The ceremonial kindling of lights each night during the eight-day holiday of Hanukkah commemorates an ancient victory for religious freedom-the liberation and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BCE. As their diversity and beauty attest, Hanukkah lamps are singularly important as a form of ceremonial art and are among Judaism's best-loved traditional objects. This superbly illustrated book showcases more than 100 Hanukkah lamps selected from the extensive collection of The Jewish Museum in New York. The featured lamps date from the Renaissance to our own time, and were created from a wide variety of materials in virtually every part of the world, including the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.
Susan L. Braunstein provides an engaging overview of the Hanukkah lamp and discusses its origins in Jewish tradition, its many innovative forms, its enduring ritual uses, and its social context. She also includes a short informative essay about each of the wonderfully varied lamps pictured in the book.
Susan L. Braunstein is curator of archaeology and Judaica and head of the Judaica Department at The Jewish Museum in New York. She is also adjunct instructor of Jewish art and material culture at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She is coeditor of Getting Comfortable in New York: The American Jewish Home, 1880-1951 and coauthor of Israel in Antiquity: From David to Herod.