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s_anthony 11-22-2006 11:53 AM

Jewish Card Making 101
Ok, so with the recent posts of my Jewish cards on my gallery - I've had a lot of PM's and comments about Jewish Cards... so here's something I decided to put together about Jewish Card Making 101 :)

I am Jewish, yes - but I am not as well versed in Judiasm as I would like to be. I am learning, and part of my learning process is through my artwork and crafts.

Jewish stamps are HARD to find. SU has a few sets, CTMH as well. There are 3 stamp companies online that I can think of that have a large selection of Jewish stamps (not sure if I could post the links here or not and if it's against the rules). There are also the "stragglers" from many other lines like Inkadinkado, Stampendous, Double D, etc.. many are no longer made and are hard to find and have to usually be bought online through auctions.

Contrary to belief, Hanukkah is not the biggest card-giving celebration in the Jewish holidays. I could be wrong about this, but it almost seems that more interfaith families give Hanukkah cards than non-interfaiths - but I have no statistics to proove that, just an observation.

There are a few main holidays if you feel the need to give cards, and I'll outline them here. Feel free to add on posts as needed with your comments.

Rosh Hashana - The Jewish New Year: Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first and second days of Tishri. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, "head of the year" or "first of the year." The common greeting at this time is L'shanah tovah ("for a good year"). This is a shortening of "L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem" (or to women, "L'shanah tovah tikatevi v'taihatemi"), which means "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year." A popular practice of the holiday is Tashlikh (or known as "casting off"). We walk to a flowing water supply, such as a creek or river on the afternoon of the first day and empty our pockets into the river, symbolically casting off our sins. Another practice is to eat apples dipped in honey to symbolize our wish for a sweet new year.

This is usually the time of year that we give cards rather than the winter holiday season. To give you some examples of cards for Rosh Hashanna, you can stamp using Apples, Honey, Bees, Beehives, water/river scenes, star of davids - just to give you a few to start with. So some SU stamp sets would be the Decorative Country Apple to give you an example.

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights - This is another time of year that cards are given, but probably not as frequently as you think. Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of rededication, also known as the festival of lights, is an eight day festival beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev (which means that it is NOT on the same day every year - make sure to check your calendars). Hanukkah also can be spelled in many ways:

Chanukkah, Chanukah, Hanukkah, Hanukah - don't be afraid that you've misspelled it...

Chanukkah is probably the best known Jewish holiday because of its proximity to Christmas. Many non-Jews (and Jews too) think of this holiday as the "Jewish Christmas" and have adopted many of the Christmas customs, such as elaborate gift-giving and decoration. It is bitterly ironic that this holiday, which has its roots in a revolution against assimilation and the suppression of Jewish religion, has become the most assimilated, secular holiday on our calendar.

The only true symbol of this holiday is the lighting of the Menorah. A menorah has nine candles: one for each night, plus a shammus (servant) at a different height. (This is a nice note if you are stamping cards with candle stamps)

Contrary to popular belief Hanukkah is not an important religious holiday. Hanukkah is not even mentioned in Jewish scripture as the story is related in the book of Maccabbees, which Jews do not accept as scripture.

Another part of Hanukkah is the Deridel Game - dreidels are marked with four Hebrew letters: Nun, Gimmel, Heh and Shin. These letters stand for the Hebrew phrase "Nes Gadol Hayah Sham", which means a great miracle happened there, referring to the miracle of the oil. (I'm sure you can find the story online if you wanted :) ) Most people play for matchsticks, pennies, M&Ms or chocolate coins - so there's a few ideas for your stamping needs...

To stamp cards during this time of year, you can use Star of davids, Dreidels, Menorah's, candles, winter scenes are acceptable since this is usually the time of year that Hanukkah has occured. No Jewish stamps? That's okay - a simple "Seasons Greetings" will do - trust me - you don't have to go out and buy a Jewish stamp set just because your new neighbors who moved in are Jewish. Just please no Merry Christmas - although it is appreciated by most.

Purim - This holiday is known as the "Jewish Halloween" although has completely different meanings. The Jewish Halloween reference comes because kids and adults both get dressed up in costumes for this holiday. Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of Adar, which is usually in March.

