December 6, 2023

If you’re shopping for a silver menorah, there are many considerations to take into account. In addition to a design that will blend with your home, you should also choose a lamp that is suitable for the way your family uses it and that connects you to your Jewish tradition.

The menorah is a central symbol of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights that celebrates the miracle that took place during 164 B.C.E., when Judah the Maccabee led his band of rebels against their Syrian oppressors. The triumph was not just a military victory but a symbolic reenactment of the original Temple miracle, when one day’s worth of oil lasted for eight days.

This elegant, mid-20th century menorah is carved with ornate filigree designs along the arms that reach up to delicate jug-shaped cups that hold Hanukkah candles. The middle candle, which is used to light the other candles on the menorah and called the shamash, is propelled forward and stands above the rest of the piece, creating a multidimensional effect. The base has detailed designs as well.

The curved branches are reminiscent of the shape of the Temple’s seven lights, and the 22 bulks at their tips resemble the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. On view in the European Sculpture and Decorative Art Galleries among works made between 1850 and 1900 (Gallery 556, first floor), this magnificent ceremonial lamp is on loan from The Moldovan Family Collection.silver kiddush cup

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