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    My Favorite New Menorahs -- 2010 Hanukkah Gift Guide

    Taking an innovative approach to Hanukkah doesn’t mean downloading a menorah-lighting-app to your iPhone. Keep tradition burning with these modern interpretations of menorahs for your home:

    Areaware improves an ancient design by integrating a tray to their Wrought Iron Menorah ($150) that catches the candle drippings. I love this menorah because the lines are sleek, simple and modern but the heaftiness makes it feel like a barn-shed tool in your hand. Very manly.

    Peacocks are a hot motif this year. Jonathan Adler’s Peacock Menorah ($120) will give you something to strut about: either you’ve given the best gift at the party or you’ve got the finest menorah on the block. (Pictured with our candles.)

    Designed in Israel, handmade from resin in a Bulgarian fair-trade women's work group, the Funky Menorah by Lalo Treasures ($98) will fill all eight crazy nights with sparkle and flair.

    Upgrade your menorah lighting experience. Use modern, tubular, drip-less candles like these above that we gifted to Jonathan Adler ($14). Lose the free matches from the diner, light up with a bang with Pistolight by Sooda Mayer ($10) or go old style but in style with Jonathan Adler's Pipe Match Holder and Strike!

    See our entire 2010 Hanukkah Gift Guide for unique Hanukkah gifts for everyone. Even your non-Jewish friends will want this stuff it's so fab.

    What's New At ModernTribe

    It's Menorah Madness here at ModernTribe. OK, that sounds tacky. But really, we have three new menorahs that I'm excited about and I want you to be excited, too...

    Dove Menorah In Gold and Silver
    Art is filled with symbolism, and this piece of modern Jewish art by Lunares certainly has it. The dove in the center is the traditional symbol peace. The menorah is like a Tree of Life, with branches growing out of it. So in a way, this menorah grounds the spirit of Hanukkah in a wish for peace and the lighting of the Hanukkah candles is a way of manifesting this peace in your home.

    The menorah combines the modern design that ModernTribe is known for, while at the same time having an asymmetrical, Craftsman style feel that is becoming more popular among the urban lodge/neo-folk design enthusiasts.

    Choose Gold or Silver. Ready to ship November 16.

    A novel take to the traditional Chanukah menorah: Chanukkit is an innovative set of individual menorahs, one for each day, made entirely of wax!

    The set includes eight menorahs including shamash candles (the one used to light the others). Lighting a new Chanukkit menorah each night reflects the joy and spirit of renewal of the holiday.

    Chanukkit is composed entirely of candles in different shades of red and comes in an attractive triangular-shaped package.

    Developed initially as a gift for the company’s employees, Chanukkit is trademarked in Israel with a pending international patent.Very cool.

    Will ship mid November. Order now!

    Cypress Menorah
    This handmade cast-bronze menorah is great for someone who wants to bring the beauty of nature to their Hanukkah decorating.

    Cast in the shape of a lush cypress tree, this menorah is a beautiful way to celebrate the earth each Hanukkah. 8" H x 14" L. By Nelles. Made right here in the USA.

    Happy Shopping!

    Hanukkah FAQ

    Have a happy Hanukkah! Here's an FAQ from Jill about Hanukkah traditions.

    When is Hanukkah?

    Jews begin celebrating on the first night of Hanukkah: after sunset on December 21, 2008. The first day of Hanukkah is December 22. The eight-day Festival of Lights ends on December 29, 2008.

    Why does the first night of Hanukkah change each year?
    Chanukah always begins on the twenty-fifth of the month of Kislev, as Jon Stewart tells Stephen Colbert below. The
    Jewish calendar is lunar, and its dates vary each year relative to other calendars, such as the Gregorian calendar used in the U.S. In fact, the first day of Chanukah can fall anywhere between November 28 and December 26.

    Why do Jews celebrate Hanukkah?

    Hanukkah celebrates religious freedom and the rededication of the Temple (Hanukkah means rededication). Around 165 BCE, two groups of Jews -- one led by Judah Maccabee -- successfully revolted against the oppressive King Antiochus IV, who had prohibited the practice of Judaism, desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem, and ordered the killing of Jews.

    Once free, the Jews were able to rededicate the Temple. They needed oil for the Temple's menorah, which was supposed to burn every night, but according to the Talmud, the Jews had only enough oil to burn for one night. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, giving them enough time to obtain more oil. To celebrate this miracle the next year, the Jews began to observe an eight-day festival.

