• The menorah, a seven-branched candelabrum, is one of the oldest symbols of the Jewish faith. It has been said that the menorah is a symbol of the nation of Israel and our mission to be "a light unto the nations." (Isaiah 42:6). The sages emphasize that light is not a violent force; Israel is to accomplish its mission by setting an example, not by using force. This idea is highlighted in the vision in Zechariah 4:1-6. Zechariah sees a menorah, and G-d explains: "Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit." The lamp stand in today's synagogues, called the ner tamid (lit. the continual lamp; usually translated as the eternal flame), symbolizes the menorah. The nine-branched menorah used on Chanukah is commonly patterned after this menorah, because Chanukah commemorates the miracle that a day's worth of oil for this menorah lasted eight days. The menorah in the First and Second Temples had seven branches. After the Temples were destroyed, a tradition developed not to duplicate anything from the Temple and therefore menorah's no longer had seven branches. The use of six-branched menoras became popular, but, in modern times, some rabbis have gone back to the seven-branched menoras, arguing that they are not the same as those used in the Temple because today's are electrified.
  • Menorah - A "nine-branched candelabrum" used during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. The center candle, or “starter,” is used to light the other eight candles, with one additional candle lit on each subsequent evening of the celebration. A candelabrum - usually refers to the nine-branched candelabrum used to hold the Chanukkah candles. It can also refer to the seven-branched candelabrum used in the Temple. Menorah - Ceremonial "seven-branched candelabrum" of the Jewish Temple symbolizing the seven days of the Creation.
  • The Hanukkah menorah, or "Hannukkaia" symbolizes the miracle after the Temple was destroyed and there was only enough oil to last one day. However, it lasted eight days. So the eight-branched candalabrum represents each of the eight days, with the starter candle or "shamas" used to light the others. Starting on the right side of the menorah, one candle is lit each night until the eighth day when all are lit.
  • Menorah is also the Hebrew word for lamp. Chanukeeya is the Hebrew word for what we call a menorah

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