the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

How Many Jews Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?


Happy Hanukkah!

I hate to get all Al Gore on you on a fun holiday like Hanukkah, but I love when traditions are reinterpreted. And what is Hanukah all about anyway? — energy!


The temple lights worked for eight days when there is was only enough for one, thanks to God’s Miracle. As Jews, we believe that we should be helping God with His miracles. Who knows if this global warming threat is as severe as some say? I don’t think anyone can argue that issues of energy and the environment are essential to our lives. Maybe Hanukkah can finally come out under Christmas’ shadow by being about a little bit more than dreidels and latkes:

via PJVoice:

Sometimes issues like global warming seem beyond our reach – but they are quite easy to address when a lot of us take the same steps together. Here is a painless step – one that can even save you money – to reduce our energy consumption. And cut back the greenhouse gas that we (indirectly) generate by using electricity, raising the issue of global warming.

JCPA (the Jewish Council for Public Affairs) and COEJL (the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life) have announced a program entitled “A Light Among the Nations — How Many Jews Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?”

Here is the main step in the program: For Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, purchase and install an energy efficient, cost effective compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb.

If you could conserve energy and help stop global warming in one simple step, wouldn’t you want to act? CFLs use 75% less energy than incandescent light bulbs. This means less production of greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and toxic waste. COEJL calculates that if every U.S. household replaced one bulb with a CFL, it would have the same impact as removing one million cars from the road.

So take this one easy action — install at least one energy efficient, cost effective compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For more information visit A Light Among Nations.

Of course, sometimes old-fashioned energy works better.  I certainly wouldn’t want my latkes cooked by solar power.


  1. Bre

    CFLs are awesome, but the lighting just isn’t as lovely as what you get from a candle!

    Happy Hanukkah, Neil!

  2. psychotoddler

    I use those bulbs all the time, not because I’m green-crazy, but because I hate changing lightbulbs. Those things last forever.

    Happy Hannuka!

  3. psychomom

    I haven’t bought any of these but now that they have your endorsement I’m running out and buying some. I hope they are as brilliant as you.

    Happy Hanukkah!

  4. therapydoc

    There’s nothing more lovely than an oil menorah. We use olive oil and if a little spills, then you rub it on your skin. Try that with a light bulb.

  5. Rattling The Kettle

    I’m replacing my bulbs with CF as they burn out. Yes, I could do it more quickly, but I’m a miser. Anyway, I haven’t really noticed a difference in the quality of the light in my living room with the new CF’s.

  6. ACG

    Ugh. I hate those CFL bulbs. The light they give off is horrible. I only use full spectrum light bulbs in my apartment. If they outlaw them in favor of CFL’s, I’ll buy them on the black market.

  7. Caron

    A friend and I have been discussing the CFL’s. We love the energy savings but don’t like the quality of light for creative endeavors. Full spectrum light has been preferred for our studios. We got stuck wondering how differently our full spectrumly created art would look in a CFL lit world.

  8. rdl

    Great idea. I have a few, gonna buy more. Happy Chanukah!

  9. OMSH

    We’ve been buying them one at a time because of our budget – those babies aren’t cheap!

  10. gorillabuns

    we are green here. we just don’t turn on the lights.

  11. mckay

    Happy Hanukkah, Neil and Sophia.

    can i be an honorary jew? i have those newfangled bulbs in my house. i like them everywhere except in my kitchen.

  12. better safe than sorry

    i have those light bulbs, did you know it’s an issue to dispose of them?
    my oldest daughter is a geography major, we are an extremely green family here, she plans on saving the world for all of us, one light bulb, one plastic shopping bag, one recycled newspaper at a time. every little bit can’t hurt, well, except maybe when it’s time to replace those burnt out light bulbs.
    Happy Hanukkah Neil!

  13. Guilty Secret

    Happy Hanukkah!

  14. kapgar

    Happy Hannukah! Oh and we have replaced maybe 25% of our bulbs with CFLs and have purchased nothing but CFLs for future bulb replacements. Just a matter of the old ones burning out.

  15. churlita

    Happy Hanukkah! I love it that you try hard to be so aware.

  16. wendy

    Michael tried putting those in the light above our bed…Not a pretty sight!Some times a girl needs some mood lighting…

    Another group..I don’t remember which..recommends changing out just 1 candle to reduce carbon dioxide emmisions…

    Anyway..Happy Second Night…or is it Third?

    I get lost…
    Happy Hanukkah.

  17. Jennifer

    I am so far ahead of the game. I already use those lightbulbs!! I am Green!! WEll, except for the big ass, gas sucking Suburban I drive!! But I use those good lightbulbs, so I think it averages out in the end.

  18. Neil

    Since we’re talking about Hanukkah, I’m not even going to bring up how much extra energy is being used in all those Christmas displays!

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