Thursday, December 2, 2010

No kosher Chanukah candles available in the neighborhood?

The Jewish holiday of Chanukah started at sundown last night, commemorating the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem and a miracle where a small supply of oil burned for 8 days.

However, you may have trouble if you're looking in the neighborhood for candles for your menorah: I just heard from a Jewish friend who said that apparently no stores in the neighborhood sell kosher Chanukah candles.

My friend went to Giant and didn't find any. She was directed to the ethnic food aisle, which has kosher votive candles but no Chanukah candles. The DCUSA Target has a small Chanukah section with menorahs, but again no candles. There's also a huge Christmas candle section, pictured here, about which my friend had this to say: "what really pissed me off is that Xmas is still 4 weeks away and all these places had those decorations, but none of Chanukah which was THAT night."

You can't use any old candle for Chanukah -- Chanukah candles are kosher (blessed by a rabbi), are small, and also burn much longer than other candles. My friend had to use birthday candles, also pictured here. She noted the birthday candles "look silly, they aren't kosher and they don't last for very long," about 20 minutes, while Chanukah candles generally burn for a few hours.

Anyone know of some nearby places to get Chanukah candles?


  1. The supermarket in Cleveland Park, Brookville market has a pretty good section of Jewish items, including Chanukkah candles if memory serves.

  2. The Harris Teeter has Shabbat candles, so they may have some for Chanukah.

  3. I bet they have them at the Jewish community center on Between 16th st and 15th st

  4. They have candles at whole foods. got some there on Tuesday!

  5. also-the JCC on 16th street will have them for sure.

  6. This was so frustrating!! Thank you for posting on it.

  7. Merry Christmas!!

  8. Kosher does NOT mean "blessed by a Rabbi." That's ridiculous.

    Kosher means "fit," or "ritually appropriate." For food, it means the food has been prepared (slaughtered and inspected appropriately, and then soaked and salted, in the case of an animal) in a manner consistent with the laws of kashrut. No one blesses anything. For candles, it means that the candles will burn for the requisite amount of time, and won't flicker or sputter. Also no blessings required.

    I agree that it was hard to find candles designated as Chanukah candles this year, probably because the holiday came so early and caught non-Jewish retailers off guard.

  9. ADS, I posted what my friend told me.


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