I am what many people call a “Modern Orthodox Jew”.  Among other things, this means I celebrate Israeli Independence Day and Jerusalem Day and say the Hallel celebratory prayer while in the synagogue.  This is in contrast to fellow co-religionists who are unable to add religious holidays to the Jewish calendar or do not recognize the religious significance of the State of Israel. 

 But when it comes to calling the festive candelabra of Chanukah a “Menorah” or a “Chanukiyah”, their position is frozen in dogma…it is a “Chanukiyah” and nothing else will do.

 However, if they only knew that the Chanukiyah is a late 19th century term, coined no less than by a woman, Hemda Ben-Yehuda (1873-1951), I’m sure that their Chanukiyah would morph back into being a Menorah.

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