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Made of solid brass and decorated with traditional Jewish emblems, this menorah follows time-honored patterns still popular at the end of the 20th century. With holders for eight candles, plus one for the shammes, which is used to light the others, the menorah is the center of the Jewish celebration of Chanukah, commemorating the Jewish victory over Greek oppression and religious persecution in the 2nd century C.E. As Christmas became increasingly commercial over the course of the 20th century and dominated the December cultural landscape, Chanukah became more significant as a Jewish alternative, serving as a reminder of one's Jewish identity. Its increased importance in response to Christmas, however, has generated considerable debate within the American Jewish community. Extravagant gift exchanges are not traditionally part of the celebration, for example, yet many families feel the need to fulfill their children's longing for the same bounty of gifts enjoyed by Christian children at the same time of year. According to some estimates, as many as 20% of American Jewish households actually exchange Christmas presents. This menorah might suggest adherence to a more traditional observance of Chanukah.

Details

  • Title: Menorah
  • Date Created: 2001
  • Location: USA
  • Subject Keywords: Chanukah
  • Type: Holidays and Celebrations
  • Medium: brass
  • Object ID: 101.875

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