Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Family History of Sorts

Today we are putting away our Chanukiah. As Commuter Husband and I clear off the candle wax from 8 nights of kindling the lights, we are reminded of what each one means to our family.

I used the term Chanukiah intentionally over Menorah. A seven branched Menorah represents the seven days of the week and the burning bush. The Menorah is described in Exodus 25:31-40 and it is now the emblem of Israel. The nine branched Chanukah candelabrum was created to celebrate the Macabees' victory over the Greek Army. When the Macabees entered the Temple Sanctuary, the Menorah only had oil for one day. The Miracle of Chanukah was that this oil lasted for eight days until more olives were pressed to extract the pure oil required. The Chanukiah has eight branches to represent those eight miraculous days and one more branch for the Shamash, the lighter candle.

Commuter Husband's Chanukiah before we met - no frills and practical - kinda like Commuter Husband.
My Sister-in-Law gifted us this first family Chanukiah and piece of art. Ruth Block is an international acclaimed artist from San Fransisco Click here to learn more.. I LOVE this Chanukiah.
This Chanukiah announces the addition of Oldest Son to our family in 2000.
And then came Youngest Son in 2002 - this one has lost its center Shamash.
And what Modern Jewish Family does not have an electric Chanukiah?
These next photos show Commuter Husband's favorite Chanukiah as he said today "I feel like God sent us this Chanukiah." In 2008 to 2009, we were living on the Pacific Coastline of Mexico. In April/May 2009, all of Mexico literally shut down due to the Swine Flu. Even in the USA, my client would not allow me to enter the Plano building having come in from Mexico. So we decided to take a road trip to La Manzanilla which is south of Puerto Vallarta. During our week there, we wandered into an art gallery. We saw a Star of David dangling from something ... upon closer inspection we realized it was a Chanukiah! In a country with a 95% Catholic population, we found this piece of Jewish Art  by a local, indigenous artist. Or maybe it found us ...

For more on the La Manzanilla trip Click here for two April posts and Click here to see posts through May 9

The boys gave me this Chanukiah a few years back - classic.
This Chanukiah marks Oldest Son getting older ... 
And this Chanukiah replaces the somewhat broken baby Chanukiah (see above) for Youngest Son and whose themes are representative of his Hebrew Name.
This Chanukiah is our most recent addition and the colors are so appealing. It sits next to Oldest Son's Bar Mitzvah Tzedakah Box. Below are 3 Kiddish cups: my Woman of Valour, our Israeli Kibbutz Laton and Youngest Son's Bris. The round silver ball is my travel Shabbat Candle set with a scene of Israel etched on it - opens up to hold two candles.
We informally invited a few neighborhood friends over for cookies and milk and to help us kindle the 8th Night - Our Family History in Lights ...