By COLlive reporter
This Chanukah, instead of playing dreidel, you can play with Lego.
A new specially created game set gives you 96 of those colorful interlocking plastic bricks to create either two types of Menorahs or even a dreidel.
One of those is inspired by the one drawn by the Rambam, with diagonally extending branches that stood in the Beis Hamikdash during the Chanukah story. This version was supported by the Rebbe.
Its creator is Yitzy Kasowitz, a Lubavitcher who is an expert Lego builder at the Brickmania company in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which has become known for offering high quality building kits made from genuine Lego brand bricks.
“I have had many requests and ideas for Jewish-themed custom sets,” Kasowitz, 38 and a father of three, tells COLlive.com. “The 3-in-1 Menorah is my first custom set.”
“All elements in the set are genuine Lego brand,” he says. “No knock-off made in China pieces here. This is not your average Lego set either. 96 pieces and over 8 inches high, you will not find a comparable equivalent anywhere.”
The oldest of 8 children whose parents were Shluchim in Des Moines, Iowa, and now in Minnesota, Kasowitz worked as a cabinet maker and had a home remodeling business before Daniel Siskind, owner of Brickmania, originally hired him as customer service.
“I have never gotten over Lego,” says Kasowitz, today an Expert Builder for the company. “G-d works in mysterious ways and I have no other way to describe it besides for pure divine providence on how I landed my dream job.”
“Building for Siskind has allowed me to to learn the ropes of the business and refine my Lego building skills, picking up many new and advanced techniques,” Kasowitz says.
Much of his work at Brickmania has been featured in museums and Lego fan events throughout the country. In fact, they currently have the world’s largest display of World War II make of Lego at a museum in Illinois.
To create the Chanukah kit, Kasowitz needed to hand-pick each piece. “Lego does not allow us to buy wholesale,” he says. “Lego parts have to be found and purchased retail and each custom set is put together by hand. This is a small operation and will hopefully grow with your support.”
And from the Menorah, he hopes to create where the Menorah stood. “My dream is to build the Beis Hamikdash in Lego minifig size, about 1/35 scale,” he reveals. “It will take many thousands of Lego bricks, hours and money. Perhaps I’ll be commissioned to do that soon enough.”
Get the 3-in-1 Menorah set at jbrick.com