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Portable marble Hanukkah menorah with 4 sections made for a rabbi

Object | Accession Number: 1992.8.22 a-d

Traveling Hanukkah lamp used by Rabbi Isaac Ossowski. The lamp was made by a stone mason in Berlin, Germany, in the 1920s. It was meant to have an original design unlike a traditional lamp and created for use as a mobile lamp. A Hanukkah lamp holds eight candles for the eight nights of Hanukkah; the ninth candle is the shamash [attendant] that is used to light the other candles. Because of their religious significance, the Hanukkah lights cannot be used in everyday ways, such as providing light. Traditionally, menorah refers only to the original seven branched lamp that stayed lit in the Temple; the nine branched lamp is a hanukiyah or Hanukkah lamp. Rabbi Ossowski was a prominent member of the Jewish community in Berlin. He was head shochet [ritual slaughterer], mohel [practioner of ritual circumcision], sofer [scribe], and hazan [cantor or musical prayer leader] at the Alte Shul [Old Synagogue]. After Hitler was appointed Chancellor in 1933, increasingly severe sanctions were enacted against Jews. The Ossowski family was repeatedly questioned by the SS (Schutzstaffel; Protection Squadrons) who gathered intelligence on opponents of the Nazi state and policed racial purity. In 1934, Isaac sent his youngest son, 14 year old Sol, to Lithuania to study at a yeshiva. In 1936, his sons, Joseph and Leo, left for the United States. In 1938, Isaac and his wife, Frida, and their daughter, Nettie, escaped Nazi Germany and joined Joseph in the US. Sol joined them there in 1939.

creation:  1920
emigration:  1938
use:  approximately 1920-1938
use: Berlin (Germany)
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Object Type
Hanukkah lamp (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Sol Oster
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:20:30
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