How Many Candles Are In A Menorah? Awesome Facts You Must Know!

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
32 min read

According to Jewish tradition, the number of candles on a menorah varies depending on what the menorah is used for. In addition to being a sign of Hanukkah, the menorah has a variety of other meanings and purposes.


What do the Hanukkah candles represent?

When we light the Hanukkah candles, we remember the miraculous oil that was discovered in the Temple. For eight nights in a row, we burn candles, with the amount of light gradually rising. There was enough time left over after it burned for eight days and eight nights to find more and properly rededicate the temple.

8 Things You Should Know About Hanukkah - HISTORY

A “helper” candle known as the shamash is lit on the first night. On the second and third nights, we burn two and three candles, respectively. Do this until the ninth and final night, when all nine candles are lit. Hanukkah is also known as the “Festival of Lights” because of this.

What exactly is a Hanukkah menorah?

It’s a candelabra-style candle holder made specifically for lighting Hanukkah candles. An eight-branched tree is required by Jewish law to be perfectly aligned in a straight line. There must be enough space between the branches to ensure that the flames from each candle do not overlap.

There are three possible placements for the shamash’s ninth branch: higher, lower, or to the side. The term hanukkiah, which refers to a Hanukkah menorah, has just recently gained use in colloquial usage. Hebrew’s resurgence as a spoken language in the twentieth century is thought to have contributed to the term’s rise in popularity.

What is the proper way to light a menorah?

As you can see, on the first night of Hanukkah, we light this particular candle. A new candle was put in its place, as well as a second one to the left of the first. We do this every night, going from right to left with the candles.

We light the shamash and recite a blessing after the candles have been placed. To light the candles for the night, we begin by lighting them from left to right, with the newest one first. All night long, candles can be lit and maintained burning for at least thirty minutes.

How Many Candles Are In A Menorah?

If you’re going to have the proper number each night, you’re going to need 44 candles. However, in the event of a breakage, there is usually an extra box included. Ner Mitzvah’s lovely, dripless candles serve as a good example.

Why do some menorahs have nine candles while others only have seven?

Only during the Hanukkah season are nine-branched menorahs lit. While it is clear why menorahs are used during Hanukkah, no one is certain when the custom of lighting hanukkiahs began. Even so, the Maccabees’ victory was probably at least 250 years in the future.

A seven-branched menorah had been in use for a long time before that. Exodus gives an in-depth account of it, according to Rabbi Patz. To create the menorah, God gave Moses specific instructions. Flowers, bulbs, and goblets are all included in this package.

Menorah built in the desert for daily use by Aaron, high priest of God’s people in the Tabernacle. As a result, in the Holy Temple…. Six types of secular human wisdom, plus one to remind us of God’s importance, were said to represent the branches, according to some academics.

When you light the Hanukkah candles, what blessings do you say?

Three blessings are spoken on the first night of Hanukkah, but only two on the remaining nights. Thereafter, the other candles should be put out, but before the shamash. God has given us a commandment to light Hanukkah candles, and the first prayer acknowledges this.

Thank you, God, for the miracles you have performed on our forefathers. We express our thankfulness to God on the first night for keeping us alive. It keeps us going and gets us to where we are now.

Where should a menorah be placed?

You can also wonder where to put the menorah if you don’t know how many candles it has. In order to make the menorah visible from the street, it should be positioned in a window. Rabbi Patz continues, “According to the Talmud, we are bound to broadcast the miracle. Further, he speculates that the ancient rabbis may have centered their celebration around the oil miracle.

In the end, it’s not about the military victory in pushing away Seleucid Greeks from Jerusalem. The Temple, too, was merely a matter of survival. Any sign of revolt was extinguished as soon as Roman rule was established over Greece.

Jews celebrating a celebration was a bit out of character. In the case of a win against the ruler, this is much more important. As a result, the oil miracle may have taken center stage.

About the Menorah

The first mention of the menorah in the Bible is during the time of Moses, making it an ancient Jewish religious symbol. On Mount Sinai, Moses was shown the menorah, according to the Bible. For usage in the ancient Jerusalem Temple, the first menorah was crafted from a single piece of gold. It has been utilized as a symbol of worship throughout history, and the Hanukkah Menorah has been altered along the way.

