First of all, I'd like to post a message that Yitz Jordan, aka Y-Love sent to Harley and myself, and a number of other bloggers. According to him: A set of ready-to-light Chanukah lights are a potential fire hazard and are causing damage to homes which use them. This product must be removed from Jewish stores at once. Chanukah Oil Candles as distributed by Ahron's Judaica are a potentially life-threatening hazard. He even provides some rather harrowing images of the melted candles on a menorah.
Secondly, on a more positive note (sort of) my Mom bought me a Chanukiah. Cute, right? She bought me a very pretty silver one, complete with candles; the type that you can keep for a lifetime. The only issue? It isn't kosher.
This is a kosher chanukiah. See how all of the branches are at the same height? All eight in a line? With an extra higher/same height shamash (worker candle)? That is basically all that is required.
Below is an image of the chanukiah that I recieved. In a Madden-esque touch, I've circled the relevant parts.
See how the branches are of differing heights? And how there are only eight branches? Pretty, but unkosher. Now, I do not blame my mother for this. Her formal Jewish education is limited, and she has learned what she can as an adult. You know who I do blame? West Side Judaica. They sold my mother an unkosher chanukiah without even mentioning: "hey, not sure if you care, but thought that you might want to know, this chanukiah does not fulfill the mitzvah of lighting candles on Chanukkah." Seriously, that was jerk of them. So now I have to bring it back, which I HATE doing, a) because now my mom feels like an idiot, b) because I hate returning things, and c) because it is f*ing heavy.