dancing Hanukkah candelabra

Hanukkah is also known as festival of lights. The Hebrew word (also written in English as chanukah) means “dedication” and marks an eight day winter celebration that commemorates the re-dedication of the Second Temple after a small group of Jewish believers (Maccabees) defeated their enemies. More at this link.  A “hanukkiah” is basically a menorah with nine candle staff to distinguish it from the menorah’s seven. Why nine? that’s part of the miraculous story.

dancing hanukkiah and temple oil vase
Joyous dancing marks the re-dedication festival


menorah alight

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Then G-d said, “Let there be light!” and there was light.

“Speak to Aaron and say to him: When you erect the lamps, the seven lamps are to illuminate the area in front of the menorah.” Nbr 8:2

The true light, coming into the world, gives light to every man. Jn 1:9

And out from the throne come flashes of lightning and rumblings and clashes of thunder – and seven torches of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of G-d. Rev 4:5

menorah giving light

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sometimes I try a different style, and do it quickly to see where it leads. starting with the earlier idea of light being ethereal, this was done on rough paper using crayon to pull out the highlights before applying watercolor– a wax resist technique. I envisioned it through a water-soaked lens as the lights played on reflections. eventually I gave it as a wedding gift for friends.

rabbis

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2 rabbis stand listening while 3rd rabbi reads from the bimah, with ark in background

back in October I took up a project that had been awaiting my attention. this scene was composed (credit due to imagery by R. Tanenbaum) by our associate rabbi and given to me; he indicated it can be used frequently in his web design work and would appreciate having it done “anyway you chose to.” now that frees the creative process–so I went with a traditional approach using watercolor as I have become familiar with that.

note that I’m still trying to break out and experiment with different styles, to recall the things I saw and heard while at college.