How To Light A 7 Candle Menorah?

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
18 min read

Chanukah is the Jewish festival of lights and feasting that occurs during the month of December. When one day’s worth of oil burned for eight days in the candlestick at the Temple of Jerusalem, this joyful occasion was celebrated. So we’re going to show you how to light a 7-candle menorah for you.

Chanukah’s centerpiece is the chanukiah, or candelabra. Each of the eight Chanukah evenings has its own unique procedure for lighting the chanukiah, which is a multi-night event. There are seven candles in this menorah.

How To Light A 7 Candle Menorah

Lighting the Shamash and Saying the Blessings

Set the shamash candle alight and do the ritual. To use the shamash candle, wait until the sun has gone down and use a match or lighter. The shamash must be lit first. For this reason, you should never light another candle prior to lighting the shamash.

seven candles menorah Stock Footage Video (100% Royalty-free) 22374613 | Shutterstock

Before the sun sets on Friday night, begin lighting the candles. At least 30 minutes after the sun sets, use long-lasting candles that will continue to burn. First, light the candles and pronounce a blessing over them.

Every time candles are lit as part of a Jewish ritual, a prayer is always spoken. On each of the eight nights of Chanukah, this is the first blessing you will recite. A traditional song may be sung at this point, or it may be uttered orally.

If you are unable to pronounce Hebrew, you can say it in English. ” However, if you have the opportunity, try to use Hebrew. After each blessing is recited, everyone in the room is expected to say “amen.”

The second blessing should be recited. The second blessing of Chanukah, read after the blessing of lighting the candles, praises God for the wonders he has performed for the Jewish people throughout the ages. Chanukah begins with reciting the Shehecheyanu on the first night of the festival of lights.

It is customary to recite Shehecheyanu on the first night of Chanukah. A special benediction is the Shehecheyanu. As a traditional practice, it is uttered each time you begin a new task or ritual for the year.

It’s a nod to the fact that this will be your first year using a candle of this type. Offer this prayer on the first night of Chanukah alone; do not do so on any of the following nights. Lighting a 7-candle menorah is the first step in learning how.

Lighting the Other Candles

Lighting the candles with the shamash is the final step. With your dominant hand, pick up the shamash candle once you’ve completed the blessings. Travel from left to right with the shamash to ignite the candle/s.

To put it another way, start with the newest candle and work your way backwards. The first night of Chanukah is marked by the lighting of the first candle. You must always use the shamash to start the candles with.

Never use a lighted candle to light other candles. Replace the shamash with a new one. Return the shamash candle to its place after you’ve done lighting the candles; the chanukiah is now complete!

The Chanukiah should be placed in the window. You can be proud of your Jewish heritage and heritage by hanging the chanukiah in your home’s window. The story of the Maccabees’ victory over the Hellenistic soldiers is central to the story of Chanukah.

It was the Greeks who grabbed control of the old Jewish temple and tried to strangle the Jewish religion. As a result, displaying the chanukiah and showing your Judaism is a crucial element of the festival. If feasible, position the chanukiah in a window to the left of the door.

The Greeks seized control of the old Jewish temple and attempted to smother the Jewish faith. Because of this, it is important to display the chanukiah and show your Judaism during the celebration. Place the chanukiah in a window to the left of the entrance if possible.

Arranging the Candles

On the 24th of Kislev, the Jewish calendar, Chanukah begins. Because the Jewish and Roman calendars differ, Chanukah begins on a different day every year on the Roman calendar. Gather your family or friends at dusk.

Pick a friend or family member to light the candles at sunset for all Jewish festivals. The celebration of Chanukah must include family and friends in the lighting of the candles. Judaism places a high value on passing on the miracle and customs to future generations.

As a result, attempt to involve others in the candle lighting! Insert the shamash into the chanukiah and light it. You should observe 9 candle spaces on your chanukiah, with eight on one level and one elevated above the others.

Consider inviting others into the candle-lit festivities! Insert the shamash in the chanukiah. Observe the chanukiah with nine candle spots, eight on the same level and one atop of the others.

One more candle is lit each night of Chanukah. On the first night of Chanukah, light a candle in the top right-hand corner. Add one candle each night after the first night of Chanukah, starting from the right and working your way left.

How Many Candles Are on a Menorah?

Hanukkah commemorates the ancient miracle of Judah Maccabee’s victory over persecution and restoration of Jerusalem’s Holy Temple. They needed to light an oil candelabra, known as a menorah in Hebrew, to commemorate the rededication of the Temple. They found only a small bit, enough for one night, yet it lasted for eight nights in a wonderful way. To honor the miracle of Hanukkah, we still burn Hanukkah candles on a menorah every year. The number of candles on the menorah and why they make wonderful Hanukkah gifts are discussed in the following paragraphs.

What do the candles of Hanukkah mean?

The miracle oil that was found in the Temple is symbolized by the Hanukkah candles that we light each year. Because the Maccabees had time to find more candles and properly rededicate the temple, we light candles for eight consecutive nights, with the amount of light gradually rising each night. A shamash (a “helper” candle) is also lit on this first night. There are nine nights in which the shamash is used to light two candles. Then there are three, then four, then five and so on. Since Hanukkah involves the lighting of candles, it’s known as the “holiday of lights.”

