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This Hanukkah menorah features the unique design of a bridge, and is lit using oil as opposed to Hanukkah candles. The simple yet creative design makes this a stunning piece of Israeli art and Israeli Judaica; a sure collectors’ item for any lover of modern Judaica.
During the Jewish festival of lights, Hanukkah (also spelled Hanuka and pronounced Chanukkah in Hebrew), symbolic acts abound. The spinning of dreidels (tops), eating of potato latkes (pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) and the exchange of Hanukkah gifts are inseparable parts of the holiday, making Hanukkah a major highlight on the holiday calendar.
However, the lighting of the Hanukkah menorah (also spelled menora, and known as a Hanukkiah or Chanukkiah in Hebrew) is definitely the most famous symbol of Hanukkah. It is customary to light one light on the first night of Hanukkah, and add one light on each night, until on the eighth and final night eight lights shine together in harmony. On each night an extra candle, the ‘shamash’ (Hebrew for ‘servant’ or ‘helper’) is used to kindle the others, and then displayed alongside them.
While most families use Hanukkah candles as the Hanukkah lights, many prefer using oil, as the ancient Hanukkah menorah used in Jewish temple was lit using oil. On Hanukkah we celebrate the ‘Miracle of the Oil Jug’ – upon liberating the temple from the Greeks, the Maccabees found only enough sacred oil to last for one day. However, miraculously, the oil lasted for eight days, which is how long it took to produce more sacred oil.
Alim Studio, home to some of the most creative pieces of original Israeli Judaica (Jewish ceremonial art) on the market, has crafted a remarkable menorah which combines a simple design with tremendous meaning.
Aluminum was shaped to resemble a bridge comprised of planks, while each plank houses a small ‘tub’ for containing the oil. The planks are arranged in two groups of four, with a central plank meant for the ‘shamash’ distinguishable from the two groups by creating a gap between the groups and the ‘shamash’.
One of the famous quotes attributed to Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (also spelled Bratslav) is ‘The entire world is but a narrow bridge. The most important thing is not to be afraid’. The deep meaning behind this saying is brought to life in the sight of Hanukkah lights featured on a bridge, and leaves much to ponder and discuss.
Measuring 55 x 8 x 5 cm (22 x 3.2 x 2 inch), this dazzling menorah is the perfect Hanukkah gift, as well as a great gift on the occasion of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, anniversary or engagement.