Friday, December 26, 2008

The Great Menorah Quest

This Hanukkah, Shiska Girlfriend and I were in the market for a menorah. I had previously received this cute one depicting a Lower East Side street scene, but since I wasn't too keen on drenching the people with candle wax (or chipping it off with a butter knife), I decided to keep looking.

However, we had a problem. I wanted something traditional and simple, like my parents' brass menorah. Something in metal, not glass. And Shiska Girlfriend had a very specific request- "No Star of David." I wasn't exactly clear why, since it's not like Hanukkah is a particularly ecumenical holiday- what else would you expect to find on a menorah? But she apparently didn't want one, so I went along with it.

This made things rather tricky. Being both busy and computer-savvy, we decided to use the powers of the Internet to make our search easier and expand our reach. And yet, all we really accomplished were several evenings of groaning. Here were some of the worst offenders:


The "Hunting Trophy" look.












The "Kiddie Toy Tree of Life"- both in "organic growth" and "vertical trellis" styles:












Also in "tasteful" silver!












Trees of Life not your thing? What about a Menorah that reminds us of all the great things the Maccabees fought for, like colors?

No? Fine then, exercise your great love of setting pets on fire!

Still no? Picky, picky. What about klezmer? Everybody loves klezmer, right?

Fine, how about some things that don't look anything remotely like menorahs? Shot glasses? Legos? Bridge prototypes? Water pipes?

Or we could go the creepy anthropomorphic menorah route! Or a do-it-yourself one! Or, for the lazy, combine two important Hanukkah elements by getting a Menorah made out of gold-colored gelt tin. (Next year- a dreidel made out of latkes.)

Even when we finally found some halfway decent metal ones, we ran into problems with the shape of the branches. Some were too curvy, some too twisty, some were too straight (i.e., Chabad), some too blocky, and some were too artsy. Or just plain weird. For crying out loud, this one was a paperclip.

So, finally, Shiska Girlfriend compromised on the "no Star of David" thing- it turned out she just didn't want a huge one dominating the whole thing-- and we managed to get a nice little brass number from Ebay for under twenty dollars.

It also happens to be an exact replica of my parents'. Life is funny sometimes.

Next: Shiska Girlfriend celebrates her first Christmas away from home. With my family. God help us.

2 comments:

Daniel said...

What about a Menorah that reminds us of all the great things the Maccabees fought


I don't think that they fought for Shiksa girlfriends

Friar Yid said...

What about a Menorah that reminds us of all the great things the Maccabees fought

Even better, one showing all the ways they died! Mattathias could be the old decrepit shamash, Judah could get stabbed by a cavalry spear, Yonatan could be beheaded, Simon poisoned over wine, and Elazar could be getting squished by an elephant's foot.

I don't think that they fought for Shiksa girlfriends

No, they were too busy fighting for the inalienable right to circumcise anybody they came across.

Who's to say they might not have changed their minds if they'd had the opportunity?

Anyway, all things considered, I think I prefer my fight to theirs.