Holidays

12 Items Used for Jewish Holidays and Celebrations

The traditions and practices of Jewish people involve them using a wide range of items, often referred to as Judaica. Basically, they are ritual items. A lot of individuals like using or collecting these ornamental objects, which allow them to honor the entire concept of hiddur mitzvah. If you are interested in learning more about the items used for Jewish holidays and celebrations, this article might help you learn what the objects are, as well as when and how Jewish families use them. Keep in mind that you can buy most of the items listed below in almost all Judaica shops, as well as from online retail shops. Let’s take a closer look at the list:

1. Havdalah Candles

Image source: judaicaunlimited.com

These candles are totally different from the ones used in other religions – they are braided and they feature multiple wicks. Havdalah means “separation” and it symbolizes the transitional period from the end of Sabbath and the start of a new week. They come in a wide range of colors, however, the most popular color combinations are blue and white, as well as red and white.

2. Menorah or Hannukiyah

The Hannukkah menorah is a candle holder featuring 9-stems used to hold 8 candles and 1 shamash candle which is the “helper candle” used specifically for that holiday. Although it looks quite similar to the menorahs used in Jerusalem temples, however, those hold only seven candles. This menorah represents the “miracle” that is the staple of the holiday. If you do not know what happened, the story goes like this – the mysterious thing occurred when oil that was meant to last for only 1 day burned for 8 days straight. That is why this candleholder has 8 primary stems.

3. Mezuzah

Image source: graderdesigns.com

A mezuzah is a small crate that contains paragraphs from the Books of Moses. The paragraphs are all handwritten on paper. It is usually positioned on the right side of the door used for entering a home. The crate often features the letter, Shin. The tradition of placing the box derives from the Torah, so, most Jewish families have one in their homes.

4. Seder Plates

If you will attend a Passover dinner, you will be able to see these plates on the dining room table. The plates usually hold 4 to 5 objects that represent a part of the holiday theme. Now, families will not place objects, but food on it. The food placed is might be different for every family, however, there are five foods that are often placed – a shank bone, egg, bitter herbs, vegetables, a haroset.

5. A Spice Box

Image source: kickstarter.com

These spice box sets are usually made from silver and people use them for holding sweet, fragrant spices. In their language, the spices are named besamim and during the service that symbolizing the end of Sabbat, individuals smell the spices. Cloves are what most people opt for, however, some communities might use other plants as well.

6. Tallit Robes

These robes are manufactured from wool. They are traditional men garments that are specifically used during prayers, however, in some communities, women are allowed to wear the robes, mostly as a clothing choice. Tallit can be found, provided, and borrowed from a church, but, most individuals love to have one or several at their homes. If you want to see what tallit options there are, check out jewish.shop.

7. Tzitzit

Image source: thetorah.com

These items are tassels which are attached to the corners of the, previously mentioned, tallit. Some Jewish men prefer to place them on their undergarments that are called tzitzit, and are more commonly known as tallit katan. Like a tallit, men usually attach them to their robe, and the tradition originated from their Transcript.

8. Kippah

It is a cap worn for Jewish traditional celebrations, although some Jewish people choose to keep the kippah on during an entire day. In the past, the caps were only reserved for men, however, nowadays, you can also see women wearing the caps as well. They come in a wide range of shapes, colors, designs, and sizes, but, most people opt for wearing a brown, black, or gray kippah.

9. Matzah Cover

Image source: judaicawebstore.com

Back to the Passover dinner traditions, matzah is a cloth used for covering the bread made specifically for the occasion. It is usually white, and you can also find different ones featuring various symbols, letters, and decorations. Matzah represents the time when Jews had to leave Egypt in a hurry, which means that the bread did not have time to rise. It also commemorates the first seder meal.

10. Torah Scrolls

These scrolls reference the Five Books of Moses. Jewish people also know it under the names Chumash or Pentateuch. The references are all handwritten and are read out loud during holiday celebrations, praying, and on Sabbath. Now, in some communities, the scrolls are connected to two rolls made from wood, it is covered with ornamental velvet, and some people choose to top it with a silver decorative piece called rimonim. In other communities, they choose to place it in a glass casing.

11. Challah Covers

Image source: giftil.co.il

Similarly to the Matzah cover, an opaque cloth is usually created from decorated velvet, however, other materials can be made for manufacturing it as well. During Sabbath dinners, the cloth is placed on top of the bread which can only be uncovered when the head of the family says the blessing over red wine.

