There’s a lot of attention surrounding Christmas at the minute. The jingles have already begun, even before Halloween.
But there’s another important holiday for Jewish people that lights up the world just as much as the much-loved Christmas tree – Hannukah.
Hannukah is also known as the festival of lights. And while it isn’t mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures, it is arguably one of the most well-known observances for those who practice Judaism – one that, for many, is symbolized by the menorah.
After all, Hannukah is a chance for families to get together and spread joy and light to the world through Menorahs – a Hebrew word for a lamp.
Menorahs were first used in Jerusalem in the First and Second Temples – and were lit using olive oil every day.
A menorah has seven candle holders, and a Hannukah Menorah has nine – one for each night of Hannukah.
Let’s look at five beautiful designs you may wish to look at.
Tree of Life Designs
The tree of life is symbolic to different cultures and religions for many reasons.
For Judaism, the tree of life represents the divine religion of the Lord’s creation from nothing, our human souls, the spiritual path we take, and divine revelation.
The tree of life essentials maps our creation as human beings, and it’s a stunning fluid design that everyone can appreciate.
This elegant example of faith and design combines craftsmanship and religion into one alluring Menorah.
Sterling Silver Designs
Sterling silver designs may not have the same anecdotal meaning as the tree of life design – but they have an abundance of elegance and glass suitable for any mantlepiece this Hannukah.
The bold yet graceful presence of a sterling silver Menorah is a staple design choice to explore.
Sometimes when you buy a Menorah, simplicity is all that’s needed – fancy designs can sometimes do an injustice to the calming festival of light.
Your candles will rest in eight oil cups stemming from delicately curved branches that peel away from the central stem.
Traditional Yemenite Art Designs
Traditional Yemenite art refers to the work of Jewish men — usually silversmiths — in Yemen.
These silversmiths were highly acclaimed professionals, sourcing precious metals from the Arabian Peninsula in the 18th hundreds.
Although such craftsmen aren’t celebrated like they once were, traditional Yemenite art designs are as elegant and classy as forged in the 18th Century.
The designs vary, but all use sterling silver as the metal material to produce an exquisite sterling silver Hannukah, one that commands the attention of anyone in the room.
Traditional Yemenite art design differs from simple sterling silver because of the craftsmanship and how they make it.
Yair Emanuel Designs
Moving away from materials and styles, Yair Emanuel is an accredited artist from Jerusalem who has dedicated his life to producing jaw-dropping Judaica designs – including Menorahs.
You can find examples of his inspiring work online; he doesn’t specialize solely on creating Menorahs.
Yair Emanuel combines traditional Motifs and ancient Jewish manuscripts with modern art and design to produce a fusion of traditional and modern-day Jewish art that works.
You can easily recognize Yair Emanuel’s work by his use of vivid colors — perfect for the festival of light — and his mixture of old and new art and design.
He has hundreds of designs to view online, including on his online gallery.
Hannukah is a beautiful festival that harnesses light, peace and celebrates the recovery of Jerusalem and the rededication of the Second Temple.
Whether you’re only exploring your Jewish roots now, or if you have a long lineage of Jewish heritage that you can’t wait to celebrate, the Menorahs above are examples of Jewish art at its finest.