The primary commandment for Purim is to listen to the reading of the book of Esther. The book of Esther is commonly known as the "Megillah" which means scroll. It is customary to boo, hiss, stamp feet and rattle gragers (noise makers) whenever the name of Haman is mentioned during the service. The purpose of this custom is to blot out the name of Haman.

We are also commanded to eat, drink and be merry. A person is required to drink until he cannot tell the difference between cursed be Haman and blessed be Mordecai - though opinions differ from person to person how drunk that is. (A person certainly should not become so drunk that he might violate other commandments or get seriously ill. Recovering alcoholics or others who might suffer serious harm from alcohol are of course exempt from this obligation)

In addition, we are commanded to send out gifts of food or drink, and to make gifts to charity. It is also customary to hold carnival like celebrations on Purim, to perform theater, plays and parodies, etc.

To give you a list of things you could stamp: Scrolls, Esther (pretty women), Hamentashen (triangular cookies), clowns and circus, graggers or noise makers, etc. Happy Purim is the easiest saying you can use to stamp on your cards.

Passover/Pesach: Of all the Jewish holidays, Pesach is the one most commonly observed, even by otherwise non-observant Jews. Pesach begins on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan. Passover marks the start of a few agricultural holidays, but the primary observances of Passover is related to the Exodus from Egypt after generations of slavery. "Pesach" comes from the Hebrew root Peh-Samech-Chet , meaning to pass through or to pass over. It refers to the fact that G-d "passed over" the houses of the Jews when he was slaying the firstborn of Egypt.

Without going into a lot more detail since this is getting long, you can use matzoh stamps, (square stamps with little dots to look like matzoh), seder plates (round plates with round sections for each of the food types for passover seder).

Tu B'Shevat - Tu B'Shevat, the 15th day of the Jewish month of Shevat, is a holiday also known as the New Year for Trees. Tu B'Shevat is the new year for the purpose of calculating the age of trees for tithing. See Lev. 19:23-25, which states that fruit from trees may not be eaten during the first three years; the fourth year's fruit is for G-d, and after that, you can eat the fruit.

There are very few customs or observances related to this holiday but I happen to like it mainly because of my attraction to treese and nature related things :) . One custom is to eat a new fruit on this day. Some people plant trees on this day. A lot of Jewish children go around collecting money for trees for Israel at this time of year.

You could of couse use trees and nature themes for stamping during this holiday. You could also use fruit stamps as well.

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Hopefully this is enough to get you started down the path of Jewish Stamping. One thing to note is to NOT stamp or print prayers in these cards. Without going into a lot of detail, these cards that have prayers (or anything that might have a prayer attached) cannot be simply thrown away. There is a process that these cards have to go through in order to be "gotten rid of".

My recommendation is to read a little about holidays before you stamp. It isn't necessary to give your Jewish neighbor down the road a card each holiday - as it really isn't traditional to do so other than on Rosh Hashanna, and even now on Hanukkah.

In addition to the "regular" Jewish stamps (star of davids, menorah, driedels, etC) you can also look for Pomegranates, Apples, honey, bees and beehives, just to name a few.

Good luck and happy "Jewish Stamping". I look forward to your comments and suggestions as well!

Kathyc 11-22-2006 12:09 PM

Wow, I needed this! I think it was extremely thoughtful of you to share this much info and I've enjoyed reading it and learning a little more about the Jewish faith; My boss is Jewish so I'll find this helpful! Thanks!

mungojerry 11-22-2006 12:30 PM

Hey, thanks for posting this. :)

Stamping Bella 11-22-2006 12:37 PM

judaica stamps
Hi there,

I am not sure if I can post here but I am about to launch a rubber stamping company and I will 'specialize' in Judaica as I am Jewish and have noticed a big void in Jewish stamps!

Please PM me if you have any questions!!


diane617 11-22-2006 01:06 PM

This is great info for all of us. My neighbor (for 20 years) is Jewish and I always send a Happy New Year or Season's Greetings, but I think I will do the
Rosh Hashanah card next year, since it has passed for this year. TFS

Rubbernecker 11-22-2006 01:30 PM

Thanks for posting this - it is really helpful and informative.

wilko_scramps 11-22-2006 01:39 PM

Thank you very much for this mini-education. I would never want to offend anyone, and I'd rather give cards/gifts for occasions that are most meaningful. I also love learning about everything I can.


