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"The Display of Hanukkiyot in the Holy Land is Spectacular"


One of the unusual architectural features found in the outside walls of many Israeli homes is a small, glass-covered enclosure prominently located next to the front door. Designed to shelter the interior from wind and rain, these peculiar stone cubicles lay idle most of the year, springing to life for eight days beginning on the first night of Hanukkah.

For eight consecutive nights, the illuminated menorahs (hanukkiyot) are placed at the doorstep or inside a large picture window, facing the street where they can be seen by passersby. Many families have the custom of each member lighting his or her own menorah, and it is not uncommon to see seven or eight menorahs glowing brightly in a window or glass case outside the home.

One of the best places to view hanukkiyot are the observant neighborhoods of Jerusalem on the last night of the holiday when the public display turns the Festival of Light into a spectacle of sight.