What is a Hanukkah menorah?

It’s a special type of candelabra designed specifically to hold the Hanukkah candles. According to Jewish law, it must have eight branches, all perfectly aligned at the same height in a straight line. The branches must be spaced enough apart so that the flame from one candle does not join with the flame from the others. The ninth branch, for the shamash, should be higher, lower, or off to the side.

This sort of candelabra is meant to hold the Hanukkah candles in place. Jewish law requires it to have eight branches in a straight line at the same height. A sufficient distance must be maintained between the branches in order to prevent the flames of one candle from joining those of the others. As for the ninth branch, it should be either higher or lower or shifted to the side.

How do you light a menorah?

Our custom is to light the first candle on Hanukkah night, which falls on the first of the eight days of the festival. A new candle is lit in its place, and a second candle is lit to its left on the second night. We do this every night, going from right to left with the candles.

We next ignite the shamash and recite a series of blessings after the candles have been put. When we’re done, we use the shamash to light the candles from left to right, starting with the newest. Once the sun sets, candles can be lighted and kept burning for at least 30 minutes.

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There are a total of 44 candles needed for the entire holiday, but most boxes—like these colorful, dripless candles from Ner Mitzvah—include at least one extra in case of breakage.

How many candles are on the menorah?

The menorah usually has nine candles. During Hanukkah, only menorahs with nine branches are used. Hanukkah menorahs may have been around for at least 250 years after the Maccabees’ victory, but no one knows for sure when the tradition began.

A seven-branched menorah was in use long before then. According to Rabbi Patz, “It was biblically [required] in Exodus, with an extensive detail.” According to this scripture, God gave Moses specific directions on how to make the menorah, including the kind of decorative flowers, bulbs, and goblets to use. For the Tabernacle (a mobile sanctuary) and later the Temple, the menorah was constructed in the desert so that high priest Aaron could light it daily. Six sorts of secular human wisdom are said to be symbolized by the branches, plus one to remind us of God’s importance, according to some scholars.

What blessings do you say when lighting the Hanukkah candles?

On the first night of Hanukkah, three blessings are recited, while only two blessings are recited on each of the other evenings. They should be spoken after the shamash has been lighted, but before the other candles have been lit as well.

It is acknowledged in the opening prayer that God has commanded us to ignite the Hanukkah candles. The second prays for our forefathers, thanking God for the miracles he has shown them. God has kept us alive and has brought us to this time, therefore we should thank him for that. After the candles have been lighted, some families repeat an additional prayer to remind themselves that the Hanukkah candles are precious.

In other words, Rabbi Patz states, “We are not permitted to make any other use of them.” The miracles and wonders that took place merit the lighting of these candles.”

Where do you place a menorah?

It is best to place a menorah in a window that is visible from the street once it has been lit up. “The Talmud says we are supposed to publicize the miracle,” says Rabbi Patz.

A menorah should be put in a window that can be seen from the street once it has been lit. Rabbi Patz adds that the Talmud mandates that we should announce the miracle.

Today, the custom endures, and many people take pleasure in lighting Hanukkah candles with their friends and neighbors.

Menorah (7 Branches) vs Chanukiah (9 Branches): What’s the Difference?

7 Branch Menorah

The original golden candelabra from the Jewish temple was the only Menorah that existed before Hanukkah Menorahs became popular.

Original Menorah featured seven branches: three on each side and one in the center. Olive oil was used to light each branch’s oil cup.

There are several major Jewish motifs that may be found in the Menorah.

  • Enlightenment is symbolized by the Menorah in Jewish tradition, which interprets its presence as a sign of spiritual illumination. Light from the middle branch radiates outwards to the other six branches, which represent human knowledge. In Judaism, light is frequently utilized as a metaphor for wisdom and the divine.
  • There are seven main branches to consider: Completion symbolizes the seven branches. There are numerous instances of the number seven in Judaism, including the 7-day creation, the holy Sabbath (which occurs on the 7th day of the week), the 7 days of mourning (Shiva), and more.
  • Purity of gold: The Menorah is fashioned entirely of the precious metal. In the same way that gold is a symbol of perfection, it emphasizes the significance of striving for character perfection and spreading our “light” to others.

To this day, the Menorah remains one of the most widely used Jewish symbols in the world. As a symbol of the Jewish people, it has been employed in a wide range of contexts over the years, from art and coins to synagogues and jewelry.

To this day, the Menorah remains one of the most widely used Jewish symbols in the world. As a symbol of the Jewish people, it has been employed in a wide range of contexts over the years, from art and coins to synagogues and jewelry.

The Menorah has remained one of the most popular Jewish symbols in the world to this day. While it has been utilized in many different disciplines, from art to coinage to synagogues and jewelry to logos—including the official emblem of Israel—it has been employed in many different contexts.

