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16 of the Wildest, Boldest and Most Interesting Menorahs

16 of the Wildest, Boldest and Most Interesting Menorahs


In recent years, the menorah has become a universal symbol of religious freedom and the power of even a small light to illuminate the darkest of nights. But what does it take for a series of candles to actually be considered a menorah? It turns out that after meeting a few basic requirements, not very much. The flames (no lightbulbs, please!) must be arranged in a straight line and at the same height (save for the “shamash” used to light the eight candles), the flames must burn for at least half an hour after nightfall, and the menorah itself must be no taller than 32 or so feet. Beyond that, though, menorahs can be as beautiful and diverse as the communities that make them. We’ve looked around the world and gathered fifteen of the wildest menorahs we could find!

1. The Surfboard Menorah That Caught Some Epic Waves at Bondi

This menorah made out of surfboards was kindled on Sydney's Bondi Beach.

2. The Menorah That Turned the Ice of Winter into a Source of Warmth

This ice menorah was carved on the Cornell campus in Ithaca, NY.

3. The Menorah That Kept the Light of Day Shining, Deep into the Night


Each bulb is solar-powered in this unique menorah erected in Woodstock, NY. Though the electric menorah wasn’t kosher for the mitzvah, it shed a little light in the hamlet that brought us “Days of Peace and Music.”

4. The Menorah Made of Oily Treats to Remind Us of the Oil that Burned for Eight Days in the Holy Temple . . .


Or at least made us seriously question our diets.

5. The Menorah that Just Makes Us Hungry


It’s made of chocolate!

6. The Menorah that Reminds Us that Chanukah Gelt Doesn’t Just Mean Chocolate Coins

Chanukah gelt gives children the chance to learn how to best use their money . . . including sharing with others the good things that come to us.

7. The Ultimate Frat Menorah

Made at the University of Minnesota.

8. One Of The World’s First Giant Menorahs


This giant menorah was erected by Rolling Stones promoter Bill Graham in S. Francisco’s Union Square. Among those pictured are Rabbi Chaim Drizin (second from the left) and beatnik author Herbert Gold (center).

9. The Menorah That Stands for Religious Freedom for All

(American Friends of Lubavitch)
(American Friends of Lubavitch)

During the Chanukah story, the Maccabees stood up against tyranny to defend their right to worship in the tradition of their fathers. Today the National Menorah in Washington, D.C., stands as a majestic reminder of the freedom that America fosters.

10. The World’s Largest Menorah


Jewish law sets a limit for the maximum height of the menorah at 32 feet—any higher, and people are likely not to look up and see it. This giant menorah lit every year in Manhattan was designed by famed Israeli artist Yaakov Agam.

11. The Tiki Torch Menorah in Hawaii


Who said that it has to snow on Chanukah?

12. The Oh-So-French Menorah

Kindled each year in front of the Eiffel Tower, this special menorah has been a Parisian tradition since 1989.

13. The Menorah That Never Forgets

The Syrian-Greeks famously used elephants in battle against the Maccabees. This pachyderm tromps around Thailand bearing testimony to the victory of light over might.

14. The Great Wall of China Menorah

Jews first came to China sometime during the Tang Dynasty, in the 7th century. This menorah, however, is probably a first.

15. The Menorah That Defied the Nazis


This menorah, photographed the winter of 1931 in Kiel, Germany, survived the war and reminds us of our continued resilience despite all oppression.

16. The Menorah That Brought Light in a Community’s Darkest Hour

Just weeks after terror attacks in Mumbai, India, killed more than 170 people, among them Chabad representatives Rabbi Gabi and Rivka Holtzberg and four of their guests, Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg, father of Rivka, lit the menorah at Mumbai’s Gateway to India.