CardFanatic 11-22-2006 01:41 PM

Wow! This is very informative. Thanks!

stampingkelly 11-22-2006 01:49 PM

Great info, thanks so much for the time and effort you took in posting it!!!


Cathy H 11-22-2006 03:54 PM

I want to thank you for all of this information. I am one of those who sends more "Happy Holidays" than "Merry Christmas" cards -- I have been in a lot of situations where you don't know if someone is Christian or celebrates Christmas and I never want to assume anything. I send Hannuakah cards because it is easier to send those out with my annual Christmas cards, and yes, it is easier to find images because our culture is focused more on Hannukah than Rosh Hashana, which is really probably the holiday when we should be sending cards. Thanks again and I will be checking our your gallery for Rosh Hashana apples, pomegranites, etc.

row4d 11-22-2006 04:14 PM

Wow, this is a great thread! I really like how you pointed out the various holiday symbols we can look for in our other "non-Jewish" stamp sets. Goin' up to Thread Tools and adding this one to my subscriptions list so I can refer back to it! :)

myhappyplace 11-22-2006 04:44 PM


Originally Posted by shmem
Hi there,

I am not sure if I can post here but I am about to launch a rubber stamping company and I will 'specialize' in Judaica as I am Jewish and have noticed a big void in Jewish stamps!

Please PM me if you have any questions!!


Hi Emily!

Please keep us updated, I make cards for my MIL a lot and she is Jewish. I would love to use some of your stamps.


BasketMom 11-22-2006 05:54 PM

For those looking for Jewish stamps, I saw a "Happy Hanukkah" stamp with a menorah on it at Archiver's in their $1.99 'hot spot' - it's a square stamp and it's pretty nice.

Thanks for the info - good to know.

jailbirdstamper 11-22-2006 06:17 PM

thanks for sharing this - lots of information that is very helpful!

Yapha 11-22-2006 06:41 PM

Kol Ha Kavod!
Excellent explanations and suggestions! I love the cards in your gallery as well.


LateBlossom 11-22-2006 07:05 PM

Thank you for the lesson! And for the time you took to give it. I'm subscribing for future reference as well.

stampinCPA 11-24-2006 10:45 AM

Great information! As far as I know there is nothing wrong with posting links to other stamp companies - there are many threads with links, so feel free to post. My 2 favorite Judaica stamp sites are www.ruthjewishstamps.com and www.zumgaligali.com. I've not ordered from Zum Gali Gali, but have been very happy with Ruth's. There are several cards in my gallery using their stamps including my DS's Bar Mitzvah invitiation.

blueheron 11-24-2006 11:06 AM

Thank you for the information to help us all be more culturally appropriate and sensitive. I, myself, prefer to stick with "seasonal" cards (Winter, Spring, Autumn, Summer) rather than ones specific to holidays. Your information will help others who have more specific needs. Your post was thoughtfully, and intelligently, presented. Thank you for taking the time to post it.

lynnewithane 11-24-2006 12:17 PM

Well, that was an amazing chunk of information from s_anthony! There were a few things in there that I was not aware of, but I would like to add just a couple of things.

Just after Rosh Hashanah, comes Yom Kippur. This is the most solemn day of the Jewish calendar. It is not a holiday to send cards, but we fast from sun up to sun down. Most Jews spend most of the day in synagogue. We pray to be written in the book of life for another year (hence the proximity to Rosh Hashanah.) I just felt it needed to be mentioned.

The one that I always got a kick out of was Succos (or Sukkot). (The synagogue I grew up in said bas mitzvah, not bat mitzvah.) It is a harvest holiday, and you build a succah in the back yard. My dad did one a couple of years using some wooden framework. Then we bought cornstalks and tied them to the wood. We used gourds, indian corn, etc. to decorate. I remember it being a fun holiday, so a traditional fall card just mentioning the holiday might be appropriate.

