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One of the most moving highlights of the Jewish calendar is the moment when an entire family gathers around a to light the Hanukkah candles. Undoubtedly, the prominent symbol of Hanukkah (also spelled Hanukka or Hannuka and pronounced Chanukkah or Chanuka in Hebrew) is the menorah (also known as a Hanukkiah or Chanukkiah in Hebrew), outshining the dreidel, potato latkes (pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts). Orna Cohen-Boteach of Alim Studio, an exceptionally gifted and creative maker or original Judaica (Jewish ceremonial art) and Israeli art, has crafted a stunning menorah that combines the best of modernity and tradition. It is an old Jewish tradition to light one Hanukkah candle on the first night of Hanukkah and then add one candle on each night, until on the eighth and final night all eight Hanukkah candles shine together harmoniously, accompanied by the ‘shamash’ (Hebrew for Sexton, or helper), the candle which is used to light the other eight and then displayed alongside them.
The lighting of the menorah commemorates the victory of the Maccabees in their ancient battle in Israel and Jerusalem against the Greeks’ religious persecution.
This remarkable Hanukkah menorah is made of seven small rectangles made of pewter which are fastened with pewter ‘connectors’, thus allowing them to be moved at the connection points. Each connector doubles as a candle-holder for one of the Hanukkah candles, with an extra connector at each end of the menorah, to make a total of nine candle-holders.
Small shapes of olives and olive leaves made of pewter are generously dispersed along the entire menorah, giving it the resemblance of a branch of an olive tree. This ‘branch’ can be shaped and crafted in nearly any desired shape, because of the interaction between the pewter rectangles and the connectors. Measuring 42 x 4 cm (16.8 x 1.6 inch), this unique menorah also offers the option of having the pewter plated with either brass or copper.
The original design and shaping options of the menorah are a sure-conversation starter, and a great decoration for all rooms of the home, year-round. A terrific Hanukkah gift it’s also the perfect gift on the occasion of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, anniversary, engagement or housewarming event.
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