend.

Here are my picks of Hamsa jewelry:

For women:

Hamsa necklace by Amaro Jewelry, sold by Canaan online.

Hamsa necklace by Adaya, sold by Amazon

For Men

Black Leather Hamsa bracelet, sold  Most Original - Unique Gifts Online!

72 Names of Gold Hamsa Pendant, sold by Most Original- Unique Gifts Online!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rosh Hashanah Honey Dish: A Well-Known Judaica Staple For a Sweet and Prosperous Coming Year

A highly recognized Judaica item is the honey dish, which is placed in the center of a table for a festive Rosh Hashanah supper. It’s the ideal addition to the Rosh Hashanah meal. In fact, many Jewish folks will buy a honey dish to present to friends, family or themselves as a gift. Judaica artists have designed an array of honey dishes in various styles and materials that will meet all needs and styles.

Why Is Honey Consumed On The Rosh Hashanah Holiday

Rosh Hashanah represents the start of the Jewish calendar New Year. On Rosh Hashanah eve, a festive meal often includes a variety of symbolic foods. A blessing is recited, and once done, honey-sweetened apples are consumed and blessings are given to every person at the table Le’shanah Tova Ve-metuka (or for a good, sweet year). 

Rather than dipping the Challah, which represents the sweetened bread mannah given to the Israelites by God, in salt like it’s done for Shabbat service, the Challah is dipped in honey. Sugary foods like raisins and apples are consumed during the Rosh Hashanah day. The honey is the main staple for the menu since it’s a reflection of what the year is to bring. According to tradition, honey is thought to be a sign for wealth. Thus, honey is seen as a metaphor for the continuous desire for having a prosperous year, and the blessing is to ensure that the year is as sweet as honey.

What’s On The Rosh Hashanah Table: Honey Dish

A special tray of sweet honey is placed onto the festive table, which is called a honey dish. It’s generally a plate attached to a removable bowl that permit users to wash effortlessly so it can be reused. There are often two spots designated for the honey dish; each placement has symbolic significance that relates to the holiday. The foods placed tend to be pomegranate seeds or apples that have been dipped in honey. It’s a custom to consume ripened pomegranate seeds during the Rosh Hashanah festive dinners. Apples and honey are often in one bowl and the pomegranate seeds in another.

Pomegranate Honey dish - Check a great selection at affordable prices Judaica 7 - Rosh Hashanah Products

The honey dish tends to includes conventional Rosh Hashanah decorations like the pomegranate. There are quite a few honey dishes that are decorated with drawings or shaped like pomegranates. It may also include some Hebrew inscriptions like:

Shana Tova Vemetuka – happy, sweet year
Shana Tova! – Happy New Year

The honey dish is both practical and ornamental and a very popular gift to give among the Jewish people around the globe. After all, it adds to the festivity and gives the table some color on the day that commemorates the start of a new year.

Israeli Judaica artists create one of a kind honey dishes in a variety of shapes and styles. These artists can combine the traditional and modern influences in a skillful manner, which means you can find them in conventional designs or metallic colors.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Modern Jewish Gift - A Car Mezuzah: Get Some Protection inside Your Vehicle

A new item can be found in the niche of modern Jewish art. Have you heard about car Mezuzahs? More and more Jewish shops are selling them because more Jewish people are taking an interest in them. You may be wondering what a car Mezuzah is. It’s important to understand what a Mezuzah is first.

What is a Mezuzah ?

Essentially, a Mezuzah is placed up on the door posts inside Jewish homes. The Mezuzah holds just a roll of parchment that is inscribed by hand with certain Torah verses, which the Jews affix on their door. However, there are some rules regarding the Mezuzah production.  What are the rules?

- A kosher scroll inside the Mezuzah must be written by a Sofer Stam must use a black inedible ink with a special quill.
- It must contain verses that derive from the Torah:   The Vehaya (Deuteronomy 11: 13 – 21) and Shema (Deuteronomy 6: 4 -9).

 Mezuzah scrolls are to be kept inside a protective sheath that’s created using durable materials known as a Muzuzot. These are then placed onto the doorposts of all rooms of Jewish homes, property and business places. The only room not given Mezuzahs is the bathroom.

What Is The Car Mezuzahs Used For

The act of a Mezuzah hanging is a Mitzvah. Both the Vehaya and Shema verses mention the need to place the Mezuzah on the door posts of Jewish homes  It’s there to remind them about God’s presence and a declaration to accept his reward.

Car Mezuzah from Israel with Hoshen stones and a menorah  - find a wide selection at Judaica 7( price range from 5-10$ )Judaica 7 - Car Mezuzah Products,

Modern-day Jews feel the same thing needs to be done with the vehicles they drive. Thus, the reason the car Mezuzah was born. They’re placed either on dashboards or on the inner part of the door. They’re created in the same fashion as regular Mezuzahs using real Sofer stam.  Any mistake with the inscription process could make car Mezuzahs invalid. Thus, real Sofers are needed to do the inscription process.