How Many Candles Are on a Menorah?

Menorahs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the most frequent ones feature seven or nine candles. The number of candles in the menorah is governed by its intended usage.

Seven Candle Menorah

There were six curving branches and one central shaft in the earliest menorah design. All of the candles are at the same height and level. Many things can be symbolized by the menorah and the candles it holds.

  • From the blazing bush, the flames of God
  • Created in a week’s time
  • Promoting Judaism’s global ray of light
  • Providing light for pleasure rather than for practical purposes
  • One of Israel’s most recognizable symbols.

Many objects, including coins and gravestones, have the picture of a menorah.

The Nine Candle Menorah

The most typical response to the question of how many candles a menorah has is nine. This is due to the menorah’s widespread association with Hanukkah, the Jewish festival commemorating the seven-day war in which the Jews recaptured their Second Temple from the Greek-Syrians. Hanukkah is a Jewish festival.

Scared Oil Burned for Eight Days

Only a single day’s supply of pure oil was found in the ruined temple to keep the menorah burning in accordance with tradition. Reclaiming ceremonies used only enough oil to last eight days, during which time new oil could be bought. The Hanukkah menorah is decorated with eight candles because of this miracle.

Hanukkah Menorah Nine Candle Arrangement

Because the oil lasted for eight days, the candles on a Hanukkah menorah are all at the same height. To light the other eight candles, the ninth candle, which is either raised or short, is known to as the Shamash.

Lighting the Hanukkah Menorah

In the Jewish Hanukkah holiday, lighting of the menorah is the most significant aspect of the festivities. In order to transmit the message of the miracles the menorah symbolizes, the menorah should be placed in an open window. To the left of the front door, several families place their menorahs for Hanukkah.

Correct Order for Lighting Candles

In a menorah, white candles are the most prevalent, but other colors are acceptable. Each night, a new candle is put to the menorah during Hanukkah, which lasts for eight days. So, on the first night, the first candle is lit using the ninth candle, the Shamash (attendant). The next night, two candles are lit. So it goes on for eight nights in a row, until every single candle in the house is blazing brightly.

  1. Any hue of candle can be used in a menorah if desired. Each night of Hanukkah, a new candle is added to the menorah. On the first night, the ninth candle, the Shamash, is used to light the first candle (attendant). Two candles are lit for the following night’s ritual. Everything remains as it has been up to this point for eight nights.
  2. You will add a second candle to the menorah on the second night, which will be on the far left.
  3. For each night, you’ll add a new candle to the menorah, starting from the right and working your way around it.
  4. Before and after the candles are lit, people say prayers and recite blessings.

Tips and Facts for Lighting a Hanukkah Menorah

Lighting the Hanukkah menorah can be made more enjoyable if you follow these pointers. Menorah-lighting should be approached with reverence, so keep that in mind.

  • For the first 30 minutes, the menorah should remain in position.
  • Once lit, the menorah should remain burning for at least 30 minutes after the sun goes set.
  • After lighting the menorah, families and friends can participate in Hanukkah games, music, and other activities.
  • On Friday night, instead of lighting 30-minute Chanukah candles, families will light one-and-a-half-hour ones.
  • The thoughtfulness and personalization that can be added by using homemade candles is priceless.

Who Can Light a Menorah?

Whoever is in charge of lighting the menorah is bound by custom. This is usually the person in charge of the household. Anyone, male or female, can perform the task. Some households follow the custom of lighting a menorah for each member of the household.

Op-Ed: Everything is different this year, so why not add a ninth night to Hanukkah? - Los Angeles Times

Menorah Candles Are Symbols of Religious Freedom

Menorahs with seven or nine candles are beautiful symbols of religious freedom that have a long and rich history associated with them. Every member of the family can light a menorah, and several can be lit at the same time.

Why Candles (Not Oil) for Synagogue Menorah?

Was this ideal?

The main reason beeswax was used back then is because pure olive oil was so scarce in some places. Using it in the synagogue is preferable now that it is so readily available.

