What Makes a Home Jewish?

Updated November 11th, 2021

The history of Jewish culture and Judaism is perhaps one of the lesser understood religions, yet learning even a little about it offers a fascinating insight into the lives of so many people around the world. Jewish people are welcoming, inclusive, and respectful, and their homes pay tribute to their traditions and culture. It’s the same for other cultures and beliefs worldwide. But can you define a Jewish home? In many ways, yes, you can.

The household to Jewish people is a sacred place that holds a high amount of value. It’s a place where they pray and worship, practicing their beliefs and values in the comfort of their home. But it spreads further than religious influences. Below, we will explore what makes a home Jewish.

Religious Influences

It’s hard to classify one thing as making a home Jewish. Décor will differ from home to home, as it does in any home – although a number of items that possess a deep meaning for those who observe Judaism will be found.

Most notably, religious influences around the home that pay tribute to Jewish heritage include the Jewish Menorah. The Menorah links to the Hannukah holiday, which is actually not too far away, starting on the 28 November this year. It’s a sacred religious ornament that’s a staple to many Jewish homes.

You may also find prints with Hebrew scriptures on them – a subtle way for Jewish people to let people know they’re in a household practicing Judaism. Possibly one of the more familiar items that you may notice is the Mezuzah, which is a parchment hung on doorways in Jewish households.

Ordinary Objects With Roles

Ordinary objects with roles are perhaps the defining feature of a Jewish household, yet it’s not so easy to spot unless you’re staying for supper. What you might consider ordinary items that everyone has in their homes transform within the content of a Jewish home. Let’s look at dishes as the prime example. You might think a dish is simply a dish, but in a Jewish house, every single one has a purpose. There are dishes for meat, dishes for milk, and dishes for just about everything.

At The Core – A Warm and Welcoming Environment

We should have started by saying you won’t find signs that scream a Jewish person lives here. There aren’t specific interior design trends that necessarily correlate to Jewish culture. What does, is to create a nurturing, comforting, and warming environment for anyone that walks through the door. There are some colors that you might link to Judaism and Jewish culture, however.

The first symbolic color is black, and as it goes, black. The correlation to Jewish color is through Tefillin, which are small leather black boxes that contain scrolls of parchment that have the verses from the Torah. Many Jewish households like to feature the color black.

Terra is another classic color that you might find in a Jewish home. During Shabbat, a couple of Challahs decorate the festive tables. They symbolize the manna that fell on Friday and the bread that fed Jewish people for forty years in the desert. It’s a color many Jewish people will feature somewhere in their household. It’s a simple and elegant color that works well with many other color options, like white or black.

As mentioned, you won’t walk into a Jewish household and be smacked in the face with standout Jewish features. The features are subtle, elegant and pay a beautiful tribute to Jewish culture and everything it means. A Jewish home will be warm, welcoming, and a safe place for anyone to stay.

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