On Hanukkah Jews the world over light a menorah to commemorate a miracle that occurred at the height of the Maccabean revolution against their Greek oppressors in the 2nd century BCE. When exactly Jews started lighting menorahs, today usually eight-branched candelabra with a ninth “shamash” candle, is unknown.
The menorah—“lamp stand” in Hebrew—has been the pre-eminent symbol of Jews and Judaism for millennia. It is the oldest continuously used religious symbol in Western civilization. Since biblical times, the seven-branched menorah has symbolized Judaism.
Additionally, where is the story of Hanukkah found in the Bible? The story of Hanukkah is preserved in the books of the First and Second Maccabees, which describe in detail the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem and the lighting of the menorah.
Keeping this in view, what do the 9 candles on a menorah represent?
Light the Menorah The centerpiece of the Hanukkah celebration is the hanukkiah or menorah, a candelabra that holds nine candles. Eight candles symbolize the number of days that the Temple lantern blazed; the ninth, the shamash, is a helper candle used to light the others.
Why is the menorah so important?
The Menorah is a candelabra with eight candles, and an additional single one set apart that is used for lighting the others. It is lit on the eight nights of Channukah, one more candle each night, to commemorate the victory of the Jews over the Greek Syrians, and the rededication of the Temple.
What does the Bible say about the menorah?
The Hebrew Bible states that God revealed the design for the menorah to Moses and describes the construction of the menorah as follows (Exodus 25:31–40): Make a lampstand of pure gold. Hammer out its base and shaft, and make its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms of one piece with them.
Does the menorah represent the tree of life?
It is also said to represent the “Tree of Life” mentioned in the Book of Genesis and it’s shape has a passing resemblance to the moriah plant. The menorah’s light burns with the fragrance of the Moriah plant. The Menorah can represent the Spring and Fall (Autumn) festivals.
What does the Star of David symbolize?
The symbol thus generally represents the merging of the male and the female, and, the elements of fire and water, respectively. The Star of David also appears in the architecture of Mormon places of worship, where it symbolizes the union of heaven and earth, with God reaching down to man and man reaching up to God.
Is a Menorah a religious symbol?
Christmas trees and menorahs are considered “holiday symbols,” meaning secular. In contrast, the Supreme Court stated that a menorah is a religious symbol that serves to commemorate the miracle of the oil as described in the Talmud.
What is the sacred symbol of Judaism?
The Star of David, a symbol of Judaism as a religion, and of the Jewish people as a whole. And it also thought to be the shield (or at least the emblem on it) of King David.
What does menorah mean in Hebrew?
menorah. A menorah is a special candleholder for seven or nine candles. Nine-branched menorahs are used during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. The word menorah comes from a Semitic root meaning “to shine.”
What is the difference between a 7 candle menorah and a 9 candle menorah?
The 7 branch menorah is a representation of the seven-branched lamp which was in the Temple. The 9 branch menorah is properly called a hanukiah, as it is designed specifically to be used at Hanukah, to light the eight candles for the eight days of the holiday.
How does the menorah work?
The menorah has nine branches, one for each night of the Festival of Lights, plus a shamash, meaning helper or attendant, which is lit first and then used to light the other candles. However, when lighting the menorah you move in the opposite direction, using the shamash to the light the candles from left to right.
How long do you leave a menorah up?
If it is Shabbat, use long-lasting candles and make sure that they burn for at least a half an hour after the sun sets. If you have to leave the house, let the candles burn for at least 30 minutes after sunset, then extinguish them for safety purposes.
What is the difference between a menorah and a Chanukiah?
THE menorah is the seven branched Temple lamp, seen in carvings. Sometimes people buy seven branched menorahs as decorative items, or as ‘Judaica’ – a symbol of Judaism. They usually are not actually used to hold lights. A hanukiah is a lamp specifically made for the observance of the holiday of Chanukah.
How many branches were on the original menorah?
The menorah today has nine branches: one for each of the eight days of the Hanukkah miracle, and the central stem holding the shamash. The oldest known depictions of menorahs were different. They usually had six arms plus the central stem, and some rare ones have only four.
How do you make a menorah?
Method 3 Clay Menorah Set up your workstation. Cut a block of the clay into eight evenly sized cubes using a craft knife. Make a taller ninth cube. Wrap foil around a candle. Form the holes for the candles. Press together four of the clay cubes. Repeat with the other four cubes. Make the Chanukiah menorah structure.
What is Hanukkah stand for?
Hanukkah – The Jewish Festival of Lights. Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights and it remembers the rededication of the second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, in Israel. This happened in the 160s BCE/BC (before Jesus was born). (Hanukkah is the Hebrew and Aramaic word for ‘dedication’.)
What does a dreidel stand for?
The meaning behind the dreidel These stand for the saying ‘Nes gadol haya sham,’ which means “a great miracle occurred there.” However, when the dreidel is actually used in Israel, it will often read “Nes gadol haya po,” which means “a great miracle occurred here.”