Updated at: 06-09-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

Lighting a nine-branched menorah is the fundamental ceremony of Hanukkah. Hanukkah’s candle holder is known as… A menorah is a term that is incorrectly used by the majority of people, including many Jews.

Hanukkiah or Hanukkah menorah is the correct term for the candleholder. The ancient Jewish temple in Jerusalem relied on a seven-candle menorah to provide illumination. It is today a symbol of Judaism and of Israel.

Hanukkah: What You Need to Know

A Hanukkiah, on the other hand, has nine candlesticks in all. Additional candles can be used to ignite the other candles on Hanukkah. Jewish tradition dictates that a Hanukkiah must have nine candlesticks, nine of equal height, with the ninth being higher than the others.

8 Things You Should Know About Hanukkah - HISTORY

The Hannukiah was formerly lit with olive oil, which was eventually replaced with candles. Each night, these are inserted from the right to the left, but are lit from the left to the right. It’s been the biggest Hanukkah in the world since 1998.

a 32-foot steel sculpture with a golden patina For the Festival of Lights, it was on display in Central Park. So, what’s the proper name for the Hanukkah candle holder?

What Is The Candle Holder For Hanukkah Called

The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, is a significant one. To mark the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem, the holiday is celebrated. During Hanukkah, a menorah, a candelabrum with nine branches, will be lit each night with a single candle. The Menorah is the solution to the question of what is the Hanukkah candle holder named.

The menorah has one branch that is higher than the rest, and it is this candle that lights the other eight. Those who celebrate Hanukkah consider the menorah lighting to be their favorite part of the celebration. It is the shamash, or the central candle, that serves as a source of light for all the other votives.

A new candle is lit by the shamash each night, culminating in a spectacular display of light on the final night of Hanukkah. The menorah should be lit every night when the stars appear. It must be done in full view of the entire household in order for everyone to see the miracle.

The menorah must be lit 30 minutes before you can consume anything intoxicating or eat a “set” meal. The menorah should be lit and the evening prayers recited as soon as the stars begin to appear. Turn on the lights and leave them on for at least 30 minutes before leaving.

Depending on how high or low you place it, the shamash is required to be kosher. The seven-branched menorah, together with the star of David, is one of the most recognizable traditional Jewish symbols.

Hanukkah menorah lightings are commonly attended by elected officials. Hanukkah begins every year on the 25th of Kislev, which, according to the Hebrew calendar, can occur anywhere between the end of November and the end of December.

In addition to Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication and the Festival of Lights, other names for Hanukkah include these. Dedication is a Hebrew verb, and Hanukkah is derived from it. The Hebrew word for the festival is Hanukkah, which is often spelled Chanukah or Hannukah by many people who don’t speak Hebrew. Instead of a specific spelling, it is converted to corresponding English sounds, hence there is no right or wrong way to spell it.

Hanukkah has always been pronounced with a ‘het’ sound and spelled the same way in Hebrew. The sound is similar to that of a Scottish loch. Hanukkah begins on the 25th of Kislev, which is thought to be the date when the Jewish people ceased their battle for Jerusalem.

It’s a hanukkiah, a menorah used for Hanukkah celebrations. For the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, they use a nine-branched candelabrum that they light up. To commemorate the eight nights of the festival, eight bear lights (candles or oil lamps) are placed on each of the branches.

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

From the first night to the last, one more light is added to the tree’s eight limbs. The ninth branch is where you’ll find the shamash candle. A “servant” or “assistant” is what this candle is meant to be.

The Hanukkah menorah resembles, but is not identical to, the seven-branched menorah found in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus Christ. Along with the seven-branched menorah and the Star of David, it is one of the most widely produced works of Jewish ceremonial art. The hanukkiah is frequently shown in public during the Hanukkah season in December.

Public lighting of the hanukkiah is a common occurrence for elected politicians. The public lighting ceremonies of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement are well-known. It’s been going on since Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the last Rebbe, ordered it in 1987.

The history of public hanukkiah exhibitions in the United States is examined by Rabbi Joshua Plaut, Ph.D. When it comes to this topic, he details court cases in his book, A Kosher Christmas: It’s a Wonderful Time to Be Jewish! It tells the story of how the Hanukkiah became a favorite pastime for US presidents during Hanukkah.

