The joyous Jewish holiday of Hanukkah will be celebrated at sunset Wednesday through Dec. 9. Beginning that day, the Jewish faithful light a candle each night until the menorah’s eight candles and the shamash — the candle that lights all the others — burn brightly.
The holiday is the outgrowth of an event considered a miracle because the Maccabees, a small band of Jews, triumphed over darkness with light when they defeated the Greeks and reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. A small vial of oil was found that should have burned for only one night but burned for eight.
Menorahs come in all sizes, but all have eight places for candles or oil and one place set apart for the shamash. Stores have menorahs ready for candles or electrified in metal and plastic and plain and adorned. Some are pieces of art. But they all have one purpose, and that is to remind us of the miracle that happened in 165 B.C.
Temple Shalom has every kind of menorah imaginable, but the ones I was drawn to were from the Gary Rosenthal Collection.
Rosenthal has sculpted in welded metals for more than 30 years and this menorah ($110) is identical to the one presented to President Bill Clinton. Former President Jimmy Carter also received a menorah from the Rosenthal Collection.
Another one from Rosenthal has a dreidel attached ($120) that sets the tone of the holiday. If you like things neat and clean, this plain silver ($30) one is for you. It is also available in a gold tone.
If you don’t want to light candles but want a menorah, electric ones start at $55; there is one for $116 (bulbs start at $3.15 for a package).
Gallery One has a large collection of menorahs that can be displayed in your home all year long. Fay Miller for Shardz works in glass and this colorful and modern menorah ($950) changes colors as you turn it different ways. The Infinity Art Metal ($210) menorah is whimsical with a boy and girl on a swing.
Christofle has a classic, silver-plated menorah ($750) that will look good in any home. It looks as if it has been handed down from your grandparents so you remember your ancestors.
The Jewish Congregation of Marco Island has the Brownstein Judaica Gift Shop run by Shirley Posner, Phyllis Borr and Sharon Rubenstein that has everything you need for Hanukkah — all the Jewish holidays — and gifts for all your friends including fourlegged ones and family. They have a very large selection of regular and electric menorahs.
Hanukkah is a holiday of miracles, and the light we shine on Kislev 25 (the Hebrew calendar) brings the holiday and story to life.
Where to shop
■ Brownstein Judaica Gift Shop, 991 Winterberry Drive, Marco Island, 642-0800
■ Christofle, Waterside Shops, 5375 U.S. 41 N., Naples, 592-9593
■ Gallery One, 670 Fifth Ave. S., Naples, 263-0835
■ Judaica Shop at Temple Shalom of Naples, 4630 Pine Ridge Road, Naples, 455-3030
Ike likes it
Ike found a present he can give to everyone on his Hanukkah list.
The verdict: I was purchasing pastries at Norman Love Confections at 11380 Lindbergh Blvd., Fort Myers, when I noticed the Hanukkah flavors of truffles — baked spiced apple, cherry cheese blintz, chocolate-dipped coconut macaroon and cinnamon rugelach. I knew this was the ideal present to make this holiday a sweet one for everyone on my list. The truffles come in 4- or 16-piece boxes. What’s not to like?