Saturday, December 20, 2003

Hag log: More Hannuka stuff
Here’s Meryl’s Hannukiya (Hannuka menorah). Maybe we could make an exhibition. Tell me if you’ve seen any other bloggers’ Hannukiyot and I'll add a link.

For the uninitiated: the Hannuka menorah has eight branches, one for each day. We add a candle each day until on the eighth day all eight are ablaze, it’s good fun. And there’s another branch, set apart (usually taller), which holds the shamash candle, used to light all the others.

Serious Hannuka freaks still use oil to light their Hannukiyot, like in the olden days. My mother-in-law has a beautiful old oil Hannukiya, that has been passed down in her family. She says there's one just like it on display in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Here is the most coherent, concise, no nonsense explanation of the Hannuka story I could find. In 1995, historical evidence of the Maccabees, the main characters in the story, was found during road works on road 443 (Remember Harry’s rock, last week? See! Everything is connected ;-)).

Talking about everything being connected, Lynn has some poignant comments on Hannuka.

The Hannuka menorah must not be confused with the Menorah in the Temple, which had seven branches (seen here, a copy of a detail on Titus’s Arch in Rome. Roman soldiers are carrying the menorah triumphantly into Rome, following the defeat of the Jews). The Temple Menorah appears on Israel’s national emblem, representing our deep connection to our past. It is flanked by two olive branches, symbolizing our yearning for peace.

Update: More on candles, Hannuka, and stuff, by Judith at Kesher Talk.