8 Things You Should Know About Hanukkah

1. What does Hanukkah celebrate?

This holiday honors the Maccabees’ victory over their Greek-Syrian enslavers in the second century B.C.E., who had desecrated the temple by constructing an altar to Zeus and sacrificing pigs within its sacred walls. Hanukkah is a celebration of this victory. The Maccabees had to light a menorah within the temple at all times in order to rededicate it. Only a day’s worth of pure olive oil was on hand, however. The oil miraculously lasted for eight days, giving us enough time to locate a new source.

2. Menorah or hanukkiyah?

Menorah, the Hebrew word for lamp, is made up of seven separate branches. Used at the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, it was initially made of wood. Olive oil of the highest quality was used to light the menorahs every day. When lighting the Hanukkah candles (instead of oil, as was customary in ancient times), one uses a hanukkiyah menorah. To celebrate the miracle of oil lasting eight days, it has nine branches. Despite these distinctions, menorahs are still often used to refer to hanukkiyahs.

3. How to light the Menorah.

For the most part, though, you only need to know which way is left and right in order to follow the instructions for lighting a menorah. It is customary to light the menorah with a shamash (Hebrew for “assistant”) before lighting the other eighteen candles in honor of the nine nights of the Festival of Lights. To avoid being mistaken for the other candles, the shamash is usually placed higher or lower than the rest. The menorah’s candles are lit from right to left, in accordance with the traditional Hebrew reading order. As a result, when lighting the menorah you travel back and forth from left to right, using the shamash. Confusing? Do the best you can.

Candles are required for how many events. Each night, a fresh candle and a shamash are lit in the menorah, and the entire menorah is consumed. But don’t worry; if you buy a box, there will be 44 in it.

4. There is a height limit for menorahs.

A 32-foot-tall menorah is the maximum height allowed for a menorah. Two menorahs compete for height in New York City. One is located in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza and boasts a shamash that is six inches higher than its Manhattan counterpart at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street.

5. The traditional use of oil even applies to the holiday’s foods.

It’s not just the lighting of the menorah that marks the miracle of the oil lasting for eight days, but also the traditional dishes that are eaten. Deep-frying is used to prepare two of the most popular Jewish foods: latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot. Even while these items are delicious, it is the oil used to cook them that has become an essential part of most Hanukkah festivities.

6. Dreidel, dreidel, what?

When the Greek-Syrian soldiers of King Antiochus IV Epiphanes issued a series of laws prohibiting various Jewish religious rituals, the use of four-sided spinning tops known as dreidels was utilized as a form of deception. Moving their Torah lessons underground and pretending to play games with dreidels was all the Jewish people needed to deceive soldiers. Since then, the dreidel has been brought back to life as a festive Hanukkah game including chocolate coins known as gelt. Different Hebrew letters on each side of a dreidel instruct the player how much to add or remove from a pot. As “Nes Gadol Hayah Sham” is an acronym formed by these four letters, the phrase refers to the eight-day oil miracle that occurred in Israel.

7. Why is Hanukkah celebrated on different dates?

Even though Hanukkah does not always fall on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar, it is always celebrated on this day. It is possible that the first day of Hanukkah will fall in November or even later in December, which implies that Hanukkah may coincide with other major holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. We last had a Thanksgivingkukkah celebration in 2013. In 2005, Christmas and Hanukkah held simultaneous celebrations, and this will happen again in 2024. Many Jews and their non-Jewish acquaintances have to Google Hanukkah’s start date every year because of a calendar discrepancy.

8. How do you spell Hanukkah anyway?

Hanukkah can be spelled in a variety of ways. Transliteration is to blame if you’re perplexed. Because of the difference between a character-based Hebrew language and an alphabet-based English language, there are a variety of spellings of the word. Many spelling variations arose as a result of the lack of exact English counterparts for Hebrew sounds: Hanukkah, Chanukah, Hanukah, Hannukah, Chanukkah. The sound of English words is unaffected by the differing spellings. So, if you’re composing a Happy Hanukkah, don’t be afraid to include your favorite song as inspiration.

