Every pilgrim to the Holy Land has the urge to take a piece of the land and its essence home with them, whether that is a gift for a Biblical holiday, or something spectacular like an ancient piece of pottery or a coin from the time of Jesus. Everyone who visits the holy land has many friends, family members and ministry leaders who could not come. Frequently, pilgrims purchase souvenirs or artifacts from the land so that those who could not come still get to own a piece of the history or culture of this special place. These gifts carry a deeper significance, being that they come from the city of King David, the city into which Jesus rode triumphantly during His last days, and the city to which He will return.
In the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem is Christian Quarter Road. It is just a few steps from many must-see pilgrimage sites, such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which many Christians believe is the setting of the Gospel, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Zak’s Jerusalem Gifts on Christian Quarter Road has been in business since 1964. Through the years, Zak Mishriky has earned an unimpeachable reputation in the antiquities trade. He is authorized by the Israeli Antiquities Authority so any antiquity you purchase will come with documentation verifying its authenticity. In addition to antiquities, Zak also offers many locally made gifts and handicrafts, suitable for both men and women. The cozy, no-pressure atmosphere in the shop is pleasant to enjoy as you select your gift. Zak himself will order you tea or coffee, and explain the history behind the objects before you. The gift you buy for yourself, or for your friend or family member will be one of a kind.
Was it by chance that the wise men from the east brought gifts of frankincense and myrrh to Jesus? Or did they know that God loved the smell of frankincense and myrrh? Perhaps they knew that the offerings before God were often mixed with frankincense, the priests who ministered before God were anointed with a perfume of frankincense, and the anointing oil commanded by God was made with myrrh. God’s house was to smell of His preferred scents: frankincense and myrrh! When they came to bring Jesus gifts, what better gift than one that was known to be pleasing to God? When you come into the presence of God in prayer, why not anoint yourself with prayer oils that contain the scents that God finds pleasing?
Hand carved olive wood nativities are a great way to decorate for the Christmas season while remembering the history of the holiday. Olive wood is selected from Bethlehem and carved into intricate and beautiful figurines depicting the story of Jesus’ birth. As you set up the nativity you can reflect on what the shepherds must have thought when the sky filled with the heavenly hosts of angels proclaiming the birth of the Messiah - Jesus the Christ. Wise men from the East came bearing gifts while Joseph and Mary kneeled by the baby Jesus, lying in the manger. What better way to remember the birth of Christ than to hold a piece of olive wood from the very town of Bethlehem where Jesus was born?
Jewelry is beautiful and intricate - often telling a story that can be passed down for generations. The Roman Glass rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets from Zak’s Jerusalem Gifts tell a story that is thousands of years old. Not only is each piece of jewelry beautifully crafted, it is a walking part of history that you can take with you wherever you go. The glass found in each article of jewelry was created over 2000 years ago during the Roman Empire. These glass bottles were formed and used throughout the land. Each piece of jewelry is uniquely made since no two pieces of roman glass shards are exactly alike.
In ancient days, clay oil lamps were used in every household to bring light to the family. At Zak’s Jerusalem Gifts you can purchase a replica of these historical clay oil lamps that archaeologists have discovered throughout the land. In Luke 11:33 Jesus mentions that when an oil lamp is lit it should be placed on a stand and not hidden under a basket. The light shines out in the darkness and it should not be hidden. Jesus is the light of the world and He fills his believers with His light so that they might share this light with others. Light your own clay oil lamp and let the light fill your household and life.
While it is not common to wear clothing from the time of the Bible, you can wear your own pair of leather Biblical sandals. While walking around, you can reflect and think about the ancient historical figures from the time of the Bible that have worn sandals very similar to the pair on your feet. Zak’s Jerusalem Gifts has dozens of styles of leather sandals to choose from. Each pair is based on a Biblical figure. Take a walk in their shoes and discover a new way to connect with the people from the Bible.
Armenian ceramics are beautiful pieces of artwork. Each piece is hand painted by Armenians living in the Holy Land. You can choose from tea sets, plates, bowls, cups, jars, trays, tiles, and other ceramic sets painted in a variety of colors. Collect your own custom set by selecting the color and pieces that you would like to use in your next dinner party. Or you can build your own custom sign out of the tiles to create a house greeting or family name. These pieces will provide an every day reminder of the Holy Land and the people living there.
Have you ever heard a blast from a shofar? The beautiful and haunting sound can be heard from a long distance. Historically, shofars were blown to announce times of rejoicing, start religious festivals, or warn the people to prepare for battle. If you are in Jerusalem during High Holy Days you have probably heard the call of a shofar. Shofars are made out of rams horns or other kosher animal horns. Depending on your preference, you can select shofars that are polished, decorated with silver religious symbols and designs, or painted with the Lion of Judah. Purchase your own shofar from Zak’s Jerusalem Gifts and hear the song that has come forth from shofars for hundreds of generations.