|Jewish Gifts for Women|
Jewish Gifts for Women
Jewish women are likely to appreciate gifts that are not specifically Jewish, such as jewelery or flowers, just as well as non-Jewish women do. When it comes to gifts that have a Jewish character, on the other hand, reliable choices include Judaica for the home, clothing that conforms to traditional Jewish standards of modesty, books and art that celebrate Jewish femininity. Women in non-Orthodox congregations may also enjoy gifts that are otherwise traditionally given to men, such as specially designed prayer shawls and head coverings.
·Traditional Judaism assigns women the responsibility and authority for most aspects of home life, and Judaica gifts can enrich the Jewish atmosphere in the home. Appropriate gifts include those that honor the Shabbat, such as challah boards and covers; ritual candlesticks; and serving platters, often decorated with the words "le-kavod Shabbat kodesh," which means "for the honor of the holy Sabbath." Jewish art is thoughtful, such as the Blessing for the Home -- "Birkat ha-bayit" -- or a decorative Mizrah, meaning "East," to mark the wall closest to Jerusalem.
·Orthodox women in particular are bound by traditional standards of modest clothing. Stricter communities require clothing that covers the knees, elbows and collarbones, with head coverings for married women. In non-Orthodox congregations, women also wear ritual garments such as prayer shawls ("tallit," plural "tallitot"), usually decorated with a bolder color scheme than the traditional black-and-white or blue-and-white. Some women will also wear matching skullcaps ("kipot"), and girls celebrating their bat mitsvah may also receive a pair of "tefilin," the ritual boxes worn during prayer.
·A significant body of Jewish literature, in English as well as Hebrew and Yiddish, is dedicated to a female readership. Special religious Torah texts such as the Tse'ena u-Re'ena, and prayer books (sidurim) written for women, are available in good Judaica stores. A broad array of English-language fiction is available that centers on the experience of Jewish women. A quality Judaica store is always the best place to identify appropriate gifts of reading material. Finally, a small but significant number of Jewish female vocalists like Kineret create music CDs intended solely for female audiences.
By: Ploni Almoni , eHow Contributor