Hanukkah is the festival of lights, so without a menorah, it's really just a festival of dreidels, latkes and gifts for your kids. The first menorah dates back over 2,000 years, but your first menorah probably dates back to when you were in preschool and handmade one out of a wooden slab and some metal nuts—you know the one. Menorahs have come a long way since you were a kid (and certainly a long way since 164 B.C.E).
To be considered an official Hanukkah menorah, it must have nine candleholders—eight for the eight nights of Hanukkah and one that's reserved for the shamash, the helper candle that's used to light the other candles, starting with one on the first night and an additional one each subsequent night until the eighth and final night.
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Traditional Judaica menorahs are typically upright on a stand with the branches in a row, but modern menorahs are more unique in their look. They are often handcrafted and can come in creative shapes, sizes and designs. You can find menorahs that are so stylish, you'll want to use them as candelabras to brighten up your home decor throughout the entire year.
Here are our top picks of the best modern menorahs of 2022 that'll make your Jewish parents proud.
1. Style Union Home Shanya Menorah
If a menorah could be dramatic, this one would win an Oscar. This white ceramic menorah is architecturally interesting to look at with its arching lines and unique candle holders. It has such a unique look, it looks like it could live in a Jewish museum. Once Hanukkah is over, this menorah can serve as a piece of art on a hutch or bookshelf. One thing to note is that it's made to order, so you won't be able to return it if it doesn't work out.
2. CB2 Architectural Menorah
This is not your grandma's heirloom menorah, although she'd probably love it. This sleek, handmade gold-plated brass menorah will be a stunning addition to your Hanukkah table. Since the menorah is so narrow, you'll probably need to put something underneath to ensure the wax doesn't drip on your table. To clean off the wax on the last night of Hanukkah, you can wipe it clean with a soft cloth.
3. CB2 White Marble Menorah
When the Hanukkah candles aren't in this sleek menorah, no one would even know it's a menorah candle holder. Doubling as a year-round art piece, this modern arch of solid white marble lets you and your family celebrate Hanukkah in style. Each piece of marble is unique, so you can expect that yours will look slightly different than the one pictured.
4. ClaybyDannah Handmade Modular Menorah
Whether you're buying a menorah for yourself, for a wedding or as bar or bat mitzvah gift, this menorah will bring plenty of joy. Made in Israel, this menorah's modular ceramic design is made with nine separate pieces. It's the perfect combination of modern contemporary art and Jewish tradition.
5. Modern Mensch Nosh Menorah
Not only is this sculptural contemporary menorah super cool to look at, the design is inspired by a favorite Jewish culinary experience: the bagel. Now that you know it's a half a bagel, you'll never be able to unsee it, which make the menorah even more fun. This silver menorah is designed to shine bright in your home with or without Hanukkah candles. The bottom of the menorah has a non-skid grip to keep it in place.
6. Via Maris Block Menorah
This menorah is stylish, functional and practical. Of course, it can securely hold all of the lit Hanukkah candles, but it also serves as a storage container for the rest of the candles during the Jewish holiday. The top of the menorah can be removed and underneath is a storage container with room for 44 candles, which saves you the trouble of scrambling to find the Hanukkah candles each night.
7. Nambé Judaica Classic Alloy & Wood Menorah
Crafted from alloy and acacia wood, this silver-plated menorah has a unique look that'll bring some fun to your Hanukkah celebration. The plate for the candles is wide enough to catch the wax, so you might not have to worry about placing foil or anything else under the menorah to avoid getting wax on your table.
8. Yair Emanuel Anodized Strip Menorah
This low profile menorah is made of anodized metal and wood. Each of the nine candle holders is a different shade of shiny blue, which will match any other Hanukkah decor you happen to have around your house. Made in Israel, this menorah has a traditional aesthetic with modern charm.
9. Apeloig Modern Lucite Menorah
This menorah takes part of the Jewish history of Hanukkah and modernizes it. There are nine cups of on this menorah ready to be filled with oil. The flames will burn on oil the same way they did for the Jewish people in Jerusalem so many centuries ago. When Hanukkah is over, you can place decorative rocks or flowers inside the cups to keep the magic going throughout the year.
10. Anthropologie Celeste Menorah
This menorah is the perfect blend of traditional style and modern flare. Made of aluminum and brass, this golden menorah features floral designs for the candle holders, which are well equipped to catch dripping wax.
11. RTZenDecor Tea Light Menorah
Light up your Hanukkah festivities with this stylish, structural menorah with a tea light twist. While most menorahs hold narrow candles that are specific to Hanukkah (shout out to the old school multicolor Hanukkah candles for kids that always left a hot mess behind), this menorah fits tea lights. It's a unique look, and it also means that you won't have to struggle getting the traditional Hanukkah candles to stay put.
12. DinosaurMenorah Dinosaur Menorah
The name of this Etsy company is DinosaurMenorah, if that tells you anything about how serious they are about dinosaur menorahs. This menorahsaurus rex may have an intimidating look, but it's here to hold your candles while you say the Hanukkah prayers and eat sufganiyot (round jelly doughnuts traditionally eaten during Hanukkah). The dinosaur is made of plastic and spray painted gold, and the candle holders are made of metal tubing. It's a super kid-friendly way to get your little ones interested in more than just opening presents.
13. Ben and Jonah Dreidel Menorah
Combine two Hanukkah traditions with this gold and silver dreidel menorah. Nine golden dreidels are lined up next to each other to make one pretty menorah. The tops of the dreidels are designed to hold candles, and the base will catch much of the wax that drips.
14. West Elm Glass Menorah
There's something magical about a clear menorah. Maybe it's the candles that look like they're floating, or maybe it's the unique look—either way, this crystal glass menorah is a beautiful addition to any Hanukkah celebration.
15. SIN Swey Menorah
You're going to love the style of this minimalist stoneware menorah. This handmade piece offers a sculptural silhouette that embodies timeless tradition with modern elegance. The menorah also comes in black, and the company notes that 3/8 inch taper candles fit best.
16. Crate and Barrel Elevation White Marble Menorah
It may look like a simple slab of white marble, but it's actually a menorah that holds candles that look like they're climbing a triangular ladder. This gorgeous hand cut menorah can be used as home decor throughout the year once Hanukkah is over.