There are all kinds of theories about whether or not a car Mezuzah is actually needed. However, it’s up to every person to have one or not. The majority of the items with car Mezuzot and Mezuzah are created with ornamental casings that are emblazoned with Hebrew letters. These things tend to consist of precious metals and adorned with ornamental precious stones. It’s not uncommon for car Mezuzahs to have the Torah traveling prayers engraved on the casing to protective drivers from harm.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jewish Gifts by Contemporary Israeli Artists

Hundred of thousands of Jewish immigrants live in Israel, a state that was established as a homeland for all Jews. They emigrated from all across the world. This cultural diversity finds its expression in the unique mix of elements found in the local art that includes oriental and western influences – a very common feature in Israeli gifts designs. Many Jews choose to purchase Israeli made products as a way to support the state of Israel and the Israeli people.

Israeli made gifts, like all Israeli products meet high quality standards. Many of them have unique features not available anywhere else. Purchasing Israeli products have a social value since it carries a strong impact on the Israeli economy and on Israel's ability to overcome many obstacles . The web provides you with an immediate access to an overwhelming selection of unique Jewish  gifts by the best names who currently work in Israel.

Israeli Jewelry Designers

Jewish jewelry , inspired by Jewish and Israeli symbolism, is a field in high demand within the niche of Israeli gifts, producing some of the most popular Israeli gifts for customers from all over the world. There are two major kinds of Jewish jewelry artists: fashion Jewish jewelry designers and symbolic jewelry designers. Fashion Jewish jewelry artists often like to stay in tune with the current fashion trends and their designs are by no means of strict religious affiliation. In this niche, we can find several of the most successful Israeli jewelry designers who work today.

One of the best known artists is Orna Lalo. Lalo, a Shenkar graduate, is known for her playful spirit and imaginative eye. Lalo's Jewelry collection can be easily recognized by Lalo's signature look. Lalo creates chic jewelry for women that have a playful sense of fashion. Her exceptional collections include colorful necklaces, several in retro style, earrings, and rings, all of which are handmade in Israel from natural materials. Lalo's items are sold by Canaan Online.

Adina Plastelina is a famous Israeli Studio design, well exemplifies how current fashion designers combine the old with nevou. This studio that is located in the old city of Jaffa, creates its innovative designs using an ancient technique - the Millefiori process. The Millefiori process, which literally means "a thousand flowers", is an ancient glasswork technique that produces distinctive polished patterns. Though originally applied on glassware,  Millefiori process is applied on polymer clay and silver. The result is most extraordinary colorful items with a lustrous appearance.

Other artists focus on jewelry that carries a symbolic significance by incorporating prominent Jewish motifs, such as the Star of David, Hamsa hand, the seven species that the land of Israel was blessed with and more. The Hamsa hand, also known in Jewish tradition as the Hand of Miriam or the protective hand of God is believed to protect against the evil eye and bless the ones who keep it with good fortune. Israeli Design studio, HaAri Jewelry gives a special attention to Kabbalist jewelry. Check their official site .

Many of the pendants in HaAri Jewelry's original designs are inscribed with Hebrew words from sacred Jewish and Kabbalist texts. A popular theme in Kabbalah inspired jewelry is the 72 names of God which is considered by Kabbalah as a tool that enhances positive changes in our lives.
One of God's 72 sacred names, Alef-Lamed-Dalet is believed, like the Hamsa hand, to ward off the evil eye.Another great example would be MIZZE Jewelry - Made for Luck who creates a wide variety of handmade jewelry for good fortune and blessings such as this Hamsa bracelet. Check their beautiful collection of Handmade Kabbalah Jewelry.


Hamsa Hand designs make some of the most popular gifts by Israeli designers. This popular symbol is used as a decoration on many kinds of objects and in home and office spaces. Blessings for the home in Hebrew and in English are very popular Israeli gifts and so are amulets and even key rings. Other popular Israeli gifts are ritual objects: Shabbat Candlesticks, Tefilin, Tallit (Jewish prayer shawl), Torah Pointer and more.

Ritual objects make popular gifts for Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs and weddings. Check this beautiful mezuzah case by Israeli Judaica designer Danon:

Yair Emanual, for example, incorporates Jewish and Israeli motifs, as the breathtaking landscape of Jerusalem, in his wonderful, colorful designs that immediately capture the eye.  Best prices on Judaica 7.

Other ritual objects that give a great idea for useful gifts from Israel come from the Jewish holidays. On Rosh Hashana, common Israeli gifts are honey dishes or Rosh Hashana plates. On Hanukkah, many people like to give uniquely designed menorahs that are also very popular as weddings gifts. To celebrate the spring, Judaica designers have made a broad selection of Seder plates in many materials and styles. Indeed, Israeli Judaica artists make a great contribution to the wide selection of originally designed Israeli gifts for the various occasions in the Jewish home.