Hanukkah

Abigail Workman

Lighting the Menorah

Jews symbolically light menorahs during Hanukkah. They have nine candles, one for each day of Hanukkah plus an extra candle in the center. The extra candle is called the shamash, or servant candle, and is lit first. On the first night of Hanukkah, Jews light the shamash and use its flame to light the candle on the far right of the menorah. On the second night, the shamash is lit, followed by the candle to the left of the first candle. Then, the first candle is lit. On each successive night, an additional candle is lit. Additional candles are always lit first (after the shamash), and then the candles are lit in order from left to right.

Monarch

The Menorah stands for light, wisdom, and Divine inspiration. In this period of darkness, we welcome the approaching Festival of Lights and the timeless lessons of the Holy Menorah. The Menorah was originally a seven-branched candelabra beaten out of a solid piece of gold that served as one of the sacred vessels in the Holy Temple. The Menorah’s structure also inspires us to embrace holiness. The Menorah begins with a central stem that branches outwards, just as our demeanor, behavior, personality, and especially good deeds should branch out and influence others to illuminate the world around us.


The Menorah teaches us to bring out every soul’s inner Divine light so that we shine internally and externally.

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The Seven Lambs of the Menorah

The seven lamps of the Menorah allude to knowledge, with six of the branches representing human wisdom. God said that the Menorah should be gold, but then the sages said "solid gold" with regards to our motive and behavior. In other words, our shining character traits on the inside should reflect the holy actions we take on the outside, and vice versa.

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The Star

The Star on the Menorah is the star of David, and is a symbol of Judaism. The star dates back to early Arabic and African tribes. They used it as a symbol of luck and prosperity.
In the middle ages there was a time when Jews were forced to wear physical marks and various forms of stars and shapes became common depending on the region they were living. By the late 1800's the star of David had grown to be the most common symbol to represent Judaism, but the modern usage of the star itself dates back less than 500 years in historical records as a common Jewish symbol.

My Sources

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Reliable Source: This is a very reliable source. It gave me a lot of information that I needed, and it had videos that you could watch. This source also explains further into Hanukkah's history. It goes even deeper to behind the meaning, and where it originated from.

http://www.ifcj.org/site/PageNavigator/eng/inside/Hanukkah

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Reliable Source: Yes this is also a reliable source. This source helped me find more about the Menorah, and about the candles.

http://unitedwithisrael.org/what-does-the-menorah-symbolize/