Menorahs I Have Known

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I had only one menorah in my life for my first 18 years. The blue chanukiah with brass candle holders in the shape of simple lamps that belonged to my parents. I don’t know how they came to own this menorah, but I welcomed its reliable appearance that marked our holiday tradition as much as my father’s latkes and my grandmother’s five dollar checks to all of us grandchildren.

But more menorahs have come into my life as I’ve moved through the stages of being a single adult, followed by marriage and motherhood.

A graceful pewter menorah, with purple glass at the base where the candle holders branched out, reminded me of my mother when I began celebrating Chanukah in my own apartment. I fell in love with the menorah at a local Judaica store. My mother adored glass, the lure of light seen in its reflection. When I saw the flickering candles shining in the menorah’s smooth purple disk, it brought back the insight into wonder my mother had shared with me.

That menorah was set aside the first year of my marriage when my husband brought his own, made of stone and lit with oil. Since for years I had faithfully used the blue square box of multicolored candles to bring light into December darkness, I was intrigued to use a menorah that featured a different lighting technique.