Candelabra

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Candelabras Guide

Candelabras is the traditional term for a set of multiple candlesticks, typically decorative in nature, each of which holds a candle on each of multiple branches or arms connected to a column or pedestal. Shabbat is the Jewish day of rest which takes place on the seventh day, it is tradition to light candles on Shabbat, and many Jewish families do so using a Candelabras.

History of Jewish Candelabras

The original Jewish candelabras was the solid gold, seven branched menorah housed in the temple in Jerusalem. There has been a recreation made of the menorah, and it is on display in the Jewish quarter of the old city of Jerusalem. Today the most easily recognizable Jewish candelabras is the Hanukkah Menorah. Round Candelabra are widely used throughout Jewish communities for use on Shabbat as well as other Jewish holidays.

Number of Branches

Shabbat Candelabras vary in number of branches from family to family. Traditionally two candles are lit on Shabbat, representing the two commandments to remember (zakhor) and to observe (shamor.) It has become a tradition in many Jewish communities to add an additional candle for every child that is born into the family. Though a typical Candelabras will have 5 arms, or branches, you can often find Jewish Candelabras with as many as 12 branches to facilitate this custom.

The Hanukkah Candelabra, or Menorah, is typically flat and has 9 branches, 8 for each day of the festival and a 9th branch called the Shamash, which is used to light each candle.

Decoration

Jewish candelabra have become the focal point of many silversmiths. Typically circular in design, these candelabras range from the very simple to extremely ornate. Master Silversmiths use the combination of details within designs with the angling of braches to optimize the light produced by these silver candelabra. Candelabras go through an extensive process of design, prototype creation and real life application in the silversmith workshop. Many feature floral patterns and diamond shapes created through the silversmithing processes of repousse and chasing. Repousse is a technique in which malleable metal is ornamented or shaped by hammering from the reverse side to create a design in low relief. Chasing is the opposite technique to repoussé, and the two are used in conjunction to create a finished piece. It is also known as embossing. Other Techniques use to decorate Candelabras include square diamond polishing. In this technique, precious metals are molded to create pieces with diamond like qualities.

For More Information

For more information on Candelabras, Candlesticks, and Menorahs, contact our Judaica Experts.

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