What You Need to Know about Hanukkah And The Hanukkah Menorahs

The Hanukkah Menorahs

Hanukkah is a popular holiday though it’s challenging to find literature in ancient Jewish text. The Old Testament fails to mention the holiday, but it does all of the others. Those events that took place up to Hanukkah occurred after the compilation of the Hebrew Bible, though. So, what is the tradition of Hanukkah and The Hanukkah Menorahs?

Insight Into Hanukkah And The Hanukkah or the Hanukkah Menorahs

The main ritual occurring on the holiday is the lighting of a candelabrum consisting of nine branches. Many people are of the misperception this is a “menorah,” but the accurate reference for the holder is “Hanukkiyah” or “Hanukkah menorah.”

A hanukkah menorahs will hold only seven branches and was used in the ancient Jerusalem holy temple. It now represents an emblem for Israel and symbolizes Judaism. Again, the “Hanukkah menorah” will carry nine branches (check out the menorahs by Aisenthal Judaica here), eight of which represent each night of Hanukkah and one that is used for lighting the others.

Stringent Jewish law indicates a “Hanukkiyah” will hold eight candles of equal height, and the ninth branch will sit at an elevated height. Tradition dictated that olive oil be used for lighting, but this was ultimately replaced with candles incrementally inserted right to left but lit left to right each night. Some things to know about the holiday and the candelabrum:

  • Celebration of the holiday

The holiday celebrates the Second Temple of Jerusalem’s rededication in the second century BC following the Maccabees’ triumph over their Greek/Syrian oppressors. These defilers to the temple sacrificed pigs to an altar they had erected to Zeus inside the sacred walls. 

See also  List of Faith Based Movies Released in 2019

The Maccabees wanted the temple rededicated and did so by lighting a “Hanukkiyah” that they intended to burn inside the walls at all times. The people only had sufficient olive oil (so they believed) that would burn for just one day. 

Miraculously, however, they found that their oil withstood an eight-day span allowing them enough time to replenish their supply. 

  • How to light the Hanukkiyah

You will find a specific set of rules for lighting the Hanukkah menorah, with most of them relating to following a left to right or right to left pattern. The Hanukkiyah has nine branches, eight of which will represent a night for the Festival of lights and one which is the “shamash” or attendant/helper. 

The shamash is the first to be lit and will then be used to light the remaining eight. It holds an elevated position above the other candles to avoid confusion as to its “job.” 

The candles go right to left into the candelabrum. That is the same way that Hebrew reads. However, when these are lit, you will move the opposite way with the shamash lighting each candle from left to right.

The requirement is that you have a total of 44 candles since there is a new candle placed each night and a new shamash. These will burn completely. A box comes with the 44 candles you need. The Hanukkah menorah has a height limit of no greater than 32 feet. You can find massive examples in New York City. Go here for guidance on how the Hanukkah menorah works.

  • Is Hanukkah celebrated on different dates

It might seem unusual to find the holiday celebrated on the same day; the Hebrew calendar will show Hanukkah will always be “the 25th day of the month of Kislev.” Suggestions indicate that the initial date for the holiday can be as soon as November or come as far as the last of December, meaning there is the potential for it to overlap with either the Thanksgiving holiday or Christmas.

See also  Things you must know about Easter

Because of the calendar differences, Jewish individuals and gentile friends are forced to check with search engines to learn when the holiday will start each year.

Final Thought

Did you know that you can select the spelling that you like the best? The word was originally written in the character-based Hebrew language with varied interpretations when translated into English, of course, alphabet-based. 

Because English lacks exact equivalents to the sounds in Hebrew, there came to be varied spellings, as you can see here: Hanukkah, Chanukkah, Hanukkah, Hanukkah, Chanukah. These different spellings in no way affect how the English pronounce the word so when writing the term, select your preference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *