NEWS

Hanukkah: modern menorahs popular for Jewish holiday

12/16/2014 07:22 EST | Updated 02/15/2015 05:59 EST
At sundown on Tuesday, Jewish families will light the first candle on the menorah to mark the first night of Hanukkah —and in some homes the candelabrum will be a departure from the traditional design.

Clifton Chin at Gigi B on Granville Island said modern menorahs are a popular item at his stall, which sells a wide range of artistic items.

"To have something modern is to inject new ideas and to sort of revitalize or re-energize something," Chin told The Early Edition.

"A lot of people tend to enjoy having that non-traditional menorah. They do take a very sculptural sense and feel to them that, when out of season, you can still have them placed in your home and they look absolutely beautiful."

Rabbi Dan Moskovitz with Temple Shalom in Vancouver likes the more modern interpretations.

"I think it's nice when we make it our own. That's the whole idea of the holiday is to bring it into your own life and to create meaning out of ancient rituals," he told The Early Edition.

"At our home, every child has their own hanukkiah, their own menorah, and they've made them in school, they've made them out of Lego, some of them have almost burned down our house — as creative as you can get."

According to Moskovitz, the way Hanukkah will be celebrated in Canada on Tuesday is a modern interpretation in itself.

"In the Western world Hanukkah has risen in its significance because of its juxtaposition with Christmas and the other winter holidays, and it's a lovely holiday. It brings light in a dark time," he said.

"Here we are in the darkest of months, and so to light a candelabra in your window or in your community is a lovely thing. With all the Christmas lights that are around, it's just more light to the world, which is a good thing."

To hear more about the first night of Hanukkah, click the audio labelled: Lighting the menorah.

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