I get this question a lot: How can I make my house more Jewish? So in an attempt to answer this complex question, I’ve put together a little photo essay…
What is a Jewish person? That is really hard to answer. Although many people think you are Jewish by birth, there are certainly Jewish people by choice that often live more Jewish lives than those born into the traditions. In either case, people who self-identify as Jewish (either proudly or not) are the beginnings of a Jewish home!
One of the easiest ways to feel Jewish and create a Jewish home is by serving Jewish foods. Some Jewish foods are integrated into society so much we forget they are Jewish, like bagels. A friend told me the other day her kugel came out great at Thanksgiving. In a Jewish home, you don’t have to wait for Thanksgivukkah for that!
This is how I started creating a Jewish home. Judaica products like mezuzahs, hamsas, wall blessings, candlesticks and kiddish cups are a great way to give your house a Jewish feel. Don’t know where to begin, check out my Guide To Stocking a Jewish Home. But artifacts alone aren’t enough. You have to use them, which leads me to…
I think this is the funnest part of being Jewish and certainly our customs of celebration are what comes to mind when people think of Jews. Passover, High Holidays, Hanukkah…with eight major holidays a year, Jewish life is full of celebrations!
This one is hard for me to articulate, but there is definitely a way of thinking that is quite Jewish. Whether it comes from the focus on observance vs belief, years of persecution, or the emphasis on study and inquiry to find answers, Jewish thought is distinct and has led to incredible advancements in science, politics, and the arts.
This is the hardest part for many, including myself. Whether it is keeping the sabbath or maintaining kosher, Jewish observance can be as intricate as you want. A rabbi once told me that you have to find your own level of observance because “No matter who you are, there is always someone more orthodox.”
What do you think? Did I miss anything?
Photo credits: Pisgah House by user Los Angeles, text overlay by Chai & Home (CC BY SA 3.0)// Family Portrait by TVZ Design, text overlay by Chai & Home (CC BY 2.0) * Note this family may not actually be Jewish* // Bagels by user Politkaner, text overlay by Chai & Home (CC BY SA 3.0) // Seder plate by B & G Photography.