Happy Hanukkah from The Jewish Museum

December 10th, 2012

 

 

 

 

Select your menorah, and your background – and enjoy Hannkah with The Jewish Museum on your iphone.

This holiday app is fun, neatly designed, and free at itunes.

Located at 1109 Fifth Avenue at the corner of East 92nd Street in New York City,?The Jewish Museum?is the preeminent museum in the United States devoted to art and Jewish culture, and has the finest, largest and most comprehensive collection of Hanukkah lamps in the world.?The lamps featured in the app come from Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Eastern Europe, Morocco, The Netherlands, Ukraine, Israel, and the United States. Materials range from the traditional copper, silver, and brass to ceramic, silicone, stainless steel, and one using souvenir Statues of Liberty. Hanukkah lamps have often been produced using fantastical designs and shapes. Four major design categories are represented in the Museum’s collection, including Jewish heroes and heroines (like Judith), architectural elements, animals (like the lion), and plants. The lamps incorporate Jewish symbols and secular motifs common in the decorative arts from the Renaissance to the present.

 

The menorah, also called a Hanukkah lamp, is a special object used in the eight-day ceremony of Hanukkah. It holds eight lights – typically candles or small cups of oil – as well as a ninth, the?shamash. The?shamash?is used not only to kindle the lamp, but to provide light so that one does not use the sacred Hanukkah lights for illumination.

 

The joyous nature of the holiday has led over the centuries to a profusion of imaginative lamp shapes and decorations, serious or whimsical: biblical figures, characters from popular culture, buildings, exuberant flowers or exotic animals. Each lamp reflects the interactions between artistic expression, Jewish traditions, historic and geographic influences, and personal experience. Local styles and motifs may be seen in many of the lamps and show the great diversity of places that Jews have settled and flourished.


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