12. Dreidel

Now, this one is perfect for children. This toy features the letters Nun, Shin, Hey, and Gimmel. They create an abbreviation for the expression “A great miracle happened there”, however, in some Israeli toy versions, “there” is replaced with “here”. This is the most common toy kids enjoy playing with during this holiday celebration.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are various objects used for making Jewish holidays even more meaningful and special. Hence, if you need to go to a Passover dinner or if you are going to attend any other holiday, any item from this list will make a good present for your hosts and their families.

4 Exciting Places to See This Christmas Season

Christmas is one of the most anticipated festive moments of the year. For a couple of weeks every year we’re swept off our feet by the magical experiences that come with Christmas.

The Yuletide holiday is a time for you to stay back from the stress of daily routine and enjoy the best life has to offer. Embarking on an adventure with the family is one of the best ways to enjoy this season. Visiting and touring exciting new places as part of the Christmas festival has been a family tradition for many around the world.

We’re already gushing over the lush vibe of the exotic locations we’ve picked for you this season. From Rome – – host to the Colosseum the iconic Roman gladiatorial arena, to the Louvre Museum, known to be the world’s largest museum – – these hand-picked locations are sure to take your breath away at every turn.

To ensure we’re speaking from experience, we’ve enlisted the help of a famous international tour expert and the co-founder of The Tour Guy, Sean P. Finelli, to give us his take on these landmark travel destinations.

Sit back, relax, while we take you through some of the most exotic locations to visit this season.

1. Tour the City of Rome, Italy

Image source: googleusercontent.com

Rome will bring out the surprise in you. Around the streets, you will be treated to a city lit in the festivity. While the city boasts to have given us the early catholic church, the fun of Christmas is not lost on it.

The presence of the many churches in Rome already livens your Christmas holiday. Sean shares that “during Christmas in Rome, there are many churches that conduct classical music concerts by local musicians. Each year, Chiesa di Sant’Antonio dei Portoghesi, Santa Maria ai Monti, and Sant’Ignazio all participate in this exciting and poignant tradition. You may even catch school groups or adult choirs gathering in Piazza Navona for an impromptu performance.”

As you explore 1,900 years-old architectural marvels, the marvelous cathedrals that adorn the city will greet you to an unforgettable Christmas holiday experience.

2. Travel to Cologne, Germany

Image source: wildernesstravel.com

Home to several tourist attractions, both ancient and new, Cologne is a relatively modern city that still holds on to fragments of its past. Famed for being German’s fourth-largest resident city, and the home of the fragrance that was named after it – the Cologne — this city is a must-see for every Christmas traveler looking for where to visit during this holiday.

The city survived serious bombing during World War II, making the tourist destinations it holds even more enthralling to visitors who have learned about its past.

When you travel to Cologne, you’d be spoilt for choices on what historical places to visit and which architecture wonder to soak in. But every minute spent in this modern global city will make your Christmas holiday a well-spent one.

3. Take a Trip to Rovaniemi, Finland

Image source: visitrovaniemi.fi

Christmas, of course, comes with its funfair, traditions, and merriment across climes, but one thing you cannot take away from Christmas is Santa Claus. So, welcome to the home of Santa Claus.

Rovaniemi in Finland’s Lapland region is the home of Santa Claus. In the city of Rovaniemi, Santa Claus Village amusement park and resort will give you an unforgettable Christmas experience.

Do you adore snow-covered cottages, reindeer rides, or the friendly staff dressed as elves? Rovaniemi will bring your childhood Christmas dream to reality.

4. A vacation to Paris, France

Image source: ontheluce.com

Paris has always been the tourist favorite destination for every season, especially during the Christmas season. If you’ve not experienced the thrill of seeing this romantic city from the top of the iconic Eiffel Tower before, now should be the time you experience it.

Most tourists describe visiting Paris for Christmas vacation as an instant pleasure from the moment you hit the streets. According to Finelli, “taking in the holiday cheer during Christmas in Paris can be as simple as walking the streets. The famous Avenue des Champs-Elysées, Avenue Montaigne and Bercy Village design beautiful holiday displays with thousands of Christmas lights.”

Sean added, “One of the best spots for lights is Place Vendôme, home to the Hôtel Ritz and high-end shopping”.

And if you’re done seeing some of the recommendations, you can take a look at some other popular attractions in Paris such as the world’s biggest museum, the Louvre Museum and ancient monument Arc de Triomphe.

