Two thousand years ago, Judas Maccabeus decreed that there should be an annual eight day festival of lights in celebration of the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem following its destruction. And so the chosen people have celebrated ever since, gathering around their menorahs for blessings, spinning dreidels and eating potato latkes in good company.
But the world has changed quite a bit over the last two millennium. There are cars now, and iPods, and most pertinently attitudes towards the recreational usage of marijuana have become much laxer as legalization and decriminalization have swept the United States.
David Daily, a 35-year old businessman and owner of Grav Labs, a manufacturer of “high quality scientific glassware,” has already profited from the new freedoms associated with marijuana use, but seeing an opportunity to combine his love of Judaism with his life’s work has now created the Grav Menorah, a fully functional glass bong with room for eight night’s worth of candles as well as the shamash, which is used to light the others.
According to ReligionNews.com, a video demonstrating how the Grav Menorah functions has already garnered over a million views online, and the device has also been featured on Comedy Central’s “@Midnight,” where host Chris Hardwick and guest Seth Rogen gave their approval.
Connections between marijuana and the Jewish faith go back to Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, a Bulgarian Jewish refugee who first identified THC as the active compound in cannabis, and pioneered the discovery of medical uses for compound. While some Jewish leaders do not approve of marijuana use, Rabbi Jason Miller sees no problem with it, stating after inspecting the Grav Menorah, “The traditional part of me thinks the menorah should solely serve the purpose it was intended for, but this is pretty creative and brings a lot of attention to the ritual of Hanukkah candle-lighting.”
Interested Christians should note that despite Texas legislator David Simpson’s attempts to put a religious spin on marijuana use, a Google image search for “Marijuana Christmas tree” returned some very nicely decorated plants, but little along the lines of Daily’s invention.
Unfortunately, anyone interested in purchasing a Grav Menorah will have to wait until next year—high demand has lead to Grav Labs temporarily halting production of the devices, which take 10 hours to make and, at only $700 per unit, have not been profitable for the company.
Daily plans on finding a way to revise the Grav Menorah to make the production simpler and more cost effective, and says he’ll have more in time for Hanukkah next year.