Jewish Holidays are a big part of the Jewish religion. Six out of twelve of the Hebrew months have holidays in them and the entire focus of these months is the holiday that occurs in it. This is especially felt in the Jewish country of Israel where Jewish holidays make up a large part of the culture. From the moment the month begins one can sense the build-up to the holiday in Israel, through the sale of special food, items and Judaica objects that are connected to the holiday.
Been Invited to a Jewish home for a Holiday?
A big part of Jewish festivals is celebrating together with family and friends. People will go out of their way to invite people to share in their holiday joy. There is also a tendency to invite those who would otherwise be celebrating alone in a show of brotherliness. The question is- when invited to a Jewish home for a festival what does one bring? There are a number of possible gifts but it is especially appropriate to bring a Jewish Gift that is connected to the holiday. Let us clue you in to appropriate Jewish gifts for each Jewish holiday…
- Passover is the festival celebrated in the springtime, celebrating the Exodus of the Jewish people from Ancient Egypt. Appropriate Jewish gifts for this holiday include a beautiful Seder Plate (used on the first night of the festival in a special ceremonious meal), a decorative Matzah Plate or Matzah Tray (used to present the traditional bread-substitute eaten on the holiday) or a Haggadah (the book used on the first night of the festival which describes the miracles of the holiday).
- Shavuot is celebrated in the summer and celebrates the receiving of the Torah by the Jewish people. It is a bit tough to find Judaica objects connected to the holiday but a general present for the Jewish home such as a Tzedakah Box, Wash Cup or Mayim Achronim Set can be a nice gesture. (For more ideas for Jewish Gifts for the Home see our article on the subject).
- Tishrei is a Jewish month full of meaningful days including the festivals Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot and Simchat Torah! Presents for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year include Honey Dishes (Honey is consumed as a sign for a sweet new year) or a gift in the shape of a pomegranate (the fruit associated with the festival). Sukkot is the festival in which Jewish people reside in temporary booths for seven days. Appropriate gifts include decorations for the booth, such as Sukkah Posters and Hanging Decorations or a more impressive Etrog Box to hold the special citrus fruit associated with the festival. Simchat Torah is another toughie for Jewish Gifts related to the Holiday but for families with children a Simchat Torah Flag or Miniature Torah Scroll can be perfect!
- Hanukkah is celebrated in the winter and includes the lighting of a special candelabrum called a Menorah. A Menorah is therefore a great gift for a close friend, a Dreidel (special spinning-top associated with the holiday) is also appreciated by people of all ages!
- Purim is a very festive time, with lots of food, drink and partying to be done! Groggers (noise-makers used during the time of the traditional reading of the Megillah- the scroll relating the Purim miracles) are a popular choice for children.
We hope these ideas give you a bit of an insight into appropriate Jewish Gifts for Holidays. Be sure to check out our essays on Jewish Gifts for the Home and Jewish Gifts for Birthdays too!