Put these destinations on your Christmas holiday tour this year, and you’ll continue to look back fondly on how you spent your 2019 Christmas in the future.

How To Choose The Right Gift?

The season of holidays and celebration is coming. It already started to mix with our daily activities. For many people, buying a gift has somehow become more of an obligation than a pleasure. This is especially because it takes several hours or even a few days to find the right present for someone you love. In this regard, I have searched the internet and singled out several ways to buy some interesting items online. Now, you can do it easily and from the comfort of your home.

Facebook shopping

Image source: marketingland.com

Shopping through Facebook is one of the first things that we come up with. We can buy a wide range of products: from the wardrobe, footwear, jewelry, purses, fashion details, makeup, and many other things. A common feature of shopping through Facebook is ordering by mail and paying by delivery – delivery via courier. I enjoy the fact that there are many smart, talented and outstanding people who, at least in this way – manage to market their works. Just play around with Facebook and it will open up a wonderful world of different products. You can find something for sure!

Gifts.com

Happiness is a priority to both – for those that give as well as those who receive gifts. If you are searching for trusted family brands, you can find them in one place – gifts.com. Their great collection of more than 10.000 presents will leave you speechless. You can easily get lost in this pile and you can get so many creative ideas. Sort out what you want in categories which makes it easier to find an adequate gift for him, her, teens, children, babies, etc. You can also choose one according to the occasion. Is it a birthday? Or you’re looking for a wedding present? Just name it, and you’ll probably find it.

Smart Gift Shopping

Image source: cnn.com

Sometimes we don’t know whether is harder to buy or receive a gift. Let’s say you’re about to get married. Soon you’ll be showered with presents, but still, some problems may occur. Maybe you don’t know what kind of gift you wish for, but you most certainly know what you don’t want for your birthday or a wedding. Still, we’re always coping with the same problems. How can we tell our guests what to buy? Believe it or not, there is a solution to these problems. Nowadays you can use mobile apps that can help us get in touch with our guests. It is a simple way to show them what we want. These apps such as Wishsprout are very useful. You will avoid duplicated or unwanted gifts. It is just enough to share the link where your ‘perfect gift’ is located, and – Bam! Your guests will be able to see it on their screen. They can also confirm they will buy the gift you desired and send you a personal note about their ‘gift reservation’. Great, isn’t it?

Although we all love to surprise our dearest and enjoy seeing them cheer up, choosing the right gift is sometimes difficult and even stressful. Especially during the holidays when the offer is very high. Therefore, avoid the so-called “deficit” traps. Try to be reasonable and avoid buying a gift you can’t afford. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, cultivate a positive outlook. Keep in mind the person you care about so much that you want to give her a gift.

Preparing the House for the Holidays

It’s that time, once again, ladies and gentlemen. We are now in the midst of the holiday season.  Many of us are preparing for several celebrations, and may be hosting big groups of people. But, the question is: are you prepared?

With the holiday season comes happiness and joyful times. But, if your house isn’t ready, you could have unwanted problems later on. The following information will give you several tips on how you can prepare your house for the holidays, and allow yourself the freedom to relax, and have fun with family and friends.

Solar Energy for the Holidays?

You may not associate home energy audit with the Holidays. But, there are several reasons to consider it with HomeSelfe. As the Environmental Defense Fund explains, it has become more affordable than ever with prices falling nearly 80 percent. Also, there has been a 20 percent increase in the solar job market. So, people are looking at these opportunities, as well.

If you’re trying to save water, solar energy can help here too. For example, with solar energy, you only need approximately 26 gallons of water to produce enough electricity for 1,000 homes for one hour as opposed to 687 gallons of water with fossil fuels or 198 gallons when using natural gas. The solar energy helps heat the house. So, you won’t need as much water.

Clean the Microwave

Source:consumerreports.org

There are several other things that you need to do to prepare for the Holidays. While it may not seem Holiday-related, Popular Mechanics reminds us to clean the microwave. You can either scrub the tray or place it in the dishwasher. Using a little soapy water on a soft cloth will make the inside of your microwave will look as good as new.

Don’t Keep Cleaning the Oven

While most self-cleaning ovens save you time, it will also stress-out the appliance, which could be problematic when you need it most. So, focus on the stove top, and save the heavier cleaning for after the big meals.

