The Hanukkah Menorah

The Hanukkah menorah is the primary symbol of the Hanukkah holiday. The menorah is a nine-branched candelabrum. The Hebrew word menorah means “lamp.” In Modern Hebrew, Hanukkah menorah is called “chanukkiyah.” Each of the candles in the candelabra represents each night of the Hanukkah. The ninth branch, known as the Shamash is the candle used to light all other candles. The menorah is a popular symbol of Judaism, together with the Star of David.

Lighting a menorah during Hanukkah started thousands of years ago when during the rededication of the Temple after a successful revolt against the Seleucid monarchy, an oil lamp with only enough fuel to light for a day lasted for eight days.

During the first night of Hanukkah, the candle on the far right of the menorah is lit using the shamash. Each candle is lit for the next seven nights. The candles are arranged and kindled in the menorah starting from right to left. Special blessings are also said before lighting the Hanukkah menorah. Jewish families would usually sing Jewish songs after the candle lighting ceremony. The menorah is usually displayed in a window to illuminate the miracle of Hanukkah.

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