Festival of Lights

On view November 28, 2021 – February 20, 2022

Festival of Lights is a compilation of menorahs, also known as hanukkiahs, from the 1st century BCE to today. Hailing from the collection of Rabbi Howard Berman, the exhibit is a comprehensive look at the different styles and materials of menorahs that Berman has sourced from around the world. The menorah, with its eight candles plus an additional one used to light them, symbolizes the Maccabean revolt around 165 BCE against the tyrannical Seleucid Emperor Antiochus IV and his Greco-Syrian army that were ruling Jerusalem. When the Maccabees retook the Jewish Holy Temple in Jerusalem, they found only one oil lamp left that had only enough oil to last one day. The lamp ended up lasting for eight days, until new oil could be found. The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, known as the festival of lights, is the celebration of the revolt, with candle lighting lasting for eight days.