Rabbi Mordechai Lightstone is a rabbi by training, but a blogger by choice. He is passionate about using new media to further Jewish identity and community building. Mordechai currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and four sons, where he happily tweets between sips of espresso.
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Furrydoc Usa December 25, 2016

Menorah of skis And the one in Vail made of skis. It's said to be the highest public menorah. And with the help of their state legislature, that's both literally and figuratively Reply

Joanne Bend, Oregon December 25, 2016

There are really beat menorahs! I think I like the ice sculpture one the best though it was a tough choice to pick my favorite. Reply

Menachem Posner March 7, 2016

To Murray Kronick This is found in the code of Jewish law, and the reason is very simple: The onlooker needs to be able to tell that they are Chanukah lights and how many lights they are. This is most easily and efficiently accomplished when the flames are neatly lined up. Reply

murray kronick Delray Beach, Florida March 5, 2016

Where is it written that the eight Menorah candles must be in a straight line and at the same height? Why can it not be of varied heights and shape? Are the restrictions just an opinion...or a 'rule', and with what authority?
Some responses please. Reply

Mindy Chotiner December 29, 2014

Outstanding!!! Reply

marlene chamrin Londonderry, NH. December 20, 2014

That was so interesting. I loved seeing all the different kinds of menorahs. Also the history was very well done. Reply

suzy hander woodland hills, ca December 17, 2014

Happy Chanukah to all of lovely friends! May the lights keep shining forever! Reply

Anonymous United States December 17, 2014

The menorah is different from, and I believe should be made a distinction from the Chanukiah. A menorah has seven candles, where a Chanukiah is, obviously used at Chanukah solely. Reply

HUGO LEWY MONTEVIDEO December 16, 2014

Happy Chanukah Reply

Leah Crimea December 16, 2014

Mordechai - how did you miss the hydraulic menorah we built when we were in Alabama? It was right over the highway where everyone drove to and from work every day. Reply

Olgarosanoff December 16, 2014

Beautiful, unusual display of Menorahs , I agree with the message of freedom, that sends us all. thank you... Reply

ruth housman marshfield hills, ma December 4, 2013

Menorahs around the world I see the shape of the menorah everywhere. I see it in the branchings of trees, of plants, in the branching veins of all life. The symbolic underpinnings of life go back to the Hebrew letters and once you see this, it's unmistakeable, beautiful, and profound, beyond words.

This Chanukah is special because on line, everywhere, I can say, in all the connectivity that exists, if examined: A Miracle Happened Here. Reply

Verna M. Black Jerusalem, Israel December 4, 2013

Chabad and its mitzvahs I used to be anti chabad only because I thought it too simple a choice for a Jew.
No longer do I feel like that. Why? Because Chabad takes a Jew "by the hand" and makes him or her feel like a menorah!! Yes, when one is in Jerusalem and truly sees what the many menorahs look like, one can never forget what one feels like when the Chabad drives around in one of their cars with the menorah
lit, I truly love it. So what if I am privileged to have been one of these gals who has had a full life of Jewish Education, via my late husband, my children's exquisite upbringing, watching my grandchildren enjoy their Jewish day schools and seminaries, now
I know how beautiful one feels when they truly understand why Jews need a simple Jewish education first, and then slowly and gradually rise up, and appreciate your wonderful system of reaching out to all who are privileged to be Jewish.
Chodesh Tov, Chanukah Sameah, and keep up the good work!! Reply

Josephus Souz tx December 3, 2013

The menorah a symbol of Hope no just for the Jew only, also for the gentile. Reply

Laurette Pearlman Hull England December 3, 2013

Simple but wonderful The best chanukiah for me was seeing pictures of my 4 week old granddaughter lighting with her parents in Israel Reply

Cheryl Semrau December 3, 2013

Menorah You should come to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada at the Legislature we have one of the largest menorahs in Canada Reply

Tatyana Denver, CO December 3, 2013

BEAUTIFUL! I wish to have a smaller version of #5 (Gelt Menorah) so I can use it to collect money and give them to a worthy cause. Reply

Anonymous Arizona December 3, 2013

Special THANKS to Chabad ! Always bringing LIght to the world! Reply

Anonymous Usa December 2, 2013

so cool These menorahs are so inspiring and cool, totally awesome.
This is an awesome article. Reply

Charlene December 1, 2013

I love them all, but my favorite is #14. Such courage, such chutzpah in the face of such evil! Bravo!! Reply

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