This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘hanukkiah’

Eighth Night of Hanukkah, 2017

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 21, 2017


I wandered for a couple hours through the Nachlaot neighbourhood of Jerusalem on the eighth night of Hanukkah (Dec. 19, 2017). Nachlaot is a warren of alleys and courtyards, gentrified houses beside crumbling apartment buildings. Most of the buildings date from the 19th century. It was surprisingly crowded that night. There were two Hebrew-speaking tour groups and a lot of hanukkah parties.

In one of the alleys, a family set up a large table with nine glass boxes and oil-burning hanukkah lamps. They brought out an electric keyboard, a guitar, and a row of chairs. Then each family member lit in order of age. I photographed the youngest boys lighting their lamps (above). I was about 2 meters away and took this with a 16-50mm lens on a Sony Alpha 6300 mirrorless camera. While the lens doesn’t have a long reach, it is fairly small. The fact that the camera is silent is a big advantage when doing any kind of street photography where the noise of a shutter would be intrusive.



Right across the alley from the hanukkah party was this small hanukkiah tied to the bars of a window.


Another hanukkah party, with guitarist and harmonica player, was winding down by the time I got close enough to photograph the large hanukkiah. When it was in full swing the alley was filled with people singing and it was impossible for me to see over people’s heads.


A much smaller party, in an alley that was only about 2 meters wide.


This was one of the more bizarre hanukkiot I saw. A wheeled cart decorated with plastic fruit, streamers, and flashing green and red lights was parked in an alley outside a house. I strongly suspect that the cart is actually used to bring a groom to the chuppah. I’ve seen similar contraptions at kibbutz weddings, pulled by the groom’s friends, instead of the traditional tractor.


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Happy Hanukkah!

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 4, 2013

8th Night of Hanukkah

I haven’t had much time lately to take photos, so I’m posting photos taken in years past. Tonight is the last night of Hanukkah. I was really looking forward to having sufganiyot (donuts) and latkes (even if they are cold and greasy) at work, but instead I’m waiting at home for a delivery to arrive.

Hanukkah Street Lights

Sufganiyot (Donuts)

Hanukkah 2012

Sufganiyot (Donuts)

Pirsum haNes (Publicising the Miracle)

Finished Hanukkah Lamp Paper-Cutting

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Hanukkah 2012

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 16, 2012

Hanukkah 2012

Last night was the last night of Hanukkah, so I walked around my neighbourhood and Gittit street taking a few photos. The hanukkiah box above was holding so many that it’s difficult to count them.

Garage with a couple hanukkiah boxes on a plastic table, surrounded by junk. Definitely not your average setting.

Hanukkah 2012

Elaborate hanukkiah in a garden. The family had just lit, so I asked permission to come into the garden to photograph it. The husband said that family legend (not verified, he stressed) says it was left with non-Jewish neighbours in Germany by his grandparents. They perished in the Holocaust and his father was able to reclaim it.

Hanukkah 2012

Kitchen window. It’s a widespread custom for each member of a family to light, so sometimes you see balconies and windows filled with candles or oil lights.

Hanukkah 2012

Tea-light hanukkiah in a stone niche:

Hanukkah 2012

Street hanukkiah and kitchen hanukkiah:

Hanukkah 2012

Moon setting over Jerusalem. I had a tripod with me. Taken from the security road just beyond Katros street, so there wasn’t too much interference from city lights. 250mm lens, slightly cropped.

Moon Setting over Jerusalem

Hanukkah 2012

Hanukkah 2012

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Third Night of Hanukkah 2009

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 14, 2009

3rd Night of Hanukkah, 2009

My husband’s hanukkiah (menorah) is a different style of oil-burning lamp. He bought it in a gift store in Jerusalem over 20 years ago, when he was a student, so it’s not an expensive one. It’s made of cast metal with a couple screws holding the cover of the cups to the base. The shamash, that is, the single light at the top used for lighting the lights at the bottom, is a separate piece but it’s very difficult to light the wicks with a lit lamp unless the wicks are all at exactly the right angle and length.

Very few people use this style of hanukkiah because it is so fiddly to set up and clean. The cotton wicks have to be twisted and forced through the hole with a wire. The cups hold a very small amount of oil but will usually burn over 3 hours on average, so I guess you could say it’s fuel efficient. Did I mention that it leaks? Yes, if you fill it a little too full, the seams where the cups are joined to the tops lets the olive oil seep all over the table, which is why we keep it on a foil-covered tray.

When the wicks burn out, the house is filled with the smell of burning oil. Ahhhh — tradition….

People often complain about the time involved in setting up and maintaining the regular oil-burning hanukkiot with glass (or sometimes plastic) cups and pre-made wax-covered wicks. This old-style hanukkiah makes the newer ones look like a mode of convenience. Needless to say, my husband is in charge of filling and maintaining this hanukkiah. I have a small set of surgical instruments (minus the scalpel) that we use only for this hanukkiah. The probe is great for forcing the wick through the hole in the cover. The forceps are necessary for pulling up a bit of fresh wick each night, squeezing out excess oil if the hanukkiah has been prepared several hours in advance, and quenching a smoldering wick before it starts smelling up the living room.

3rd Night of Hanukkah, 2009

I photographed a neighbour’s hanukkiah box because it’s not a common style. This box has the shamash in its own compartment above the lights themselves and hinged doors instead of the usual drop-down pane of glass in front. The glass isn’t very clean, so it is almost impossible to see the lights themselves but the low profile of the hanukkiah and the brightness of the light indicate that it is almost certainly an oil-burning hanukkiah. If you look closely you can see the glass cups for the oil.

Third Night of Hanukkah


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