It is Jewish tradition for women to light candles every Friday night, to mark the beginning of the Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath and holy day. Some women light two candles, while others light one for each member of the household. The lighting of the candles is meant to symbolize peace and harmony in the home. To add class to this tradition, many women place their candles in beautiful candlesticks or candle holders. Another Jewish tradition is the lighting of candles during the Hanukkah (sometimes spelled Hanukka and pronounced Chanukah or Chanukka) festival. On the first night one candle is lit, with one candle being added each night until finally, on the eight night, eight candled are lit. It is customary to place the Hanukkah candles in a beautiful candle holder, named a menorah (sometime spelled menora) or chanukkia.
What do these traditions have in common? World-renown Israeli artist Yair Emanuel has crafted a remarkable item, combining the two traditions - it can be used to hold either two Shabbat candles or up to eight Hanukkah candles. Three wooden rectangles are intricately painted so that when the smaller two are placed on the larger one they form gorgeous paintings.
There are five different theme options for the paintings:
1. Jerusalem – One side of the menorah features the ancient vistas of Jerusalem, with the other featuring a painting of the Western Wall.
2. Wedding Figures – A bride and groom are seen embracing, while above them are lovely bouques of flowers.
3. Oriental – A dazzling, colorful blend of flowers and birds in an oriental design.
4. Seven species – A remarkable weave of grapes, dates, figs, pomegranates, olive branches and wheat & Barley grains. These are the Seven unique fruits & grains blessed in the land of Israel, and symbolize multitude and good fortune.
5. Jerusalem Oriental - This design incorporates an original oriental design into painting the ancient vistas of Jerusalem.
On the top of each of the smaller rectangle there is a large hole in which Shabbat candles can be placed. Hinges are fastened between each small rectangle and the larger one, so that the smaller two can be “swung” downwards, to reveal 2 holes on the bottom part of each small rectangle, and 5 holes on the top of the large rectangle – four for the regular candles, and one for the “shammash”, the extra candle used to light the others, while the elaborate original paintings are maintained.
Words simply cannot do justice to this remarkable piece of art; it needs to be seen to be believed. As for practicality – this item can’t be beat. Brass inserts protect the wood from the melting wax. After being hand painted, this candleholder is covered in three layers of lacquer, rendering it waterproof and making hand cleaning possible.
Measuring 5" X 2.4" X 2" when closed and 10" X 1.3" X 2" when open, this fantastic menorah is the perfect gift – for a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah, as a housewarming gift or as a Hanukkah gift.