The Chanukah Menorah

The menorah is the ultimate symbol of the Jewish holiday of Chanukah. It is a special eight-branched candelabra with a ninth branch for a so-called “helper” candle, called the Shamash. Each of the eight candles represent one of the eight nights of Chanukah, which in turn represent the miracle of Chanukah.

In the second century BCE, a Jewish band of rebels in Judea known as the Maccabees rescued the Holy Temple in Jerusalem from the Greek pagans who had ransacked it. The group wanted to rededicate the Temple by lighting the eternal lamp. The story of Chanukah tells that they found only enough oil to last for one night; but a miracle happened and that oil lasted for eight nights.

On the first night of Chanukah, the candle on the far right of the Menorah — or Chanukiah (Hanukiyah), as it is called in Hebrew — is lit. Each night, an additional candle is lit, beginning from left to right, until all eight candles shine brightly on the final night of Chanukah. (See: Lighting the Chanukah Menorah)

Special blessings are chanted before the lighting of the candles and family sing traditional songs together afterward. Typically, each member of the family will have his or her own menorah, which is displayed in a window so that the lights may be seen by passers-by. This tradition is intended to “illuminate” the miracle of Chanukah.

The menorah is lit at nightfall and the lights should remain illuminated for at least thirty minutes past dark. Historically, olive oil was used to light the menorah, but today most people use brightly colored candles. Many cities in the United States, Israel and elsewhere around the world sponsor the public lighting of large-scale menorahs in town squares and other prominent locations.



Monumental Polish Brass Synagogue Hanukah Lamp, Circa 1890 | picture
Monumental Polish Brass Synagogue Hanukah Lamp, Circa 1890 |
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Italian 925 Sterling Silver & Gold Plated Accents Handcrafted Large Menorah Aa1 picture
Italian 925 Sterling Silver & Gold Plated Accents Handcrafted Large Menorah Aa1
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German Silver Bench-form Hanukah Lamp, Johann Jacob LÖschhorn, Frankfurt, Cir... picture
German Silver Bench-form Hanukah Lamp, Johann Jacob LÖschhorn, Frankfurt, Cir...
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Bezalel Silver Large Hanukah Lamp, Jerusalem, Circa 1910 | picture
Bezalel Silver Large Hanukah Lamp, Jerusalem, Circa 1910 |
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Silver Modern Hanukkah Lamp Menorah By David Heinz Gumbel picture
Silver Modern Hanukkah Lamp Menorah By David Heinz Gumbel
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Rare - Large Handmade Copper Hanukkah Lamp Menorah By Wolpert 1950's-60's picture
Rare - Large Handmade Copper Hanukkah Lamp Menorah By Wolpert 1950's-60's
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Polish Silver Filigree Hanukah Lamp, Mid 19th Century | picture
Polish Silver Filigree Hanukah Lamp, Mid 19th Century |
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Rare German Silver Hanukkah Lamp Menorah By Krutsche Breslau 1849-1861 Judaica picture
Rare German Silver Hanukkah Lamp Menorah By Krutsche Breslau 1849-1861 Judaica
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title: chanukah