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It’s 8 PM on an evening in December 2007. I’m sitting in my home office in front of my computer when suddenly the doorbell rings. I open the door, and there stand two of my neighbors asking if I am burning something in my kitchen. From their windows in their houses they could see small flames shooting up in my window. I hadn’t a clue. My office and kitchen are on two different floors and I didn’t smell anything burning, nor did the smoke alarm go off. I immediately ran upstairs to find a small fire blazing in my kitchen window, my menorah in melt down and my sill charred. I had this menorah for many years, It was a water menorah that I had purchased at the Society of Arts & Crafts. Water in the bottom caught the hot dripping wax and made the menorah safe and easy to clean. For some reason I forgot to put water in it last year resulting in the fire and melt down of the menorah which was made of resin.

Steuben Glass Menorah

Steuben Glass Menorah

So this year I’m in the market for a new menorah. When I was a teenager my sister and I wanted my mother to get a more modern electric menorah. She preferred to use the one we had with traditional candles. Now as an adult with a fire behind me, I too prefer a menorah that uses real candles even though electric ones have come along way from the white plastic ones with the gold colored light bulbs of my youth.

Selecting a menorah is tough. Do I go with a traditional menorah like these, kitchy menorahs in the shape of Disney characters, animals or bicycles? What should it be made of – sterling, glass, bronze, pewter or porcelain? Menorahs now come in all shapes and sizes and all price ranges. Buying a menorah can be as difficult as buying a pair of jeans.

If you too are looking for a menorah, here are some starting points, some places you might not have considered along with the plethora of Judaica sites on the web:

The Jewish Museum
Crate and Barrel
Sherer Gallery
Naomie Art
Crystal Fox Gallery

*Links edited 12/2012

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