Match Boxes and Holders
In different ceremonies, such as Havdalah, lighting the Hanukkah Menorah, and more, we use fire. Since the latter plays such a pivotal role in several rituals and customs, there is an abundance of things that are used when lighting fire: candles, candlesticks, lighters and matchbox holders. While it is possible to use standard lighters or matches for the performance of the different commandments that involve lighting candles, it is customary for us Jews to go to great lengths in order to “beautify," or “enhance" the mitzvah. For this reason many choose to buy elaborate matchbox holders.
When buying a matchbox holder, you can either go very affordable, or quite pricey. For example, if you do not want something too extraordinary or flashy you can go for a simple black holder, slightly bigger than the matchbox itself. If you want to make sure it is known that the specific matchbox is meant to be used for the different customs and matzos, you attach to it a thin silver-plated place that says “for Shabbos and Yom To." If you like this type of simple idea but wish it was just a little more ornate, you can have different Biblical passages engraved on the other side of the matchbox holder, or images of Jerusalem and Jewish symbols such as Star of David ,dove with an olive-branch, and more.
Painted wood is a very popular material out of which many Judaica items are made. Often hand-made, these gorgeous painted wood holders come in a variety of colors and shapes. In addition, they come in different themes: birds, animals, star-signs, the twelve tribes, and many more. If this matchbox holder is meant to be used as a gift for a couple, it might be a wonderful idea to personalize it. This is achieved by engraving the couple’s names, both in English and in Hebrew. If it is for someone’s birthday or any other occasion, find something to engrave on the holder and thus personalize it.
If you have been to the Old City of Jerusalem lately, you may have spotted beautiful matchbox holders made of Jerusalem stone and painted glass. The combination of the two is remarkable. Some of these holders are meant to be used only on Shabbat, and so on one side they’re engraved with “For Shabbos" and on the other they will show an image of the Jerusalem wall. If you want, however, there are many other such matchbox holders that are more general, bearing different Biblical passages, Jewish symbols, and more.