Just one more thing that I would add: I wish that SU would do a Chanukah set spelling it with the ch. That really is the correct pronounciation of it. (Remember the Rugrats special that said "Chanukah....you have to ch when you say it.) FYI, that ch is not pronounced like in the word church. It is a gutteral sound in the back of the throat. Many people who weren't raised with the sound cannot even do it - just as I can't roll an R. Anyway, I would love another Chanukah set, spelled that way!

I would also add that most Jewish people are not offended if you say Merry Christmas to them. When I check out in a store and the cashier says "Merry Christmas", I say thank you and answer "Merry Christmas to you too." I don't feel compelled to say "Happy Holidays", and I am born and raised Jewish (though married to a Catholic). (We've been married 21 years now, so I think it worked out okay.) I love sending Christmas cards to my friends, but I stay away from religious themes. There are so many other choices, I can wish them a Merry Christmas with snow or Santa, etc. I am not offended if my friends send me a card that says Merry Christmas either. I know that it just means that they are thinking of me. One year, a coworker sent a card to everyone but me, trying not to offend, but that made me sad. I would rather be included in the good wishes!

I do make a point of making and sending Chanukah cards to relatives.

Well, I've rambled.

s_anthony 11-24-2006 09:36 PM


Originally Posted by stampinCPA
Great information! As far as I know there is nothing wrong with posting links to other stamp companies - there are many threads with links, so feel free to post. My 2 favorite Judaica stamp sites are www.ruthjewishstamps.com and www.zumgaligali.com. I've not ordered from Zum Gali Gali, but have been very happy with Ruth's. There are several cards in my gallery using their stamps including my DS's Bar Mitzvah invitiation.

You hit both of the ones I was going to quote... and there's also heveaartstamps.com too... I bought out almost all of their stamps they had at the last stamp show here .... I'm still sad that it's not coming back next year :(

LMstamps 11-24-2006 09:44 PM

s_anthony, thank YOU so much for taking the time to post this! :-) LM

MrsAngotti 11-25-2006 05:21 AM


Originally Posted by s_anthony
You hit both of the ones I was going to quote... and there's also heveaartstamps.com too... I bought out almost all of their stamps they had at the last stamp show here .... I'm still sad that it's not coming back next year :(

I love heavea stamps (the non-jewish ones). Did I read this right ... no stamp show in Pgh???? I did not hear this.

s_anthony 11-25-2006 07:13 AM


Originally Posted by MrsAngotti
I love heavea stamps (the non-jewish ones). Did I read this right ... no stamp show in Pgh???? I did not hear this.

They've been talking about it for the past few years about not coming back - and next year, Pittsburgh is not on the schedule....

Chef Mama 11-28-2006 07:15 PM

Wow! Wish I'd known you since September! We have secret pals at our homeschool co-op. It is a Christian co-op, but we have some members who are Messianic Jews. The lady who I am giving to is a Messianic Jew. Actually, she and her husband are Jewish by birth, so not "just" Christians who decided to follow the Jewish ways, if that makes sense! I was wanting to do some special things for her. We'll do our big "reveal" next week, so I'll try to go through your notes & your gallery & make something special for her!

I'm so glad you said that with the Dreidel sometimes people play for M&M's & not just the chocolate coins. A different friend (Not Jewish) teaches a class called Galloping the Globe & spent a few weeks "in" Israel. When the kids made paper Dreidels she searched all over for Chocolate coins, but it was too early for them to be out here. She used Kisses instead. I'll have to share your words with her!

Now I'm off to check out your gallery! Thanks for sharing all this!

marciad 11-28-2006 07:37 PM

Thank you for starting this thread. I've purchased most of my Judaica from Ruth's. After all these years it never occured to me to get some apple stamps for Rosh Hashana. I have two bee stamps, a beehive stencil, and a wee tiny bee punch. And I always make sure we have apples for the holiday.:D

stampinit4fun 11-28-2006 07:44 PM

I am not familiar with the Jewish Holidays and what their meanings are.
While reading your post I felt warm and comfortable. Thankyou for sharing.

Kittypaws 11-28-2006 07:48 PM

What great information about the Jewish holidays. Thank you, s_anthony, for posting this, and thank you also, Lynnewithane, for the additional information about Yom Kippur and the other holidays.

