My Menorah

My Menorah

Dave Schechter reflects on a menorah his paternal grandmother brought him after a trip to Israel in the early 1960's.

Dave Schechter is a veteran journalist whose career includes writing and producing reports from Israel and elsewhere in the Middle East.

My father’s mother brought us the menorah after a trip to Israel in the early 1960s.

There are eight connected blue figures, each holding a spear with his right arm and an urn raised aloft with  his left.

Facing them is a single blue figure, its left arm resting on a shield and its right holding an urn.

The Chanukah candles fit into the urns.

The lettering on its base spells “Israel” in Hebrew.

At some point, I claimed the menorah as my own and it has remained with me through early apartments, into marriage and starting a family and our kids growing up.

Wax of various colors coats the menorah, the residue of a lifetime of Chanukahs.

We have several in our home, but this is one is “my menorah.”

Dave Schechter’s heirloom menorah is lit for Chanukah.

This keepsake from childhood is a piece of metal weighing several pounds. It is not a piece of art, not fancy in design or elaborate in its adornment.

This menorah is the kind of thing a tourist would buy and give to her grandchildren.

We have numerous pieces of Judaica, some dating to our great-grandparents.

These pieces are a physical connection to generations of family.

A writer I know said of the Jews, we are the stories we tell about ourselves.

This is the story of the menorah that my grandmother brought from Israel, that I claimed and have kept since. This is the menorah that we will light for eight nights, that will drip wax, and when the holiday is over, that we will put away, remembering the glow that bridges past and present.

Dave Schechter is a regular contributor to the AJT.

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