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The Jewish Museum Launches Its First Hanukkah App

The Jewish Museum Launches Its First Hanukkah App

The Jewish Museum's first Hanukkah app is now available for free at the iTunes Store. Light My Fire: A Hanukkah App allows users to select a contemporary or traditional Hanukkah lamp from the Museum's renowned collection, choose a unique background to place it on, light the lamp and then share it with their family and friends. There is a choice of eighteen lamps from different time periods and countries, and thirteen backgrounds from the traditional to whimsical, including a window sill, Op Art, a photo of a cat, and more. Users can save the lamps they choose to their very own collection. The app also provides options to access blessings in English, Hebrew, and transliterated Hebrew; lighting the menorah instructions; holiday information; and background details on menorahs in general as well as each Hanukkah lamp pictured.

Light My Fire: A Hanukkah App is designed for iPhone, iPad and iPod. It is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation, 4th generation, and 5th generation), and iPad. It requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Located at 1109 Fifth Avenue at the corner of East 92nd Street in New York City, The Jewish Museum is the preeminent museum in the United States devoted to art and Jewish culture, and has the finest, largest and most comprehensive collection of Hanukkah lamps in the world.

The menorah, also called a Hanukkah lamp, is a special object used in the eight-day ceremony of Hanukkah. It holds eight lights - typically candles or small cups of oil - as well as a ninth, the shamash. The shamash is used not only to kindle the lamp, but to provide light so that one does not use the sacred Hanukkah lights for illumination.

The joyous nature of the holiday has led over the centuries to a profusion of imaginative lamp shapes and decorations, serious or whimsical: biblical figures, characters from popular culture, buildings, exuberant flowers or exotic animals. Each lamp reflects the interactions between artistic expression, Jewish traditions, historic and geographic influences, and personal experience. Local styles and motifs may be seen in many of the lamps and show the great diversity of places that Jews have settled and flourished.

The festival of Hanukkah commemorates an ancient victory for religious freedom - the reestablishment of Jewish worship in the Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BCE. According to legend, a miracle occurred as the Jews gave thanks for divine intervention. A one-day supply of consecrated oil necessary for worship burned for eight days, enough time to create more oil. Hanukkah celebrates freedom and the blessing of miracles, and the tradition of kindling the festival lights continues to have profound meaning around the world. Hanukkah begins this year at sundown on Saturday, December 8th.

This Hanukkah app has been developed by Franklyn LLC for The Jewish Museum.

Light My Fire: A Hanukkah App is made possible by the Martin and Doris Payson Fund for Film and Media. Special thanks to Jonathan and Darcie Crystal for their inspiration and guidance.


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