Hanukkah celebrations would be incomplete without the menorah. Become familiar with the menorah, including the number of candles it holds and other interesting tidbits.

Celebrates an ancient miracle that occurred when Judah Maccabie and his band of warriors recovered the Holy Temple in Jerusalem from the Romans. They needed to light an oil candelabra, known as a menorah in Hebrew, to commemorate the rededication of the Temple. For eight nights, they had only a small amount, enough for one night’s use, but it burned. To honor the miracle of Hanukkah, we still burn Hanukkah candles on a menorah every year. Read on to discover more about the menorah’s candles (such as how many there are and why they make good Hanukkah gifts).

The Hanukkah Blessing: Traditional Hanukkah Prayers Over Menorah

What do the candles of Hanukkah mean?

On Hanukkah, we light lights in memory of the miracle oil that was discovered in the Temple. 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. All nine candles are lit on the eighth night after we use a shamash to light two at a time for the first seven nights. Because of this, Hanukkah is commonly referred to as the “Festival of Lights.”

What is a Hanukkah menorah?

The Hanukkah candles are held in place by a special sort of candelabra. It is required by Jewish law to have eight branches, all of the same height, arranged in a straight line from top to bottom. There must be enough distance between the branches to ensure that the flames from each candle do not mix. Shamash should be placed either higher or lower or off to the side of the other branches in order for it to function properly.

The phrase “hanukkiah” refers to a Hanukkah menorah, but the term has only recently acquired popularity. Temple Sholom of West Essex in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, and Temple Beth Shalom’s visiting rabbi in San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Rabbi Norman Patz says the term’s rising use is likely due to a rebirth in spoken Hebrew among Jews worldwide in the twentieth century.

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. Second night, a new candle is put in place of the one that was there the first night, as well as a second one just next to it. Every night, we place candles from the right to the left.

Afterward, we light the shamash and begin to say a number of blessings. Using the shamash, we then light the night’s candles from left to right, so that the newest one is always lit first. It’s okay to start lighting candles as soon as dusk falls, but they should be left burning for at least 30 minutes.

Even while most boxes of candles—such as Ner Mitzvah’s colorful, dripless candles—include at least one additional candle in case of breakage throughout the holiday, it is still necessary to have a total of 44 candles.

How many candles are on the menorah?

On the menorah, there are usually nine candles. Hanukkah is the only time when nine-branched menorahs are lit. 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.

For a long time prior to that, a menorah with seven limbs was the only option available. According to Rabbi Patz, “It was biblically [required] in Exodus, with an extensive detail.” For the menorah, God provided Moses with detailed instructions on how to decorate it with beautiful flowers, bulbs and goblets. For Aaron, the high priest, the menorah was built in the desert so that he might light it every day in the Tabernacle (a portable sanctuary) and afterwards in the Temple. Some experts believe that the branches represented six sorts of secular human wisdom, plus one to remind us of God’s importance.

What blessings do you say when lighting the Hanukkah candles?

Hanukkah begins with three blessings recited, but only two blessings are recited on each of the following eight nights. After the shamash has been lit but before the other candles have been lit, they should be said.

Hanukkah lights have been mandated by God, and this first prayer acknowledges this fact. The second prays for our forefathers, thanking God for the miracles he has shown them. Thanking God for keeping us alive and bringing us to this time of year is the third psalm. After the candles have been lighted, some families offer an additional prayer to remind us that the Hanukkah candles are sacred.

No other uses, such as reading or illumination, can be made of the lamps, Rabbi Patz explains. Due to the miracles and wonders that took place, “we light these candles”.

Where do you place a menorah?

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 announce the miracle.

He adds that ancient rabbis may have elected to make the miracle of the oil the focus of the holiday, and not the wartime victory of driving the Seleucid Greeks out of Jerusalem and the Temple, based on the sheer need for survival. As soon as the Greeks were overthrown by the Romans, the Romans destroyed any hints of rebellion. He speculates that Jews may have changed the focus from the oil miracle to a festival that highlighted a triumph over the monarch because it was unseemly for them to celebrate such a holiday.