Batavia-Soprano 11-28-2006 09:09 PM

Oh - I so need to hold on to this thread for future reference!

Disneywed 11-28-2006 11:02 PM

Awesome info! From one of those wacky interfaith wives, I thank you....a few things I won't have to look up in The Jewish Book of Why. :)

purple elf lady 11-29-2006 10:54 AM

s-anthony, you did a fabulous job and I am so glad you started this thread.
About 3 years ago,when I first started looking for Jewish stamps and paper, etc. in preparation for my daughter's bat mitzvah as well as all her friends, there was almost nothing. I even asked a Jewish woman who owns a great little shop in St. Louis and she said I was the only Jewish person she had met who stamped.Any way, because they ran one ad in Creative Keepsakes, I found :
and they have all kinds of stuff for cards and scrapbooking.
There is also an ad in the current Creating Keepsakes in the back for Jewish "stuff" but I haven't looked at it yet and do not remember the name.
I have used biblical quotes such as Ecclesistes-"for everything there is a season..." I looked high and low and now have that in a couple sizes. If anyone is interested, I could look at my stamps at home and tell you what they are.
The issue is that you cannot spell out G-d. So if in doubt, don't use it.
I don't have a gallery because my stamping is probably a step ahead of my computer literacy.
I love to use beautiful paper-I think it is called stardust- that comes in copper, bronze, blue, etc. I emboss a star of david, layer w/muberry paper and attach with brads to the elegant cardstock. You can use this basic card for any occasion. I write on the inside using Creative Memories silver and gold pens. I think theirs are the best.
Also, silver and blue have become very traditional colors probably because of the Israeli flag.
There is a very long spectrum of "being Jewish".
I was very disappointed to go to San Antonio just for Amuse-a-palooza(since I had read so much about it on SPS) and the only make and take was a Christmas card. I said somthing to the person doing the demo about that being the only choice. There was not even a snowman. She was clueless, tho.
I look forward to keeping up with this thread.

scoopy 11-29-2006 12:22 PM

This is very informative - thank-you!

sharonw05 11-29-2006 01:37 PM

Great information! Thanks so much for taking the time to share it!


MoberKitty 11-29-2006 02:40 PM

Thank you sooo much for the great information!! I'm sure there are others out there who, like me, are ignorant of the Jewish traditions but we'd like to 'do the right thing'. I look forward to your line of stamps!!

mrslaird 11-29-2006 02:50 PM

I've bought from Zum Gali Gali and they are very good. Most of the ones I have are unmounted but I have some woodmounted stamps from them, too. I haven't bought from Ruth yet, but I have her catalog. I wish SU would do a nice Shalom.

mbarnett 11-30-2006 09:45 AM

Todah Rabah - You did an excellant job explaining the festivals. I too am Jewish and would love to focus more on Judaic or Biblical cards. I get most of my stamps from RuthJewishstamps but am always open to new resources.

Happy Hanukkah
Michelle "Malka"

Michellelovesscrap 11-30-2006 12:43 PM

Great thread, very informative.
I had no idea about Purim, so that was quite interesting!

purple elf lady 12-04-2006 08:49 AM

am bumping because surely there are more ideas out there.

newstamperamy 12-23-2006 01:24 PM

Awesome summary! You did great giving thebasics and relative importance of the idfferent holidays.

And Emily (shmem), please let us know when you are up and running. I haven't loved the SU Judaica sets since their Festival Fun set in the 2004 holiday mini. Every year when i pull it out, I am so happy that I bought it!

StampinLeslie 01-07-2007 08:03 AM

What a great thread! I can't believe I've missed it until now.

I just wanted to add this (I don't believe it was mentioned above) -- a very nice and appropriate greeting for a joyous Jewish holiday is:

Chag Sameach

Translated, that means, Happy Holiday. I would love for SU! to have that greeting. I have it from Zum Gali Gali, I believe.

I am such a sucker for Jewish stamps. I pick them up whenever I see them. I try to stay away from the online sites or else I buy everything in sight! :)

Yapha 08-19-2007 07:51 AM

Thought I'd bump this, since Rosh Hashanah is in a couple weeks! Big thanks to S_Anthony for putting it all together!


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