The Tree of Life Menorah and Hanukkah Objects bring together fine leaves, sturdy branches, a thick tree trunk, and an intricate system of roots—all made possible through flameworked glass shaped over a 4,000°F torch.
New additions to the work include a dreidel—a small, spinning top whose name means “to turn around” in Yiddish—which is typically used in a children’s game played during Hanukkah. Traditional potato pancakes called latkes were also added, symbolizing the miracle of the oil associated with Hanukkah. A small bottle of olive oil is the final new addition, representative of the fuel for traditional menorahs. Miraculously, this minimal amount of oil burned for eight days, giving enough time to replenish the supply before burning out.
The menorah is a prominent symbol in the Jewish faith and plays a central role in the celebration of Hanukkah. Likewise, the “Tree of Life” carries different meanings across faiths but holds special meaning in Judaism for its connection to the Torah, the Jewish people’s most sacred text. Genesis, the first book of the Torah, locates the “Tree of Life” at the heart of the Garden of Eden (2.4–3:24), and Proverbs 3:18 teaches: “[The Torah] is a tree of life to those who hold her close.”
For many, the tree represents growth, stability, and fertility as well as hope for and connection to future generations. The extensive roots and intertwined branches illustrate family connections.
Glass candles with flames were also created and will be added each day of Hanukkah.
The Tree of Life Menorah and Hanukkah Objects was developed in partnership with Rabbi Todd Markley of Temple Beth Shalom, Needham, MA.