It is the full on holiday season and every religion has it’s own traditions.  One of the nicest is the Jewish Menorah used in the celebration of Hanukkah .  Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights.  It celebrates the triumph of the Hebrews over religious persecution and their escape from the oppression of King Antiochives of Syria in the Second Century BC.menorah-resized-600

 

1.  The original golden Menorah, mentioned in the book of Exodus, had only 6 branches.  In the 6th Century there was a 7 branch Menorah mentioned in the book of Zechariah.  Today’s Menorah’s have 8 branches and often a ninth which is used to light the other eight candles.

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2.  Each arm of the Menorah represents the miracle of eight nights that the oil burned when they found the damaged Menorah in the ruins of the Second Temple and lit it with only one day’s worth of oil.

realsimple,com-resized-6003.  Here the silver Menorah is shaped like a tree, representing long life.

womanaroundtown-resized-6004.  Notice that the ninth branch is separate to the left to designate it as the lighting candle.

menorahcenter-resized-6005.  This nine part brass Menorah has subtly designated the center candle as the lighting candle.  This Menorah is quite elaborate compared to most others.

judaica-mall-resized-6006.  How charming that this Menorah has a little pitcher representing the oil pitcher used in the original Menorahs.  More recently the form of the Menorah has become much less rigid and formal with curvilinear designs and all types of artistic interpretations.

designora.com_spherical-resized-6007.  Here is another contemporary curvilinear shaped Menorah. There is the addition of a Star of David here and the lighting candle is a little taller and shown at the back.

moderntribe-resized-6008.  Today Menorahs are made of many different materials and this engraved and painted wood one is especially beautiful.  Jewish design these days is quite modern in nature.

kolbo-resized-6009.  This maple Menorah is also quite stunning in it’s modern design with the subtle carving back of each candle.

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10.  Creative people are making Menorah’s out of many different materials today and this one of hand made nails is quite unique and dramatic.

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11.  I love this ceramic Menorah showing the people celebrating.  It’s charming.

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12. So is this hand made Menorah charming.  The whole family is participating in the celebration and the colors give it added life.

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13. Some of today’s ceramicists have a great sense of humor and these men are a great example of a fun Menorah.  By now you have noticed that the ninth candle holder is subtly separated from the other by being ever so slightly elevated or moved to the side.

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14.  A wooden Menorah in the shape of dreidels (spinning tops) and gaily painted is very original and beautiful, capturing the essence of the celebration.

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15. Speaking of creative and unusual, how about this Menorah made to represent fine modern art?

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16.  Or this puzzle Menorah.  It’s so clever and colorful.  The ninth candle is on the left just slightly behind the others.

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17.  Glass is a wonderful medium for any kind of art and a Menorah is no different.  Here the beautiful colored glass sparkles and glows in this one of a kind Menorah.

artfulhome-resized-60018. Glass blown to represent waves is a peaceful and joyful example of another truly unique Menorah.

Most of these can be purchased online so if you are interested do a search to find them and many more.

You can also learn more about the history of the Menorah online at lots of different sites.

Happy Hanukkah!