    What is a menorah?
    On each of the eight nights of Chanukah, Jews light a candelabra called a menorah after sunset. The menorah holds nine Hanukkah candles (or wicks in oil). On the first night, Jews light the shamash (attendant or "helper" candle), then light another candle with the shamash. On the second night, we light two candles plus the shamash. This continues until the eighth night, when we light eight candles plus the shamash. The custom of lighting Hanukkah candles has given the holiday its nickname, the Festival of Lights.

    In what direction do I light menorah candles?
    Candles are added from right to left, but they are lit from left to right. On the first night of Hanukkah, place one candle in the far right holder of the menorah, and light it with the shamash. (The lit shamash is often placed in the center of the menorah.) On the second night, put two candles in the two far-right candle holders, then light the left-most candle first.

    Is there a special blessing I can recite while I light the Hanukkah candles?
    Yes, while holding the shamash you may recite the Blessing over Candles and the Blessing for Hanukkah. On the first night, it's customary to recite the Shehecheyanu as well; this prayer celebrates special occasions and milestones.

    Where can I get a menorah? ModernTribe has unique artisan-made menorahs from girly to manly, glass to chrome, plus a kid's play menorah. Menorahs are also available at synagogue Judaica shops and Jewish bookstores.

    What are some other Hanukkah traditions?
    A Jewish holiday wouldn't be complete without special foods! On Hanukkah we often eat foods fried in oil, such as latkes (pancakes made of shredded potato) and doughnuts (sufganiyot), to commemorate the Hanukkah miracle. Dairy foods also are commonly eaten.

    Families often exchange Hanukkah gifts or just give gifts to children. It's traditional to give children gifts of money, or gelt. Another Jewish custom is to give more money to charity each day of Hanukkah.

    Another Hanukkah tradition is to play dreidel games—including No Limit Texas Dreidel. Singing Hanukkah songs is also a fun family activity.

    Jews often send each other Hanukkah cards.

    I've seen "Hanukkah" spelled many different ways. What's the correct spelling?
    Because it's transliterated from Hebrew, there are several possible spellings: Hanukkah, Chanukah, Hanukah, Chanukkah, Hanuka, and Chanuka. Less typical spellings include Hanaka, Channuka, Channukah, Hannuka, Hannukah, Kanukkah, Khannuka, Khannukah, Khanuka, Khanukah, and Khanukkah!

    To read more about the Festival of Lights, visit Chabad's Chanukah guide or Judaism 101's Chanukkah page.

    Reach Out Touch Me: Jewelry Design from Israel Gets Physical

    By Ziva Haller Rubenstein of Designist Dream

    Shopping is a sensual experience for me in that I like to touch things on view or on sale. More than just look or pull off the rack, actually playing with the fabric or material gives me a better sense of the object - how it will wear, drape, endure, draw attention or compete with other things on my shelves. So maybe now you can understand why seeing these bracelets by Israeli Jewelry Designer Dana Hakim Berkovich behind a glass at the Designed in Israel 08 exhibition was so upsetting for me.


    First off, what immediately attracted me was their texture. The woven braids on the cuffs and bracelets seemed so intricate and layered that my fingers literally started walking across them atop the glass just itching to cop a feel. Then, reading the artist's statement, I realized they were made of cardboard - egg crate cardboard to be more specific! That's right, not what you first think of when you hear of textural jewelry or think of coveted bracelets. Berkovich cuts diamond shapes into the cardboard and when rounding them into the bracelet shapes generates a 3D effect - what I thought originally was a woven pattern. Berkovich's overall technique aims to recycle used materials into beautiful accessories and challenges users to rethink the beautiful and the possible in what we casually throw away.


    A little ways away in the same glass case, Israeli jewelry designer, Yael Friedman, also got my fingers itching. A delicate pewter-metal blend gold Hanukiyah or Chanukah Menorah presented the neatest little DIY project that just couldn't go wrong. A one-dimensional page of metal provided cut outs of semi-circles - each with laser cut decorations - that can be slotted together to form a fully functioning eight-plus-one candle holder. The details gave some light and delicacy to the metal material and the adornment was reminiscent of jewelry techniques. And the idea of being able to mail someone a flat DIY Menorah in time for the holidays? Opens a whole new world of holiday card options. Now if I could only get my hands on these items...

    ~Crossposted from Designist Dream~