Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Chanukkah: Chanukiah

The Chanukiah, often incorrectly referred to as a Menorah (Menorah has 7 branches, Chanukiah has 9) is the most recognized symbol of the holiday. It is traditional to light candles (one more each night) and then place the Chanukiah in a window so that passersby may see it. Which actually makes for an interesting point: the display of a Chanukiah is integral to its use during the holiday. This seems to add a new dimension to the "Christmas trees and Chanukiahs in public" debate, that has most recently flared up at the Seattle Sea Tac Airport.

I get the feeling that Chanukiahs are like lighters. Either you have 30 million around your house, or none. My apartment has a grand total of zero Chanukiyot, and since we are crafty, I am thinking about maybe making one. Jewschool gave examples of two d.i.y. Chanukiyot: an unkosher LED one, and a kosher mah jong one. Rabbi Yonah of Jewlicious posted a week or two ago about NPR's Ornament/Kinara/Chanukiah-making contest. Let's just say that I am not THAT arty, unless I could knit a Chanukiah, which, to be honest, sounds like an awful idea. Lloyd Alter of Treehugger posts the MANorah, and its counterpart a sparkly, rhinestoned FEMENorah. Don't get me started on traditional gender roles, and the gender binary inherent in these Chanukiyot, all I want to say is that my Mom, a true aishet chayil*, took a plumbing class two years ago, and can sauter pipe with the best of them.

While my craft skills might not be useful vis a vis Chanukiyot, other people are significantly more talented. For instance Daniel the Potter posted pictures on his Potsblog of himself making a Chanukiah. I am mad jealous.

If you are looking for inspiration, Angel of Woman Honor Thyself has posted photos of public Chanukiyot around the world. By the same token Millevitoria of Um Universo Em Mininiatura posted some images of beautiful traditional Chanukiyot. And in a return to traditionalism Wandering Stu will be using Olive Oil to light his Chanukiah this year.

*An aishet chayil is a woman of valor. There is a song, traditionally sung on Friday nights by the man of house to his wife of the same name. It lists the qualities of a woman of valor, which include, but are not limited to: the ability to make cloth of crimson, industriousness, loyalty. For the record, I could totally make some kickass crimson cloth.


Anonymous said...

As great as some of these homebrew chanukiot are, its probably cheaper to buy one of those basic aluminum ones.

Or you can go with the beer bottle chanukiah.

harley said...

Did I ever tell you of the time when our mutual friend, the rabbi, decided to use a Sabra humus container as a chanukiah? Let's just say, I was the only one who noticed that it had melted through the plastic when the room began to smell of burnt humus. And he had placed it on the television.

Brilliant-- and he's the future of Conservative Judaism.

WomanHonorThyself said...

lol great funny post hun and ty for the link!

Renegade Kosher said...

I don't think you have track back, but I linked to this article in my recent post! ^^