Just before the holy Shabbat begins, mothers and young women in the many Jewish communities across the world say a prayer and light the Shabbat candles. It is no wonder, therefore, that for most Jews the word Shabbat invokes an image burning Shabbat candles held in silver candlesticks.
These days candlesticks for Shabbat can be found in a wide variety of designs and materials, glass, ceramics, crystals, metal, and more. That said, for many Jews, there is no alternative to candlesticks made of pure, high-quality silver.
As for the candlestick shape, since the number of candles that need lighting changes, there are many different types of candlesticks that can be used, from multi-pronged candelabras to a set of two candlesticks that can be used to light two candles.
Candlesticks can be found in a wide range of proportions and dimensions, and it’s advisable to consider the size of the space where the candlesticks would be kept to avoid choosing candlesticks that would be too small and appear dim in the space, or candlesticks that might be too big and create an uncomfortable feeling in the space and might possibly be dangerous.
It is also advisable to consider the style, taste, and designing preferences of the members of the household. There is a wide variety of styles, from more traditional candlesticks, covered in ornaments referencing Jewish tradition and folklore, to modern candlesticks, with an understated and minimalist design.
Wine and kiddush dishes
The kiddush before the Shabbat meal is one of the most beloved and emotional moments in the Jewish tradition, it’s a moment of joining together and free love. At the center of this beloved ceremony stands in its full glory a kiddush cup filled to the brim with fine wine.
Jewish households invest in an ornamented pure silver kiddush dish that adds to the Holiday spirit and majesty. Dishes such as these can be found as a set of a matching kiddush goblet and plate, a kiddush cup and plate set, a set of smaller liqueur cups on a silver platter or a wine dispenser that enables the main kiddush cup to be divided into smaller personal cups for the diners.
Spices and Havdalah
There’s no doubt that the moment when Shabbat begins is an especially emotional one, but the moment it ends has an undeniable magic and festivity. The mix between the warm light of the candle and the smell of spices wafting from the spice container being passed around by the members of the family creates a unique and pleasant experience by all accounts.
In order to fulfill the Havdalah many Jews acquire a kit including a candlestick for the Havdalah candle and a holder for the smelling spices. Both of these items come in a matching design with stylized silver decorations.
Hand washing is a mitzvah on all days of the week, and it is to be done throughout the day in order to cleanse. This mitzvah is kept especially on Shabbat by many Jews, just before blessing the bread.
While during week days many Jews use simpler washing cups, made of tin or even plastic, on Shabbat many tend to use fancier washing cups, made of pure silver and adorned with many patterns and designs.
In order to fulfil the requirements of impurity and purity one cannot be satisfied with the hand washing taking place before the feast, for there is another mitzvah, a second hand washing that must be done at the end of the feast. In order to fulfil this mitzvah, one must pure a little but of clean water on his or her fingertips. Many tend to fulfil this mitzvah while sitting around the dinner table, by passing a special dish between the diners.
At the Hadad Bros. store you can find a wide array of fancy silverware intended for the mayim achronim ritual. The dishes for the mitzvah come in a set comprised of two parts, including a pure silver pitcher and matching tray, both embroidered and decorated in a large variety of amazing designs.
Whether they are braided or rolled, decorated with sesame or poppy, sweet or savory, almost everyone enjoys a fresh, aromatic, warm challa. That enjoyment no doubt becomes bigger and more festive when the challa is eaten as a part of the blessing of the bread.
We must not forget though that there is another key component to fulfilling the blessing of the bread, for the best loaf must be dipped in salt. Therefore, salt shakers are a necessary item on every Shabbat table, all the more so when the salt shakers are made of pure silver and are meant for use specifically for the Shabbat meal.
In the typical Jewish household that puts care into the festive fulfilment of religious ceremonies, there can be found a large selection of Judaica and other items for religious purposes, Shabbat candlesticks, Kiddush cups and goblets, decorated salt shakers, and Havdalah sets. More than once a need arises to move a number of these items to the Shabbat table at the same time, and so a decorated silver tray provides a simple, functional, and aesthetic solution, that allows for the moving these fragile and expensive items with great ease.
A fine silver tray such as this can also be useful during week days, as many people tend to put their religious items out in a display case or on a nice shelf. In these situations, gathering all these items together on a silver tray will create a most organized, regal, and aesthetic look.
Trays for the blessing of the bread
When there are many guests gathered at the Shabbat table, even simple to execute blessings and rituals can create disorder, even to the point of discomfort. Tray for the blessing of the bread can be used to serve the challa itself as well as a way to distribute pieces that have already been dipped in salt in order to fulfil the blessing of the bread.
There is nothing more joyful and unifying that shared Shabbat songs around the dinner table. In order to give due respect to yours and your family’s favorite Shabbat songs, keep them in a fine leather and silver songbook holder.
The holy Shabbat is a product of many small items, traditions, customs, blessing, and also dishes. Designed and adorned silver dishes, carefully selected, will add to your familial Shabbat the full dignity and grace that such an event deserves.