ask the strategist

Ask the Strategist: What’s the Best-Looking Modern Menorah?

Photo: courtesy of the Retailer

In our advice column, Ask the Strategist, we take your most burning shopping questions and scour friends, call up experts, and draw from personal experience to answer them. As always, please comment with one of your own — we’re here to help.

Question: I’m obsessing about buying a menorah and I’m hoping you can help comb the internet for some options. I keep coming up with the Michael Aram ones which are fine but feel a little stuffy. I found one on the Citizenry Instagram that seemed cool and gave me hope that there are more out there. Can you write an article about where to find modern menorahs?

Hanukkah starts this Sunday night, so it’s time to hunt down your menorah, clean off the remains of last year’s wax, and give it a good polish. There are lots of nine-pronged candelabra on the market, but not all of them are created equal. According to Rabbi Jeff Salkin, senior rabbi of Temple Solel in Hollywood, Florida, “The rules for a kosher hanukiyah (Hanukah menorah) are pretty simple.” In short, “All the candles, except for the shamash (the candle that does the lighting), must be exactly the same height. It’s the dream of equality. That dream keeps our lights on.”

But what about style? We called fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi for more guidance. “The right menorah makes the holiday bright and happy,” says Mizrahi, whose own menorah comes from the Jewish Museum in New York. “The wrong menorah can touch off the wrong memories.” While his preferred chanukiahs are sleek and refined, he ultimately believes that it’s about finding one that invites joy and lightness into the doldrums of winter.

Here are eight options — one for each night.

Jonathan Adler Canaan Menorah
$275 at Yoox

As black-and-white as a half-moon cookie, this solid marble menorah from Jonathan Adler is sophisticated and fresh, both funky and timeless.

Tangram Chanukah Menorah - Modular Hanukkah Puzzle Wooden Chanukiah Handmade of Mahogany
$295 at Amazon

For those with children but not a childish sense of design, this wooden puzzle menorah is an interactive yet modern choice.

Marmol Radziner Menorah
$180 at Industry West

Handmade from solid walnut wood, this menorah comes with ten removable candleholders — nine of the same height, and one taller shamash — making it easily convertible into year-round cabin-chic lighting.

Geo Menorah
$150 at Wayfair

The perfect menorah to pair with the exposed piping in your loft/performance space/retrofitted factory.

Nosh Brass Menorah by Modern Mensch
$150 at The Jewish Museum Shop

Inspired by a bagel but more reminiscent of a macaroni noodle, this menorah isn’t technically kosher, but would blend in seamlessly with other eccentric decor or food-themed novelties.

Avandi Counting Menorah
$425 at The Line

Configure your own menorah arrangement with nine individual brass holders, then store them all away or scatter them around the house as unique candlesticks.

Modern Menorah
$87 at The Light Shop

Classic and cool, this menorah is as reliable as your grandmother’s latke recipe.

Ascalon Menorah
$275 at Design Within Reach

Visually humorless but elegant all the same, Brad Ascalon’s piece is part of the permanent collection at the National Museum of American Jewish History and one of Oprah’s Favorite Things of 2011.

45ct Hanukkah Menorah Candles White
$8 at Target

Just in case you need to re-up on candles while you’re shopping.

Beeswax Hanukkah Menorah candle
From $25 for 1 at Etsy

Or for a truly minimal holiday this entirely meltable menorah candle is ideal. It also makes a great gift for those without storage space or who aren’t ready to commit to purchasing a future family heirloom.

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What’s the Best-Looking Menorah?