2018 50¢ Hanukkah (Joint Issue with Israel)
Value: 50¢ 1-ounce First-Class Rate (Forever)
Issue Date: October 16, 2018
First Day City: Newport, RI
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset, Microprint
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 12,000,000
The seven-candled menorah is one of the oldest symbols of the Jewish faith. A menorah that has two extra candles is a "hanukiah," and is the symbol for Hanukkah. Both menorahs have a "shamash," or helper candle. The remaining eight candles represent the miracle of the one-day supply of oil lasting for eight days and nights.
It is no wonder that such a symbolic reminder was featured on the 2018 Hanukkah stamp. This joint US and Israel issue displays a beautiful papercut by Tamar Fishman. More than any form of Jewish folk art, intricate devotional papercuts made by poor Jews reflect the communal spirit and lore.
The art of making Jewish papercuts, using paper, pencil, and penknife, was almost lost after the Holocaust. It was brought to light again when papercut artist Yehudit Shadur took a special interest in its revival. With her husband, Joseph, she spent decades researching its origins, and published two books on the subject. They were instrumental in the resurgence of this largely overlooked traditional Jewish art form.
Yehudit and Joseph Shadur's research and hard work has paid off. With the 2018-issued stamp, the tiny papercut artwork will be seen by thousands of Americans and collectors around the world.