For our wedding, Mr. December and I received five menorahs among our gifts. At the time we joked we’d just have to have one child per menorah, and then each kid could inherit one. We didn’t count on breakage and loss.
Our colourful glass menorah got knocked off the mantle somehow and shattered. Our large menorah that came apart and went together like a puzzle went missing in action (maybe during our renovation?) and hasn’t been seen since.
Our metal menorah from our Israeli cousins had an accident years ago: the window was wide open, and a gust of wind blew in, caught a picture frame that was angled just right and blew it forward, which knocked the menorah down. Part of it snapped off and couldn’t easily be glued back on. I couldn’t throw it out, though, so I relegated it to a corner of my workshop for broken things that might one day be mended.
There it sat for years. I packed, stored, and unpacked it when we renovated. I had no idea how I was going to fix it (solder, maybe?) but I never gave up on the idea that I would. In the meantime, we still had a menorah that I got as a bat mitzvah gift. It’s beautiful, shaped like a dove with the candles sitting along the wings. It’s also a gift from family friends who are close enough to us that I grew up knowing them as Auntie and Uncle (and they read this blog. I’m just not sure if they want to be named here. But… hi Auntie and Uncle! Love you!)
This morning I was setting out our menorahs and candles, and generally trying to make our front windowsill look festive, when I remembered the menorah from my cousins. I went downstairs and contemplated it. I tried fixing it with hot glue, then krazy glue, then carpenter’s glue, all to no avail. The top of the tree had snapped off and nothing could keep it on. I left it on my workbench and started to tidy the kids’ art desk. And then…
I picked up a spool of gold craft wire and suddenly remembered the beautiful serving pieces we once had that were wrapped with wire and adorned with beautiful beads. Could I use the gold wire to wrap the menorah? Would that keep the treetop in place? Would it look good?
I could, I did, it did, and yes, it looked good. For the sake of symmetry—and to make it look intentional—I wrapped the trunks of both trees with gold wire. It looks very pretty, like it was meant to be that way, and it solved the problem.
Tonight we were able to light that menorah for the first time in eight years. I never thought I was this sentimental, but using it made me feel a bit closer to my Israeli cousins (who I haven’t seen in person since 2008.)
Look, I didn’t exactly restore an entire desecrated temple like the Maccabees did two millennia ago, but there was still something very special about taking something that was broken and useless, keeping it despite its brokenness, and finally being able to renew it and use it again. Especially on Chanukah.
Chag Sameach! Happy Chanukah!