After 30 years in Israel, I am always amazed at the cool
discoveries that I encounter in our Jewish homeland.
Here is the story about one of those very special discoveries.....
Last week, I met a friend at a business meeting in Jerusalem. I mentioned to him that I was taking pre-Chanukah photos of unique Chanukah items in the supermarkets and malls. He asked me if I know about the Chanukiyot Collection in the Bukharim neighborhood in Jerusalem. I said: "I never heard of it". He said: "You must go see it". He gave me instructions on how to get there and he said he would call the owner to expect me.
This week, on Tuesday afternoon, I took the 174 bus from Ma'ale Adumim to Ramat Eshkol in
Jerusalem and transfered to bus 77. Ten minutes later, I
got off on Yehezqel Street near the Bukharim Market.
I crossed the street and walked a block and a half to
#8 Shlomo Mussaioff Street.
(click here for map with address and phone number)
I approached what looked like an ordinary hardware store
and walked in. The owner was talking to a customer and he
turned to me and asked what I am looking for. I told him (in Hebrew)
"Joe sent me". He turned back to the customer.
While he was helping the customer, I looked around at the small room that I was in. It was full of "stuff". Regular hardware things, all kinds of antique looking things and about 50 Chanukiyot hanging on the walls and shelves.
After a few minutes, he finished with the customer and he
asked me a few questions about myself and how I know Joe.
He seemed to be satisfied with my answers and he said to follow him.
We walked up a narrow set of stairs and then down a narrow aisle.
He stopped at a locked door which had about a dozen Chanukiyot attached to it. He opened the door and we walked in.
Shabtay Yossef is a collector.
He probably has one of the largest Chanukiyot collections in the world.
He has Chanukiyot from 75 countries.
Shabtay Yossef also has other important historical Jewish artifacts.
Above, he is holding a plate which was the only remainder of a German synagogue that was burned down.
Here are several Chanukiyot that he gave me some details.
In Yemen, the people were very poor and they made this Chanukiya out of a large rock. There is a tunnel in the rock which connects the holes.
I was torn between hearing more stories and wanting to take as many photos as possible. He needed to go back to the front of the store but he let me stay in the back room to take photos. I took photos for 1 hour until closing and I came back the next day.
I took many of the photos quickly because I did not know how long I could stay. Many photos came out good but some are blurry.
Connected to the main room was a shed with very poor lighting and very little room to manuver. I tried to take as many photos as possible without knocking into anything. The lighting from my camera's flash in many of those photos is too bright but I thought they were worth posting in any case.
I do not know a lot about Shabtay Yossef.
He told me that three years ago, the Israeli TV show "Habayit Ha'Yehudi" did a segment about the collection. I will try and contact them.
A year ago, a French television station
came and did a segment about him. Below is a 2 minute
French video clip.
I could not take photos of all the Chanukiyot, it was just too many.
However, I managed to take 488 and I posted them online at:
Yes, I know, that is a very long Internet address.
I created a short url to make it easier to share:
The address for this article is:
The short url is:
Enjoy the photos and please share the article and photos.
Chanukah is next week and I want to remind everyone of the educational and entertaining resources I updated for the holiday.
The Chanukah Page
Lessons, Videos, Songs, English Hebrew Vocabulary Lists, Humor, Games, Recipes, Photos and Clipart about Chanukah
Cool Chanukah Videos on Youtube
Over 750 Chanukah videos including the newest ones and your favorite oldies.
The Chanukah Map
Sites of the Maccabees 166-161 BCE
If you live in Israel you can actually visit these historical sites!
The Chanukah Humor Pages
Song parodies and funny photos that will make you smile.