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Five unique Judaica gifts ideas

Updated on May 10, 2012
silver washing cup
silver washing cup | Source

Looking for unique gifts is not as easy as it once was. Trying to please friends and loved ones with that special present often proves challenging and time consuming. I think this is because the modern human needs instant gratification. Besides this, large companies are dominating both the high street and the web, which make it hard to find items which are both unique and of quality, without spending a small fortune.

There is something about giving and receiving that make us feel good inside. Maybe over the years people have become associated with the act of giving, to the feeling gained from the act itself. This is not new; people have been buying gift for thousands of years.

The act of giving is mentioned in both the Torah (Jewish bible) and the New Testament (Christian bible) therefore I can argue that the act of giving and receiving is also embedded within us for this reason.

So if the act of giving and receiving is rooted within us for the above reasons or even due to the thousands of years that people have been trading, simply to stay alive. One thing is for sure that we feel a comfort in things that have accompanied us for years.

Because of the above reasoning, the obvious gifts are those which are connected to our history and which hold there value, and last. The next step is to find items that are connected to either religion or culture and to wealth or power. That being said the clear way forward is to select a gift that resembles the above in one item, namely quality Judaica, or Jewish Jewelry.

You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy Judaica or Jewish Jewelry gifts, as many items in Christianity are taken directly from Judaism. There are also Judaica that is closely linked to Islamic Jewelry. So it can be argued the these gifts could be enjoyed and welcomed by anyone who has a fondness for anything faith related.

This article will now give some information on the top five types of Judaica gifts ideas, which are shown below:

  1. Star of David
  2. Menorah
  3. Hamsa / Chai
  4. Hebrew Jewelry
  5. Mezuzot

What is the Star of David?

The Star of David, or in Judaism the Magen David (Shield of David), is a star with six points formed by putting a triangle upside down onto the top of another triangle. It has no real religious meaning, but it is one of the symbols most commonly associated with the Jewish people andIsrael. Jews wear the Star of David as a symbol of Jewish unity.

It is believed that the Star of David is connected to the great King of Israel. The Kabbalists (Jewish mystics) also believed the Star of David to be a symbol that had a much deeper meanings.

The Kabbalists thought the following:

  1. The six points represented G*d's absolute rule over all the directions
  2. The triangles represented humanity’s double nature of both good and evil
  3. The star could be used as protection against evil spirits.
  4. The two overlapping triangles could represent the relationship between God and the Jewish nation.

What is the Menorah?

The Menorah is one of the oldest icons in Judaism. The Menorah had seven branches for holding candles and was used in the Jewish Temple. The priests (kohanim) would light the Menorah every evening and would also clean it every morning.

Today the Menorah is used each year by Jews on the festival of Hanukkah because it celebrates the miracle that a day's worth of oil lasted eight days, during the Greek invasion of biblicalIsrael

Other Menorah facts:

  1. The Menorah is the classic symbol of theIsraeland the Jewish nation, often believed to be the Star of David.
  2. It is also what connects the Jewish people to their mission of being a light to the nations.
  3. The light given off by the Menorah is not a harsh light. It is meant to act as a way to remind the nation that they are to carry out their mission by setting an example, and not by using force.

What is the Hamsa and Chai?

The Hamsa is a charm fashioned like a human hand, with three fingers in the center and two rounded thumbs on either side. It is thought to be a protection against the evil eye. The Hamsa is a popular design in both Jewish and Middle Eastern Islamic jewelry.

The name itself comes from a Hebrew word which means five, referring to the fact that there are five fingers shown on the charm. Some say it symbolizes the five books of the Torah (Jewish bible). In Islam, it is called the Hand of Fatima, in respect for one of the daughters of Mohammed. In Islamic tradition the five fingers stand for the Five Pillars of Islam.

The Chai, in Hebrew represents life. The Chai is spelled with the Hebrew letters Het and Yud which according to the Kabbalists means life and good luck. Therefore it is often an item that Jews and none Jews wear as a good luck charm.

What is Hebrew Jewelry?

This is the fastest growing Judaica, and Jewish Jewelry gifts on the market due to the diversity available with regards to the wording and Jewelry types available. Typically they are either a ring with some holy text taken from parts of the bible or a name pendant with individuals names in Hebrew.

What is a Mezuzah?

A mezuzah is a protective and decorated case, which has a scroll of holy writing written by hand within. On the scroll are two portions of Torah (Jewish bible) that are hanged on every doorposts of a Jewish home or workplace with exception to any the restrooms and bathrooms.

People hang Mezuzahs on their doors because:

  1. It is written In the Torah (Jewish bible), that G*d commands the Jewish people to put Mezuzot on their doorposts.
  2. It also acts as a constant reminder of G*d's presence and of the duty to fulfill his commandments.
  3. Keeping the commandment of Mezuzah brings long life and protection.
  4. It is believed that every mezuzah added, adds to the divine protection.

To conclude, all of the above are just are just some examples of the unique Judaica gift ideas available online today at Baltinester Jewelry and other great Jewish Jewelry and Judaica stores. I strongly believe that these gift ideas would be a welcome gift to any well cultured individual.

Which Judaica gift would you cherish the most?

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    • Sarahhh666 profile image

      Sarahhh666 5 years ago from near Philly

      Hey now, you just gave me an idea for a gift for Mom. Thanks! I was sweating it cuz I couldn't think of anything.