Hanukkah: It’s a Trap!

We all love the lobster pot Christmas tree down on Main Street. We love its whimsy, we love its humor and we love how it takes what’s special of the season and binds it together with the uniqueness of Gloucester.

Pic from  Good Morning Gloucester

Sadly the plan for the top to flip open and a nude Joey C to jump out was never realized

But what of Jews?

I mean, Jews love comedy, there are even a couple of Jewish comedians. What of seasonal whimsy? This is hard for the Chosen People because during the actual highest holidays on the Jewish Calendar there are downers like Yom Kippur where you’re supposed to be all self-reflective and stuff. You really can’t put an inflatable representation of your failings on your lawn without drawing some looks from the neighbors.

Although for most Americans, this pretty much covers it

For most Americans, this pretty much covers it

This leaves Hanukkah or Chanukah (however you spell it), but it’s almost always overshadowed by its younger, louder, drunker, uncomfortably domineering highly distant cousin, Christmas. Hanukkah, by contrast, is supposed to be sort of laid back.

No, seriously, a lot of people totally lose their fucking minds at Christmas. It can be disturbing as an outsider to watch, frankly.

But this year, over at Temple Ahavat Achim, we’re like, “Screw it, we’re doing whimsy as well.” So we built a lobster pot menorah. Yes, you read that right. Lobster. Pot Menorah. Oh, and before you think you’re all smart and shit, let me say this: No, lobster is not kosher TO EAT, we know that, thanks. That’s why there are no lobsters in any of the pots and no one is eating the menorah so get over yourself Smugly McLeviticus.

The ancient Kabbalist symbol for "Yay!"

The ancient Kabbalist symbol for “Yay!”

And the bait lasted for eight nights!

And the bait lasted for eight nights!

Here are some fun facts about the Lobster Pot Menorah:

  • At approximately 20’ high at its peak, the Gloucester lobster pot menorah stands as the tallest lobster pot menorah in the world.
  • Even though many members of the Temple have family in the film industry who could have created the menorah using computer generated imagery, a creative decision was made to use real lobster traps to lend an air of authenticity to the project.
  • A deli tray was provided for congregants helping to build the menorah along with both little muffins AND cookies because why choose?
  • Jews are stereotypically known to complain loudly about medical problems in a way that seems hypochondriacal to outsiders, but oy you lift those things up a ladder for five hours and tell me your back won’t hurt like a sonofabitch at the end.
  • Do the arms droop a little? They droop a little. Hey, it’s the first time we’ve done this, OK?
  • Temple Ahavat Achim now beats the White Rock South Surrey Jewish Community Centre of Vancouver for the largest single piece of Hanukkah kitch. Their 4’4” freestanding dreidel got nothing on us!
  • Other minority religions on Cape Ann, we’re looking at you! I personally am challenging the Buddhists of Cape Ann to create a lobster trap Dharmacakra for next year.

All in all a great time had by all. I’m sure you’ll hear much more about it in the days to come. Huge thanks to Mike, Phoebe, Paul, Martin, Miriam, Rabbi Lewis, Jeff, Judy and Marilyn. And the Pfizer Corporation, makers of Advil.



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  1. That is really cool. Nice work!

  2. But isn’t that trayf?

    • Because I think half of Brooklyn (the non-hipster half) would therefore ban the lobster traps by association…

  3. Not meaning to be snarky…but, lit up, it looks a little bit like Frankenstein

  4. That is awesome!!

  5. How is it constructed? Please tell me zip-ties.

  6. I love it! I can tell you guys are really from New England, because you call them “pots” rather than “traps”. I might bring our kids up from Boston to see it!

  7. You wanna send me a presser on the menorah lighting Sir James?

  8. Pingback: Five Must See Menorahs | Ups and Downs of Family History

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