You might ask yourself, what does a Jewish home look like? What are the items most commonly found in a Jewish home? But like any home, we shape it in our own way, but our home also shapes us. Jewish-Americans account for 2% of the total population in America. That number is small and the reason why you might be interested in knowing what a Jewish house looks like.
Like any home, a Jewish home will have items that will serve as a connection to God. Every Jewish home has Judaica passed on from generation to generation or acquired through trips to Jerusalem, the holy city.
Upon entering a Jewish home, you will be greeted by a mezuzah. A mezuzah is a very religious parchment that is inscribed with religious texts. These texts are attached in a case to a doorpost outside a Jewish house, and it serves as a sign of faith in households.
But what really defines a home are books. In a Jewish home, the most popular “items” found are books. These books might be religious, or they might have no connection to Judaism. These items can be from both Jewish or non-Jewish authors. These can have various topics like literacy, history, Sabbath and other holidays, photograph books of Jews making their way to Israel, or they could be ordinary books like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. It doesn’t really matter what the books are, as long as there are books, lots and lots of books.
Other popular items found in a Jewish home are Havdalah candles, which are ceremonial candles that are used in celebrating Havdalah. Havdalah is the ceremony which marks the transition between the end of Sabbath and the beginning of the new week. You can buy various Havdalah candles online at Jewish shop.
Another popular religious item is a Challah cover, which is an opaque cloth made from embroidered velvet, but any fabric can be used. Jewish people use Challah covers to cover the ceremonial bread at the sunset of the Sabbath meal. Challah covers the loaves until the Kiddush blessing has been recited over wine, be careful which wine.
Speaking of Kiddush, a Kiddush cup is also a popular item in a Jewish home. A Kiddush cup is a wine goblet, usually made out of silver, that is used to make Kiddush (to make a blessing over wine).
A popular item to be around during the festival of Hanukkah, and a game played during that festival, is Dreidel. Dreidel is a four-sided spinning top marked with the Hebrew letters Shin, Hey, Gimel and Nun, which read “A great miracle happened here” in Hebrew.
An Etrog is one of the four species along with lulav, Hadas, and Aravah used on the holiday of Sukkot. An Etrog is a lemon like fruit traditionally used along with the other three that are waved each day during the seven day festival of Sukkot.
A popular candelabra found in Jewish households is the Hanukkah Menorah. A Hanukkah Menorah is a nine-stemmed candelabra that is used for the holiday of Hannukah, and it is different from the seven-candles menorah used in the temple of Jerusalem.