Tonight is the eighth and final night of Hanukkah, the annual Jewish "Festival of Lights." The celebration commemorates the Maccabees victory over the Greeks and the miracle of the oil lamp.
In the Second Century BC, the Jews found themselves under the thumb of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire. The Greeks insisted that the Jews worship their god, Zeus, and they desecrated the Jewish Temple (the "Second Temple") by slaughtering pigs within it. Many Jews rebelled. But the Maccabees rose-up and took-on the Greek Army. Despite a small number of warriors, the Maccabees defeated the Greeks and reclaimed their temple. While cleaning-up their house of worship, they were disappointed that they only had enough lamp oil to last through one night of the re-dedication. Nevertheless, that insufficient amount of oil burned for eight nights—the original Hanukkah Miracle!
Theologically, Hanukkah is a minor observance. It is most popular in families with young children and it provides a time for seasonal family merriment, gift-giving and entertaining. Preparing fried foods, in commemoration of the oil in the lamp, is a part of the celebration.
The Modernist bronze menorah, shown above, holds the requisite eight candles—one for each night of Hanukkah—plus the shammash ("attendant") candle which is used to light the others. Please click on the photo above to learn more about it.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248