Copper Yard Menorah

November 2013/Kislev 5774
Copper, TIKI® torches

The design of this Hanukkah menorah (more accurately, hanukiah) bears much more of a resemblance to traditional Judaica than I am typically wont to make; however, what it lacks in aesthetic innovation it makes up for in scale. This particular hanukiah is made of ¾" copper pipe and stands a full 7'9" tall with the torch lights installed and has a span of over six feet.

I've wanted to make something like this for some time, although in my head of course it would be even larger—but I think this design hits the architectural limits of ¾" pipe. The inspiration for the hanukiah is two-fold: first, I would be dishonest if I did not admit that there is a certain amount of desire to compete with my neighbors' Christmas lights, although the particular Hanukkah that this made its debut fell on Thanksgiving—the famous "Thanksgivukkah" of 2013—so those lights hadn't yet been put up in the neighborhood.

The second inspiration, however, is founded in Jewish law (halacha). A less-observed part of the ritual of Hanukkah is that one is supposed to light the hanukiah in view of a window, so that people outside one's home can see it—the goal is to "publicize the miracle." That miracle, of course, being that when Judah and the Maccabees restored the ransacked Temple in Jerusalem, they only had one day's worth of kosher olive oil to burn in the Temple's menorah; to their surprise, the single day's worth of oil burned for the full eight days that it would take them to press fresh olive oil to fuel it. We light an eight-branched menorah on Hanukkah to commemorate the miracle and are supposed to make it known to others as well. I can think of no better way to publicize the miracle by erecting a nearly eight-foot tall tiki-torch burning hanukiah in my front yard.

In the second picture, you can see the me lighting the hanukiah for scale—and I'm 5'10" tall.