Tonight we are halfway through Hanukkah, the holiday where Jews honor the victory of the Maccabees over Antiochus IV Epiphanes and remember the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem in 164 B.C.E. It is said that when Maccabee leader Judas Maccabeus arrived at the Temple to purify it, there was only a small jar of usable oil to light a candle, but miraculously, the oil lasted for eight nights. For readers who are struggling to imagine how great this was for the Maccabees, the Bronx deli Liebman’s recently took to Instagram to contextualize the event for a contemporary audience:
View this post on Instagram
Consequently, the celebration of Hanukkah calls for observers to light candles on a Hanukkah menorah (hanukkiah) each night for eight nights. The menorahs can be as simple as a tin box with nine holes (the ninth candle is a “helper” that lights the others) or as elaborate as one’s budget allows.
Take a look at the nine most stylish architect- and designer-approved menorahs AN editors have encountered this holiday season:
Via Maris | $165
This matte steel Hanukkah menorah from New York–based Judaica brand Via Maris, pictured above, reimagines a traditional object in the modernist tradition. The chanukia’s arms are swaged open via friction to hold a candle, turning a functional detail into a decorative one, while the nine candle cups can be detached for easier clean up.
Karim Rashid | $37
Karim Rashid’s bubbly and bright menorah was specifically commissioned by the Jewish Museum. Its three colorful iterations now live in the museum’s permanent collection.
Menorah Sculpture II – Cream
Hannah Polskin | $1,250
Los Angeles–based artist Hannah Polskin instructs buyers to “enjoy your menorah as a sculptural object all year long and remember to never leave an open flame unattended.”
Marmol Radziner Menorah
Marmol Radziner | $190
Design-build practice Marmol Radziner’s menorah is handmade in Los Angeles from walnut and brass, with the ninth candle placed untraditionally at the opposite end of the stand, away from the others.
Iron Hanukkah Lamp
This iron menorah by the midcentury Israeli artist David Palombo features nine candleholders in the Brutalist style.
Josh Owen | $150
This cast iron menorah by industrial designer Josh Owen is in the permanent collection of the National Museum of American Jewish History and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Constantin Wortmann for Georg Jensen | $249
Richard Meier | $1,320
When this menorah debuted, now-disgraced architect Richard Meier told AN about the inspiration for his design: “In the design of the Hanukkah Menorah I was trying to express the collective memory of the Jewish people. Each candleholder is an abstracted representation of an architectural style from significant moments of persecution in the history of Jews.” Together they serve as “reminders of the common past and struggles that Jewish people have suffered and their resilience and strength that is so wonderfully captured by the Hanukkah story.”
Hanukkah menorah honorable mention: