‘Christmas’ Menorahs Popular in Ireland

A surprising fact about the Irish: they love menorahs, apparently.

So says IrishCentral, which reports that “you can count them by the hundred” each December between Dublin and Galway. It’s unlikely the candelabras belong to actual Jews — just 2,000 of the country’s 4.4 million citizens are Jewish, the piece says.

The trend has gone straight to the top of the political system, apparently: Malcolm Lewis, the president of Dublin’s Progressive Jewish Congregation, tells the site that Irish President Mary McAleese “always” puts a menorah in the window of her official residence, though in her case the decoration is explicitly in honor of Hanukkah.

For most Irish menorah users, however, the candle holder has merely become part of celebrating Christmas, and they may not even be aware of its religious significance.

Though the menorah’s popularity is new — the site traces it back only to the mid-’90s — the reasons for the “craze” have “already been lost in time and space,” the article says.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

‘Christmas’ Menorahs Popular in Ireland

Thank you!

This article has been sent!