Nevertheless, there are synagogues that to this day specifically use beeswax for their menorah, even though at home they would use olive oil. This continues to be the custom in the Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters, also known as “770.”

Leftover Mitzvahs

Despite this, some synagogues still use beeswax for their menorahs, despite the fact that most people use olive oil at home. In the Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters, popularly known as “770,” this practice is still followed.

Although some synagogues still use beeswax for their menorah, even if they would use olive oil at home, there are still some synagogues that do. In the Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters, often known as”770,” this tradition is still observed..

However, some synagogues still use beeswax for their menorahs, despite the fact that they would use olive oil at home. In the Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters, popularly known as “770,” this tradition is still observed.

Lighting in the Synagogue

Menorah lighting in a synagogue is done for a variety of purposes, including fulfilling a religious obligation and providing a sense of community. A person’s obligation to light the menorah is null and void if they don’t live in the synagogue (such as a caretaker or traveler).

According to our previous post, “Why Do I Hear Blessings during Public Menorah Lightings?” Traditionally, the major purpose of lighting the menorah in the synagogue is to draw attention to the miracle (pirsumei nisa), which is a way of sanctifying G-name d’s when large crowds gather in public to hear blessings and see the menorah lit.

The Torah teaches that a synagogue is like a smaller replica of the Holy Temple, a mikdash me’at, a place of worship. As a result, it is an ideal location to memorialize (and perhaps even reproduce) the Temple menorah’s miracle.

A Light Throughout the Day

Many synagogues have a tradition of keeping the menorah burning throughout the day, or at the very least relighting it in the morning during morning prayers, if it is safe to do so. 8 It’s not just for publicity purposes, but also because the synagogue is likened to Jerusalem’s Holy Temple, where the candles were kept burning all day.

Flame quality decreases with distance from fuel, according to some theories. While oil wicks absorb and transmit fuel, candle wicks burn down and melt wax as they go, increasing the distance to the fuel, whereas oil wicks remain at the same distance from the fuel.

Because the miracle of the menorah happened with oil, we use wicks and oil in our homes when the menorah is only required to be lighted for the required amount of time (i.e., a half hour after sunset) and there is no custom for it to be lit during the day.

We use beeswax candles in synagogues where we want the menorah to be lighted all day since the flame always remains the same distance from the fuel. As a result, the flame’s quality won’t degrade over time.

There are lengthy beeswax candles in 770, where it is safe to keep the candles burning all night and all day because people are present at all hours.

Differentiate Between Lightings

Others, on the other hand, believe that the tradition of lighting candles is for entirely different reasons. They go on to explain that the use of candles in the synagogue is due to the fact that olive oil is preferred. Even though we light public menorahs to draw attention to the miracle, we wish to emphasize that the two lightings have very distinct purposes, and that attending the synagogue lighting event does not fulfill one’s requirement to light a Chanukah menorah.

The menorah should be lit at home, even if you’ve been to a public menorah lighting.

15 gorgeous menorahs for celebrating Hanukkah

A menorah is a must for any celebration of the Festival of Lights, which begins on Sunday, Nov. 28. It is the highlight of any Hanukkah celebration, with room for nine candleholders: one for each night of the festival, plus an additional candle that is used to light the rest of the candles.

Menorahs come in a wide variety of materials, forms, and sizes these days, despite the fact that you might imagine an elegant silver or gold candelabra. Even if you’re looking for something a little more traditional, you’ll be able to locate a menorah to fit your style and environment.

Shop our collection of 15 stunning menorahs below and give your ancestors a break this holiday season. You’ll be happy to display them all year long.

Via Maris Block Menorah ($225;

When not in use, the menorah’s bottom can be used as a storage area for the candles.

Via Maris Trace Menorah ($155;

Rather stick with the tried-and-true? Via Maris’ metal menorah takes a classic design and refines it with four different matte finishes.

Jonathan Adler Ceramic Dachshund Menorah ($132;

An adorable and quirky touch to your holiday celebrations, especially if you have children in the family. (And if you’re not a fan of wiener dogs, there’s also an elephant menorah!)

Areaware Cast-Iron Menorah ($150;

This striking cast-iron menorah contains a built-in tray for the drippings and used matches from the burning candles. It is also part of the permanent collection of the National Museum of American Jewish History.