Check Your Fridge

Source:alphaapplianceservices.ca

Let’s be honest. Your refrigerator will be used much more often during the holidays than on any other day of the year. So, make sure it’s working properly. Tighten loose screws, make sure vents are clear, and replace the inside light bulb with a new one. That way, you can be sure that anyone who wants a midnight snack can see in the dark.

Clean the Coffeemaker

Source:housewifehowtos.com

You may be surprised what happens to your coffeemaker after just a couple of uses. Now, think about how often it will be used during the holidays – by all of your guests. That should be a great incentive to make sure your coffeemaker is spotless so everyone can use it the next day.

Check the Dishwasher

Source:danielappliance.com

While many modern dishwashers are able to clean better than older models, they can still clog the drain under the spray arm. Knowing that you will use the dishwasher more often, it is essential to make sure that the dishwasher works properly. Check – and clean – the drainage system as necessary, and remove any residue that you think will add to clogs.

Maintain the bathroom

Even if your guests don’t stay overnight, they will surely use the bathroom. Therefore, it is essential to not only keep it clean. Make sure that everything works well. Tighten up any pipes to eliminate leaks, as well as screws that can make your toilet loose. Of course, it goes without saying that a working toilet is a necessity.

Childproof the House

Source:newagepregnancy.com

You will invariably have guests bring their children. Therefore, it is essential to childproof your home. So, make sure you de-ice the front walkway and fasten down any loose rugs to avoid slipping. You should also consider covering up electrical outlets, and putting lamps and vases out of reach. In addition, if you have a multi-story house, put up gates to prevent the kids from falling downstairs. Making sure everyone is safe should always be a priority.

Holidays should be a joyous time for everyone – including yourself. So, make sure your appliances are clean, tidy up around the house, and clear the walkway. But, keep in mind that using solar energy will also help you save on those Holiday bills. Save the money for shopping.

5 Reasons to Hold Onto Your Caravan

Are you thinking of getting rid of your caravan? Perhaps you don’t use it often enough or you can’t find a good place to store it during the offseason. If it’s a matter of space, you really should reconsider. After all, storage is available that will allow you to keep your vehicle stored in a safe environment out of the elements when it isn’t in use. 

Aside from the fact that there are storage solutions out there, here are five great reasons to hang onto your caravan. 

Source:rosneathcastle.co.uk

Flexible Holidays

Owning a caravan lets you make the rules for your holiday excursions. You’re no longer stuck waiting on flights or train departures, and forget about spending a fortune on a rental car or van. When you own one, you can take off whenever the mood strikes and change your plans as you please. 

Cheaper Trips

While the initial purchase may not be the cheapest, the trips that you take will be much more affordable in the long run. You’ll save money on hotel or hostel accommodations, transportation, and even food when you stock up before you hit the road. 

Pack Freely

Forget about trying to measure suitcases, checking baggage fees, and figuring out how to make everything fit into a limited space. A caravan holiday means that you can pack whatever you want, including the family dog, the barbecue, and so much more. 

Source:campsites.co.uk

Find Local Treasures

A caravan lets you explore what’s on your doorstep. Plus, there’s so much out there without having to go far from home that you’ll find endless holiday options. You can head out on the open road and find destinations and attractions for all ages and interests. You can find some great value used caravans here on CaravansForSale.

Make Memories

Source:visitnsw.com

A caravan holiday is a great way to make memories. You can spend more time interacting with your family and exploring the world around you. Plus, you can even pass down the caravanning spirit and create a family tradition. 

Before you sell your caravan just because you’re out of space, look into LocknStore.com.au. It’s affordable, convenient, and easy to find in a town or city near you. Indoor and outdoor storage units are available, offering something for just about every need. 

 

Top 6 Original Outdoor Vacation Activities

The summer holidays are in full swing. And if you haven’t had your summer vacation yet, then you might be looking for a few good ideas to occupy yourself with, in case you’re still planning on taking a well-deserved trip. We all need some time off from our drudging office lives and what better way to do that than to just undertake some exciting, outdoor activities that you normally don’t undertake, that will rustle your feathers, that will get you some much needed fresh air and that will take your time off of your 9 to 5 rat race for the time being.

Whether you’re going to Spain, Iceland, Morocco, India, Vietnam or Italy… at least one of these recommended activities are bound to be offered at your vacation destination of choice. So without further ado, let’s have a look at some of the best summer outdoor activities that you can’t afford to pass up.

