Friday, November 12, 2010


A blog post by shop manager Esther Weiner.

Four weeks from today, Wednesday, December 1, 2010, the Hebrew date is Kislev 24; we light the first candle for Chanukah! What a special time of the year…if you think about it this way, and prior to December 1, the Jewish people all over the world get out their own special Chanukiah, polish them up, (if needed) insert the first candle, light the Shamesh, say the bracha, (prayer), and light the first candle! It gives me a very warm, fuzzy and special feeling that next door, down the hall, across town, in the next city, in the adjoining state, criss-crossing the country, over the ocean, and around the world, Jews are doing the same thing that you and I are doing. Sort of like joining hands and spanning the world.

I like the feeling. I love the songs we sing, and the foods we eat. The latkes, all kinds—potato, zucchini, sweet potato (yes, I make them too), and yummy doughnuts.

Esther demonstrates latke making at the Museum.

The gifts that have come to be exchanged between close friends and families are special too. In our family, we try to keep that under control and not get out of hand—but, heck, Chanukah comes but once a year!

Now for Chanukiot, that’s a special topic with me…I adore the variety of pieces that are available today! And as the buyer for the Museum Shop of the Jewish Museum of Maryland I get to indulge in choosing some really special pieces for the shop. I’m like a kid in a candy shop, picking out a wonderful variety for those visitors to the JMM. You’ll see some of the pictures here on my blog.
The grand Chanukiah made of small pieces of Jerusalem stone and made in Israel, the gorgeous Chanukiot made of stone with crystal candle holders, each holder has a holographic picture inside. I love the Tamara Baskin glass curved piece with the hills of Jerusalem, it’s so colorful! How about the funky Chanukiah—the double-wing airplane, the black steel motorcycle with the driver, the school bus? The perennial favorite is back, the high heel shoe Chanukiah, the Karen Rossi Family Chanukiah, the red-wire convertible, the brass klezmer piece? Oh so many…you have to come down and see for yourself!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the magnificent selection of candles to grace your Chanukiah, hand-picked in an assortment of colors to suit everyone.

Did I say I love this time of the year? Come on down to the JMM, check out our shop and celebrate this special time of the year with us…ask for Esther, but then, everyone will be happy to have you visit our museum!

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