The Citizenry Tikal Wood Menorah Set ($250;

Each candle holder in this set is handmade in Guatemala from wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, making this menorah as sustainable as it is stunning. Individual components mean that you can put it wherever in your house for non-holiday purposes as well.

West Elm Glass Menorah ($30, originally $60;

Each candle holder in this set is handmade in Guatemala from wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, making this menorah as sustainable as it is stunning. Individual components mean that you can put it wherever in your house for non-holiday purposes as well.

Classic Touch Gold Brass Menorah ($42;

This menorah is built from wood that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, making it both beautiful and environmentally friendly. For non-holiday purposes, you can disperse it around your home because it’s made up of individual parts.

West Elm White Marble Menorah ($64, originally $80;

Marble and brass details make this menorah exceedingly refined.

Anthropologie Gold Foil Menorah ($58;

For a modern take on traditional Judaica, Anthropologie’s menorah is made of tropical hardwood covered in gold foil.

Modern Mensch Nosh Menorah ($200;

Bagel is the ultimate Jewish delicacy, and the Nosh Menorah by Modern Mensch is supposed to recreate that memory. Rose gold, gold, or chrome are the most popular metals for this mantlepiece, but any of them would look great year-round.

Kate Spade Oak Street Menorah ($75;

Designed by Kate Spade, this porcelain menorah is sure to light up your holiday festivities.

Opalhouse Jungalow Dove Menorah ($30;

The menorah from Justina Blakeney’s Jungalow collection for Target is fashioned like a tranquil dove and coated with beautiful gold lacquer..

Nambé Geo Menorah ($150;

Acacia wood and Nambé aluminum make this menorah a modern art piece.

Marmol Radziner Wood Menorah ($225;

The base of this menorah is made from real walnut, and the candle holders are bronze. It’s both unique and timeless at the same time.

JK Adams Vermont Marble & Walnut Menorah ($100;

The Vermont marble slabs atop the beautiful walnut bases of these JK Adams menorahs are all one-of-a-kind.

Via Maris Set of 45 Hanukkah Candles ($55;

Red clay, soft white, sandy yellow, and deep blue hues are available in Via Maris’s candles, which are made by hand.

Anthropologie Beeswax Menorah Candles ($38;

Candles made from beeswax are available in off-white or blue-dipped versions.

The Dreidel Company Store Deluxe Tapered Hanukkah Menorah Candles (starting at $8.95;

A simple, inexpensive set featuring either all white, rainbow or a mixture of white and blue candles.

Why Does the Hanukkah Menorah Have Nine Branches? - WSJ


Does the menorah have 7 or 9 candles?

Simple and economical, this set includes either all white, rainbow, or a mix of white and blue candles.

Does a menorah have 7 or 8 candles?

Menorahs can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they can be lit with either olive oil or wax candles during the Jewish festival (both of which burn pure flames). Traditionally, the eight candles on a Hanukkah menorah line up in a straight line, with a ninth candle placed either above or to the side of the others.

What do the 7 candles on the menorah mean?

Each of the lamps represents a different area of human knowledge, with the six lamps pointing inwards towards the centre lamp, which represents God’s light and serves as a guide for all of them. As well, the menorah’s central light represents the Sabbath’s seventh day of creation.

What do the 9 candles on a menorah represent?

The hanukkiah or menorah, a nine-candle candelabra, is the centerpiece of the Hanukkah celebration. The ninth candle, the shamash, is used to ignite the other eight candles to represent the number of days that the Temple lantern blazed.

Why are there 7 candles at Christmas?

It has a capacity for seven pillar candles. The candle holder has always been associated with Christmas, contrary to common opinion. The light represents the longing of the miners who, because of their long working hours below the surface, did not see daylight in winter for weeks at a time.

Conclusion on How Many Candles Are in a Menorah

When we light the Hanukkah candles, we remember the miraculous oil that was discovered in the Temple. The Hanukkah menorah is one of the most recognizable symbols of Judaism. Our questions about the number of candles in a Menorah are sure to be answered here! Please take a look around our website at the rest of our candle-related content.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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