1. Elephant Riding

If you’re a lover of animals, then riding an elephant should be right up your alley. These magnificent beasts are naturally very calm and friendly. Believe it or not, they actually enjoy hanging out with us silly humans, provided we treat them with the respect they deserve. And most people do, because do you really want to get into a fight with an elephant?

Elephants have the ability to traverse steep, gravelly terrains, which are narrow and hard to navigate. So if you’ve always wanted the thrill of a good hike, without having to do any of the work, then taking the hike on an elephant might just be the thing for you. Elephants will enjoy walking you through the untamed wilderness. Just so long as you pay’em in peanuts afterward.

This is a popular tourist activity in India.

2. Kitesurfing

Looking for something that will give you a bit more of a jolt? Kitesurfing is a fun, water and wind-based activity that you are going to love. Especially if you haven’t ever done it before. This skill can be learned with a little bit of motivation and grit. And it’ll be totally worth your time to get educated before you hop onto the board.

There’s no feeling quite like standing on a kitesurfing board and letting yourself be dragged all across the water by the wind. If you’re lucky and you’ve got the skills, you might even take off and fly a few dozen feet. The pros are doing it all the time. It’s a very liberating experience. I’m betting you can’t wait to try it out, can you?

There are many spots where you can do kitesurfing, such as Morocco.

3. Quading

If you’re more of a lover of motors, then you might want to give quading a shot. Quad bikes are kind of like motorcycles, but only with four wheels and a bad temper. You’ll be more stable on a quad than you are on a motorcycle. All in all, it’s a completely different experience. Quad bikes can go pretty fast. Low-end quads will top out at 55mph, while high-end quads might very well go to 90mph.

If your vacation destination just so happens to have large areas of land where hardly anybody ever shows up, then this would be an excellent opportunity for you to raise some hell on your quad. There’s no feeling quite like taking your 250cc quad and revving it up to its top speed of 55mph, riding down the road and watching the dust behind you as you make speed.

Iceland has some nice plains and valleys that make for an interesting environment to go quadding in.

4. Bungee Jumping

If you are looking for some danger in your life to really shake yourself awake, then the good ole’ bungee jump might be something that’s going to suit you well. We all know how it works… you get a cord around you and then dive head down into the abyss, praying to your deity of choice that he’ll leave the cord in one piece. What better way to relax on your vacation than to needlessly risk your life in a needlessly dangerous activity that most people wouldn’t even dream of touching?

There are so many places where you can get your bungee on, that I can’t possibly list them all here. One popular bungee location is the Chaulière bridge in France. This one will have you almost 600 feet high. If that doesn’t scare you into feeling alive, I don’t know what will!

5. Ziplining

Looking for the thrill of being high in the air, but without the risk of a cord coming undone and you splattering face down onto the ground hundreds of feet below you? Then ziplining is probably the right choice for you. You won’t go nearly as high or as fast as you would when doing the bungee. You’ll still be hanging on a cord, though. Except the cord won’t be as high and it won’t have to take as much of a strain as the bungee would.

Ziplining is an activity that is growing in popularity all across the world. It’s a relaxed way of discovering nature. Many ziplining tours will have many ziplines on a path that is essentially a hiking trail. Except you won’t be walking all across the trail… some bits you’ll be ‘flying’, instead.

A popular place for ziplining is the US. And if you’re not looking for a hiking vacation, then you can also go ziplining at a dude ranch called Bar Lazy J in Colorado. According to bootbomb.com, next to ziplining, dude ranches will provide many activities, not all of which are as strenuous as hiking, and most of which you’ve never even heard of. So if rest and relaxation in nature is your thing… then ziplining at a dude ranch it is!

6. Cave Excursions

If you’re one of those people that enjoys creeping him/her self out with a good horror movie, then maybe it’s about time that you go and experience something creepy in real life, such as an underground cave. Our lovely little planet harbors many caves, some of which are pretty dangerous if you don’t go in there with a guide. People have become lost in caves in the past without having to find their way back. You can die in there on your own. But not to worry, because most tourist accessible caves won’t let you in there without a guide anyway.

A cave excursion can be a lot more enticing than you’d think. The rock formations you’re going to find there is quite a marvel to behold. These structures have formed over eons. It’s incredible what nature will do over so much time. And you get to stand there and have a look at it. If you enjoy being awed by nature’s creations, then a cave is the place to be for you.

The Valporquero cave in Spain is a really good one. You’ll find it in Castile and Leon. It’s got streaming water, so you’ll certainly find some refreshment on your educative cave excursion.