Besides the menorah that I showed in the previous post, I have three others. I inherited this one from my parents. It dates back to the late 1950s. It takes candles as you see:
The camera’s close-up focus makes it seem lopsided.
It’s ready to be lit on the fifth night of Hanukkah which is December 22nd this year. The five Hebrew letters for the name Israel are crafted into the arms of the menorah. See if you can spot the angled, descending yud, sin, reish, alef, and lamed from right to left.
I bought this next menorah in Buenos Aires when I visited over Hanukkah 2000-1. This was Argentina’s summer, so it was short-sleeve weather.
This menorah is modeled after the one in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem of old. The Temple’s menorah had only seven lamps — on three arms jutting up from the stem on both sides and the seventh lamp on top of the stem. This seventh lamp was only as high as the other six. It was not a shamesh servant. The lamps were lit by a priest on the ground much like gas streetlights were lit many years ago.
The taller cup of this menorah is for the shamash — the servant light from which the other lights are lit. A fixed oil cup doesn’t work for a shamash, though. Only a candle holder that releases the candle.
The silver needs polishing, which I’m not motivated to do.
My third menorah (in no particular order) is electric:
This is not a substitute for candles or oil. The Rabbis of old enacted the rules, and the electric age changes nothing. It has to resemble the Temple’s menorah as much as possible.
I lit this menorah in a window that faces passersby — neighbors in the complex that I live in and their visitors and guests. Let them be reminded that a little bit of light banishes much darkness.
The menorah that I use every year is below. I posted a picture of it in yesterday’s post.
All eight lights are burning on the eighth night of Hanukkah three years ago.
There’s nothing better than sipping a cup of hot tea with sugar while studying the Hanukkah lights. What are they telling me?