Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Point of View (Excuse the pun!)

Of course we all are greatly excited about the Bar/Bat Mitzvah party that may be coming up in your family, but let's not forget the religious significance of this important event in your child's or grandchild's life. This would be the perfect opportunity to start him or her on a lifelong collection of ritual Judaica. I believe that the Jewish culture has been brought along, perhaps even saved, by the presence of ritual objects used in the home.

Have the proud grandparents or other relatives, friends, or haverim members asked what they can give to your child? They want to give something that is more meaninful and more enduring than a gift certificate to download music. Think about suggesting an exquisite silk Tallit, a a customized bronze or silver yod to use during the Torah reading, or even a small replica of a yod that can be worn as a necklace. Your son or daughter will surely need a beautiful tallit clip to hold the tallit securely on the shoulders, or a silver kippah pin to keep the kippah (yarmulke) on th head. Another idea is a wonderful door mezuzah for your child's room, which will be cherished for a lifetime. A neck mezuzah, star, or chai charm is also appreciated forever.

Have you ever wondered how to thank the rabbi, cantor, religious school teacher or other people so valuable to your child's religious education? A unique and personal option might be to present that special mentor, or the synagogue, with a lovely piece of Judaic art. Perhaps you might consider a beautiful yod, (Torah pointer, as pictured) in your child's name, or a special door mezuzah for the rabbi's office or sanctuary door. How about a mizrach or papercut for the library, or if you're feeling partiularly grateful, a breastplate or new crown for the Torah! However, don't forget to consult with the synagogue or school before you select such a special gift.

The above applies, even more so, to the about-to-be married couple. Think about what will enrich the home and the family that is about to be created. Consider the purchase of Judaic art, including ritual pieces, such as a menorah, Havdallah set, Shabbat candlesticks, Seder plate, etc. Adorn their first home with a lovely mezuzah, remembering that each doorway (except for the bathrooms) will need a mezuzah.

The art work you choose today will become the treasured keepsakes for generations to come.


Next post, I'll define a few of the terms I've used above for my non-Jewish friends!

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