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Hanukkah lamp
Alibag, Konkan, India
20th century
Wood, glass
H: 40, W: 46 cm
Purchase, Marian Sofer Fund
Accession number: B84.1018 ; 118/837

This Hanukkah lamp from the Bene Israel, the largest of the three Jewish communities in India, was lit in the synagogue during the evening service. Later, after the lighting in the home, the family would celebrate by eating sweet dishes. Both the domestic Hanukkah lamps and those used in the synagogue had a back wall and a shelf into which arms with glass cups were fitted. The back wall assumed a variety of forms: Stars of David, hearts, birds' heads, triangles, polygons, or wavy outlines.

From the Israel Museum publications:
Slapak, Orpa, ed., The Jews of India: A Story of Three Communities, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1995, English / Hebrew
The Jewish World 365 Days, from the Collections of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, USA, 2004
The Israel Museum, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2005

Highlights of the Judaica and Jewish Ethnography Collections Online, Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir

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