Those of you who aren’t Jewish probably don’t know about this little talked about issue of setting up the menorah. Even though you have to buy specific candles to fit in your menorah, chances are even these overpriced, hard-to-find* beauties won’t stick in your menorah without a little prep work.
For almost every menorah I’ve ever had, you’d stick your candle in the holder and it would just… fall over. Alternatively, some of the menorahs’ candle holders were ever so slightly too small and your candle wouldn’t cram in without breaking.
It is ridiculous. Surely there is a way to get this right? And these aren’t cheap menorahs either. We paid at least $50 for each of them.
Anyway, BEFORE you light the menorah, at least everywhere I’ve been, you hold a flame to the bottom of the Hanukkah candle to get it to melt and stick into the menorah. Basically, you light the menorah twice. Once from the top and once from the bottom. I just did a google search to see if anyone else has ever discussed this on the internet and I’m shocked to see I’m the first. Maybe most people just let their candles be dangerously wobbly in the menorah? I don’t know.
Whatever the case, last year my mother bought me a new menorah for Hanukkah. I didn’t get it use it until this year because I didn’t receive it until after Hanukkah because, as you’ve noticed, we don’t always celebrate our holidays on the right days in our family– especially because I live 4 hours away from my parents. So imagine my complete elation when I put a candle in the new menorah for the very first time and it fit. And stayed. And needed NO preparatory candle melting.
It’s a Hanukkah miracle!
I know it’s a silly thing to be excited about, but man was I pumped when this happened. No more candle melting prep work at our house!
Seriously, though, menorah and/or Hanukkah candle manufacturers of the world: MAKE SURE THE CANDLE HOLES AND CANDLES ARE THE SAME SIZE. It’s really, REALLY not that complicated.
Or am I missing something?
Happy Hanukkah for real today, everyone!
*Hanukkah candles are almost impossible to find in Northwest Ohio. If you ask a clerk for them they will be SHOCKED that any old candle won’t just fit in a menorah. No. Birthday candles don’t fit. No. Giant candlestick candles don’t fit either. They HAVE to be Hanukkah candles. Grocery stores with kosher sections? You should be carrying these things like EVERY grocery store in Northwest Indiana did when I was growing up. Do you hear me Kroger and Meijer? Do you? I found them at Target this year, but trust me, they weren’t there OR Bed, Bath and Beyond the past THREE YEARS. I called the stock people to ask four years in a row and had to resort to ordering them off the internet. WTF, Northwest Ohio? We have THREE synagogues in the area. Surely there are enough Jewish people to justify carrying Hanukkah candles! Jerks. (Alternatively, the synagogues probably have candles available, but, um, I don’t belong to a synagogue right now so this is a moot point for me.)