A gift is the most wonderful way to thank, apologize, show what we feel, and befriend someone. Gifting is something that is learned from the period of our childhood. To gift someone we love gives pleasure to both – us and the person we give it to. A gift can show many things – love, respect, affection, tenderness. Holidays and one’s religious beliefs can also be honored with gifts. Therefore, gift-giving is not as simple as it might seem.
For example, have you ever wondered what to buy for someone Jewish? This is one of the things you should know before you take part in any of the great Jewish celebrations – but also on other occasions. Therefore, we will try to help you at least in making that choice.
The Art Of Giving
Gift-giving is truly an art because it summarizes the most beautiful wishes, feelings, and messages in a small, shiny package. It is not just a matter of buying a gift. Anyone can do it. The secret is to listen to someone we love, to find out what he wants and feels, what he is looking forward to. Most people will say that buying a gift makes them much happier than when they receive a gift.
We can explain this by the genuine need of every human being to make happy those he loves. And gifts can do it very easily. They are an expression of the warmest feelings, a way to give a little of ourselves to those we love. Gifts trigger beautiful emotions, joyous events – because they never go alone. They are “bundled” with hugs, kisses, warm words and congratulations and sometimes even with the ceremonial atmosphere.
The Custom Of Giving Is As Old As Humanity
The ancient Romans, for example, gave each other twigs of mistletoe or gilded walnuts and hazelnuts. The custom was also to give cookies and honey for good luck and candles as a symbol of light in the life path. For over two thousand years, Jews have been celebrating Purim or Esther’s feast. They spend Purim in feasting and rejoicing.
They exchange gifts, they give gifts to the poor and organize bets and special prayers – and Megillat Esther is read in synagogues. Persians also donated eggs, most often eggs as a symbol of well-being – while in the Middle Ages in England it was very popular for a dear person to don gloves.
If you have ever had the opportunity to visit the holy city of Jerusalem – we are quite sure that you will return to that place again. Jerusalem is still one of the most visited cities on the planet – because of its religious, but also historical and cultural significance.
Most visitors, of course, are Jewish and Christian pilgrims from all over the world. You don’t even have to be a Jewish religion yourself to want to buy, own, or gift someone with the many beautiful things you can find there. Fortunately, such gifts are available today without a need for a long trip. You guessed well – you can find them on the internet.
Where To Buy A Jewish Gift For Someone?
Specialized Jewish stores very often remind us of the big Jerusalem markets where you can find almost anything – check this. The sight of an endless array of glittering, colorful religious souvenirs and other creations will make you want to buy something for someone you love. Necklaces, bracelets, scarves, dresses, statues, menorahs, Hamsa hand or David’s stars on pendants and other talismans, decorative utensils, Eastern costumes, candles – you can find almost anything here. How to handle it in such a wide offer and what kind of gift to choose for someone? That’s a really difficult question.
Jewish Gifts That Everybody Will Like
You really have to manage to choose something in such a large offer. We have made a list of five gifts for you that we think are ideal. You may decide on something else, but unless you are sure what to give to a dear person – you will not miss these gifts.
OK, not every day is Hanukkah, but this is one of those gifts that everyone is looking forward to. Hanukkah is a celebration of the victory of the Maccabean Jews over the pagan Hellenic-Assyrian army led by Antiochus IV – as well as the dedication of the Second Temple, which was desecrated during the Hellenic-Assyrian occupation of Jerusalem. A special octagonal candlestick is used for Hanukkah to commemorate the miracles that have taken place.
This candlestick also has an additional ninth arm – and the burning of candles is the central act of the whole celebration of the feast. On the first night, the first candle is lit, and every other night one more is to go. This will be a perfect gift for anyone – even for non-Jews, as they consider menorah a small piece of art that will adorn some part of the home.
2. The Star of David
The Star of David or the Shield of David (Magen David) is one of the most commonly encountered symbols of Jewish culture. It has the shape of a six-pointed star and it is one of the most recognizable symbols. Be that as it may, it is not something that is tied to this culture for a long time and only in the mid-1600s it became tied to this culture
This piece of fabric has great religious significance and its history. Tallit is four-pointed silk or woolen scarf adorned with gold embroidery that the Jews while praying in the synagogue, wear around their necks or cover their heads.
There is also a special high Tallit, the so-called Tzitzit which includes tassels. Although this piece of the costume is used in ceremonial and religious ceremonies – it can also be an ideal gift for someone who loves to own souvenirs or is an ancient peoples costume collector.
The very name of Hamsa comes from the Arabic language, meaning five fingers of the hand. The fact is that a hand with outstretched fingers was a powerful symbol in ancient Babylon – where it signified the highest power controlling both – earth and sky. After so long, Hamsa has managed to retain the title of the most beloved symbol of happiness in almost all cultures. In it, we see not only the happy circumstances that lead us to some success – but also its permanence.
Because you will agree, there is no better symbol of “holding on to happiness” than a divine hand spread out and ready to help and in the most dangerous situations! Besides using it as a shield against negative energy and evil – it has the power to bring peace, contentment, and joy into our lives. Believers claim it is equally useful for maintaining health and increasing fertility. Give it to someone you love a lot.
5. Washing Cups
These are special cups that have a lot to do with Jewish religion and tradition. Namely, the Netilat Yadayim is a cup that has a circular rim without an edge. These bowls are used for the ritual washing of hands before eating bread – although the hands must be clean beforehand.
Otherwise, the origin of this custom dates back to ancient times when it had to do with offering sacrifice. Today, this custom has taken place in many Jewish families – so this will certainly be one of the well-chosen gifts if you are a guest in a Jewish home.