Holiday Gifts

Discover Stunning Historic Hanukkah Menorahs at the Israel Museum

The Israel Museum

Ranked among the world’s leading art and archaeology museums and one of Jerusalem’s top attractions for Jewish history, the Israel Museum holds countless artifacts that were found throughout Israel and the Jewish Diaspora. Its impressive collection spans the vast history and cultural heritage of both the Land of Israel and the Jewish People from all different time periods, from the Stone Age to the modern era.

Some of the most well-known Israel Museum exhibits are the Shrine of the Book, housing the famous Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient Jewish manuscripts, as well as the historically accurate, scaled model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple period, which includes the Temple itself.

However, a lesser-known but just as awe-inspiring aspect of the Museum is its historical Hanukkah menorahs collection. See how Jews throughout centuries and around the world celebrated Hanukkah with the Israel Museum’s stunning collection of menorah artifacts!

Historical Menorahs

The Museum holds hundreds of Hanukkah menorahs in its collection, with only some of them available for public viewing. Some of the most interesting and surprising examples include:

1. An ancient Yemenite Hanukkah oil lamp carved into locally quarried stone – showing that Jews always used whatever fireproof materials were available to them!

2. A menorah made by Israeli artist Ludwig Yehuda Wolpert in the 1950s, using leftover scraps from ashtrays that he designed for Israel Railways train cars.

3. Hanukkah menorahs from early 20th-century Central and Eastern European Jewish communities, showing Zionist motifs such as Star of David designs – a bittersweet image of longing for the Land of Israel right before the Holocaust.

Early 20th century Zionist Polish menorah with Star of David

4. A Moroccan menorah made out of a repurposed sardine can – a not uncommon method in a country where Jews dominated tin can production.

5. Intricately decorated brass Hanukkah oil menorahs from 18th-century Poland, with a surprising distinctive feature – shabbat candlesticks prominently attached to the sides, which were used year-round.

Example of an 18th-century Polish menorah along with shabbat candlesticks

6. Hanukkah lamps from repurposed brass artifacts, including Prussian army helmets!

7. European Hanukkah menorah designs from the 18th and 19th centuries that evoke benches, sofas, and chairs.

Hanukkah menorah chair design from 19th-century Poland

8. Medieval European oil menorahs that were made to be hung up on doors and walls.

14th-century Southern European menorah intended to be hung up

 

The Israel Museum presenting a replica of an 18th-century Polish brass menorah to Prince Charles of England

Replicas for Home Purchase

Another unique aspect of this impressive collection is that the Israel Museum also makes its own accurate replicas and adaptations of some of the historical menorahs – creating a very special way to connect with and learn about Jewish culture!

Some have been presented to dignitaries around the world, and others are available for sale and fully functional to use in your own Hanukkah celebrations. We have a number available for purchase in our store, and we’ve even compiled a detailed explainer of some of our favorites.

The Israel Museum’s adaptation of a 19th-century traditional Moroccan Hanukkah menorah, available for purchase and home use!

If you love connecting your Jewish rituals to our people’s rich history and heritage, a historical Hanukkah menorah is a truly special and magnificent piece of Judaica to own and cherish!

Want to learn more about the Israel Museum's treasures and how to take home your own piece of Jewish history? Check out our guide to all the amazing Israel Museum reproductions and adaptations in our store, from jewelry and Judaica, to Dead Sea Scrolls items, to books and artwork prints.

And shop all Israel Museum products here!

btn
Israel-Museum_category_mobile

Blog Topics

category
/judaica/hanukkah menorahs/israel museum menorahs

JWS POST YOU MAY LIKE

Seal of Solomon
What Is the Seal of Solomon?
The Seal of Solomon refers to a legendary symbol attributed to King Solomon, typically depicted as a star with either
Israel-flag-unsplash
The Mystical & Zionist Meanings of Lag BaOmer
Saturday night, May 25th, through Sunday, May 26th, is Lag BaOmer 2024 – one of the most mystical and Zionist,
Mezuzahs_1200x628
What is a Mezuzah?
You’ve probably seen or heard of mezuzahs on Jewish homes, but where does this tradition come from? What exactly is
Red cross marked with red marker on calendar
What Is the Omer?
Officially known as Sefirat Ha’Omer – Counting the Omer – the Omer is a unique time in the Jewish calendar
young woman laughs, style pop art poster
Jewish Humor: Why Jews Have a Long Tradition of Comedy
One of the most unique and perhaps surprising aspects of Jewish culture is the wide appreciation of humor and comedy,
flag of Israel against the sky and the wall
Israel’s Unique Memorial Day & Independence Day
Israel’s Independence Day, or Yom HaAtzmaut, is on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. However, Israelis are first commemorating Yom HaZikaron on