9 Branch Menorah (Chanukiah)

In celebration of Hanukkah, Jews light a nine-branched candelabra, known as a Hanukkah Menorah or Chanukiah (spelled with “Hanukkiah” or “Chanukkiyah”). The Menorah is comprised of 8 branches – one for each day of Hanukkah, plus another one for the Shamash – the “helper” candle. 7-Branch Menorah Candle Holder for Shabbat,Tabernacle, Home Decor Ornaments Table Centerpiece Display(Light Gold) : Home & Kitchen

In celebration of Hanukkah, Jews light a nine-branched candelabra, known as a Hanukkah Menorah or Chanukiah (spelled with “Hanukkiah” or “Chanukkiyah”). The Menorah is comprised of 8 branches – one for each day of Hanukkah, plus another one for the Shamash – the “helper” candle.

It is customary for Jews to light a nine-branched candelabra known as a Hanukkah Menorah or a Chanukiah (spelled “Hanukkiah” or “Chanukkiyah”) to celebrate Hanukkah’s eight days. There are eight branches in the Menorah – each representing a day of Hanukkah, as well as one for the “helper” candle, known as the Shamash.

Except in Israel, the majority of Jews still refer to the Chanukiah as “Menorah” notwithstanding the insertion of this term. And thus, the muddle continues!

In the Maccabean insurrection against Antiochus and Syria, the Jewish temple was saved by a miracle during the eight days of Hanukkah commemoration.

They utilized what little oil they had when they ultimately liberated Jerusalem and restored the Jewish temple under Judah Maccabee’s leadership. Although there was only enough oil to light the Menorah for one day, it miraculously burned for eight days…

That, my friends, was the beginning of Hanukkah! Since then, Jews all across the world have been lighting Hanukkah Menorahs!

Chanukiahs that are kosher must meet two conditions.

  1. To make it clear which day of Hanukkah we’re celebrating, the candles must be arranged in a straight line.
  2. Because it is not a Hanukkah candle, the Shamash must be set apart from the other eight candles in some way (either elevated, lowered, or placed at the end).

To your surprise, you’ll find that some modern Menorahs “fail” to meet even a single one of these standards. Make sure your Menorah accomplishes more than just look good if you wish to follow Hanukkah’s traditions. If you want to be on the safe side, stick with the traditional Hanukkah Menorah (pun not intended).

Differences Between 7 Branch & 9 Branch Menorah (Hanukkah Menorah)

Both the 7 branch Menorah from the Jewish Temple and the 9 branch Menorahs that we light at Hanukkah have noteworthy differences, aside from their number of branches.

Unlike the 7 Branch Menorah, you can light the Hanukkah Menorahusing either candles or oil.

Because it’s akin to how our ancestors lighted the golden Menorah, there’s a prevalent belief that oil Menorahs are better. That’s just a myth, plain and simple; it’s not true at all.

To make the candle lighting more realistic, you may use oil, but it doesn’t make it “better” to use candles than oil. You’re fulfilling the commandment of lighting the Hanukkah Menorah, regardless of which method you choose.

Unlike the 7 Branch Menorah, the Hanukkah Menorah can be made of any color and any material

To make the candle lighting more realistic, you may use oil, but it doesn’t make it “better” to use candles than oil. You’re fulfilling the commandment of lighting the Hanukkah Menorah, regardless of which method you choose.

While oil can be used to make the candle lighting experience more “genuine,” burning candles does not always make the experience “better.” Lighting the Hanukkah Menorah is a mitzvah regardless of the manner that you use.

As long as it’s safe to burn, it doesn’t matter if it’s made of silver or gold or crystal or glass, marble or Jerusalem stone, or even wood.

If you so desire, you may even invest in a gold (or brass) Menorah. And surprisingly, you can purchase one for a reasonable price (I was kidding earlier).

Unlike the 7 Branch Menorah, the Hanukkah Menorah is displayed publicly

Antiochus was able to take the golden Menorah because it was kept indoors and out of view (which, despite Antiochus’ best efforts, did not stop him from doing so).

Even though it’s difficult to light the Menorah indoors on a windy winter day, we don’t hide it from view. In fact, we place it near a window so that it may be seen by anybody who enters the room.

Thus, we are carrying out the directive of “Pirsum Hanes” (Hebrew for “making public the marvel”).

Unlike the 7 Branch Menorah, we light the Hanukkah Menorah at night

The golden Menorah was lit during the daytime at the Jewish temple. We begin lighting our Chanukiah as soon as the sun sets and continue to do so throughout the night (until the candles naturally blow out).

Every Chanukiah is a Menorah, but not every Menorah is a Chanukiah

As I indicated before, the term Chanukiah was coined as a way to avoid confusion when referring to the Menorah, a traditional Jewish holiday dish.

When it comes to Hanukkah, a Menorah can refer to any sort of Jewish lamp—including the 9-branched Chanukah.

Every Chanukiah, however, is not the same as every other Menorah.


A 7-candle menorah may be lit in three easy steps. The significance of this event cannot be overstated. That’s why you need to know how to do things like light a menorah.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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