The holidays are fast upon us. Diwali, the five-day festival of light celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs, was just held November 5-9. Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 1, with Christmas of course to follow.

To celebrate and showcase a beautiful gift for Hanukkah, as well as for Christmas, we’re giving away one copy of the book 500 Judaica to each of three lucky winners. For a chance to win, click on the Comments bubble in the upper right of this post and leave a comment yourself by Tuesday, November 16. In your comment, please simply share what the holidays mean to you and your family. Winners will be selected at random and announced on Friday, November 19. Click here for the official rules.

Library Journal calls the book, which showcases 500 photographs of gorgeous ritual art pieces by leading designers, “a handsomely produced volume … (with) beautifully photographed examples. The art speaks for itself. A welcome addition.” The Jewish Daily Forward says 500 Judaica is “a beautiful book.”

On her blog, Jean Yates raves, “This exquisitely photographed, supremely enthralling book, 500 Judaica, offers many reasons to draw the reader to it. It is incredibly worthwhile to purchase as a gift, to mark an occasion, or for the collector of wonderful art books. As a chronicle of faith, shown through contemporary Judaic art form, it manages to be specific to the religion it is addressing, and as well also to the profound passion which all religion engenders in humanity. The photos are incredibly varied and each one is completely worthy to be showcased in this amazing book.

“Please consider this extraordinary book for your own collection. It would make a fine gift for a thinking art lover and collector, whether Jewish or not. I know. I am Catholic. I am honored to have this remarkable volume in my library.”

Please leave a comment, and good luck!

My mother, Rita Hemachandra, with my somewhat solemn looking brothers Loren (left) and Lane (right), Hanukkah 1968 at our house on Long Island. I was 1 year old, and obviously I was taking the photograph while standing on a very, very tall chair.


30 Responses

    I would treasure this book in my heart forever as a token to my Jewish Father who is no longer with us…. thx for the chance.Happy Hollidays

    Linda Landig says:

    A beautiful book. I would be so honored to have it.

    Kim says:

    This book sounds really interesting.

    I’ll be hosting the family Chanukah party this year, my first time hosting a big family gathering, and I’m very excited. Chanukah is one of my favorite holidays because it’s one that the entire family gets together to celebrate.

    Melissa says:

    This sounds like a truly wonderful book. I would love to gift it to a good friend who is in the process of reclaiming her Jewish heritage. Thank you for your generous giveaway.

    Bashakooler says:

    This looks like a ‘must have’ book. My Mom, Donna, collects all thing Judaica, and if it’s a Lark book, I know it must be beautiful!

    Mom2homer says:

    As a pianist turned organist, I now work for a Lutheran church–a career path I never envisioned when I was helping to light the Chanukah candles as a kid. My German husband, in contrast, grew up celebrating Christmas. These days, we compromise by exchanging gifts on winter solstice (which usually falls between Chanukah and Christmas), marking the welcome return of the sun’s light.

    Helen says:

    holidays mean – time to be together!

    Sally Anderson says:

    The holidays are for family togetherness! With two kids grown and gone, this is the one time of year when we can all come together and just BE. It’s fun and crazy (two toddler grandgirls) and downright magical. It feeds me for the whole year.

    Abarrabarr says:

    I remember one particular Hanukah growing up. That was the year my parents got my sister and I an Atari. The first night we got one joystick, another a game, then the other joystick… delicious agony waiting for the actual system itself! Well, I didn’t exactly think of it that way back then, but I sure was glad to get it! :) Though we were never very religious, we did enjoy Hanukah and watching the candles burn down through the night.

    Linda Cahan says:

    I’m a very conflicted Jew. I didn’t know I was Jewish until I was 10 years old. We always celebrated Christmas. When I asked to go to church with my best friend Lise, my mother laughed and said “no honey, we’re Jewish.” When I asked her what that was I was immediately enrolled in Sunday school at Temple Beth-El in Great Neck. I hated it.
    I’ve never felt anything spiritual in a temple or in a church. I’m a pagan at heart. Good to hear that the book was endorsed by the Forward – a relative of mine started it – Abraham Cahan.
    The holidays have always meant family to me more than anything. We only celebrated Hanukah once and rebelled, we were so used to Christmas. My grandfather (mother’s father) came to the US at the turn of the century from Vienna – when his father took the family to temple for the High Holidays for the first time and was asked to give money to go to services he stormed out and told his family that they were never to set foot in a temple in this country again. My grandfather never did – but considered himself a good Jew. On my father’s side (the Cahan side) his grandfather was a Talmudic scholar and so strict that my grandfather rebelled and never practiced. Either did my father. So I came by my lack of religion rightfully. But Yiddish was always a part of my life – just words, expressions – never full sentences. I’m forgetting a lot now that I live in Oregon!
    Linda Cahan

    Janna says:

    Holidays are significant to me because they are times for family gatherings and reflection. Times that I always look forward to, and inspired by the traditions unique to each holiday.

    Dindyr says:

    Hanukkah is a time for family gatherings and remembering all the wonderful holidays of my childhood, and the great traditions that I shared with my children as they grew up. Now we get to celebrate Hanukkah with our precious grandchildren. It is a time full of love, food, especially potato latkes (pancakes), songs and sharing. It is also a time to reflect on what we have and how we still need to answer the call of tikkun olam (the healing of the world) which always needs more peace, more love, and more attention to our precious planet earth.

    Glitterata1 says:

    My family always celebrated 8 nights together. We had our extended family over for a traditional Channukah dinner and played dreydl games. The memories are very special. Now that we have a granddaughter, Mia, we hope to continue the tradition. I would love to own this book to share as part of the yearly traditions.

    Obimom says:

    All of the holidays are a chance to take a break from our day to day lives and spend some time thinking about our traditions and what they mean to us. They are a time for family and friends. I especially love Chanukah because our children, and their now adult friends, all gather at our home. I always look forward to the special foods of the holidays and seeing the decorations and ritual items that have been put away for a year.

    Leslie Gordon says:

    To me the Jewish holidays are an ethnic and cultural connection to my ancestors.

    Ardenzen says:

    Holiday meaning has transitioned through my life. Early childhood was a time of traditional celebration of God, family and togetherness. With early adulthood came a focus on partying with friends, and more materialistic and hedonistic pleasures. As a single parent, holidays became frantic and stressful, attempting to meet my own expectations for the “perfect” holiday: decorations, baking, and toy purchases that would please my children. In my later years, I’m nostalgic for the simpler, purer reasons we celebrate the holidays: appreciating the spiritual and familial connections we spend a lifetime creating.

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