Judaica – Jewish Art
So what is Judaica, in essence?
The word Judaica is derived from the word Judaism, and was originally used by non-Jews as a term designating Jewish artwork. Traditionally including various ritual articles, Judaica is in fact a form of Jewish art. Its beginning corresponding to the starting point of Judaism itself, today Judaica represents a collection of Jewish artwork from all throughout Jewish history.
Over the centuries the Jewish world of art accumulated traditions, customs, rituals, holidays, cultures and sanctity, all of which crystallized into one world of art known today as Judaica.
Today Judaica is generally used to refer to all the historical items related to Jewish culture and tradition, as well as to the modern manifestations of those same traditional heirlooms, preserved throughout Jewish history, from generation to generation. Each generation collected its contemporary artworks and transferred them down to the next. This too bought about the concept's creation.
One can discern two main kinds of judaica:
Traditional Judaica: These would be ritual articles that were preserved over many years, passing from generation to generation among Jewish families and Judaica collectors. Such articles can include a Sabbath menorah, a shofar, the Book of Esther, tallits, etc.
Modern Judaica: Quickly developing in recent years, modern Judaica stems from a loss of interest in traditional Judaica among many Jews, combined with the desire of Jewish people to possess items linked to their way of life, cherished and remembered from their grandparents' home. Many a time one can witness various exhibits by art students, portraying ritual articles that have been remodeled. Other examples for modern Judaica are styled tallits, women's tallits, challah covers, Hanukkah menorahs, Passover Seder plates, candlesticks etc.
Artist Yair Emanuel set out to design Judaica artwork that combines classical and traditional motifs inspired by ancient Jewish scriptures along with the modern and oriental worlds. These sources blend together to create Judaica products with an 'old-new' look that is both vividly colorful as well as harmonious. Today Emanuel products are an inseparable part of the holiday belongings of Jewish homes, both in Israel and worldwide. Emanuel's Hanukkah menorahs and dreidels adorn and enrich the Hanukkah holiday; his elegant tallits color synagogue prayer halls with harmony; his challah covers add a sparkle of light to the Sabbath table, as do his Kiddush cups, candlesticks and hand washing cups.