— Birnbaum, Philip (1975). This symbolizes the light of the Bible that must be in our midst at all times. The Menorah is among the oldest and most revered symbols of Judaism. Many Jews believe olive oil, used for the biblical original, is the most authentic fuel for menorahs. Depending on when that date falls, Hanukkah is celebrated in late November or early December. The menorah has been a symbol of Judaism since ancient times and is the emblem on the coat of arms of the modern state of Israel. The menorah, a seven-branched candelabrum, is the oldest symbol of the Jewish religion, and a variation of it is used for the observance of Chanukah – the Festival of Lights. However most families use taper candles and holders to accommodate the shamash candle (the middle one that lights the others) so it stands highest. Often decorated with 12 tribes of Israel, it is the central piece in a traditional Jewish home, alongside Shabbat candlesticks, Kiddush cups, mezuzah and havdalah set. The Hanukkah menorah therefore has eight main branches, plus a ninth branch set apart as the shamash (servant) light which is used to kindle the other lights. It is a golden lamp, consisting of a trunk and six branches that diverge from it to the sides. The seven-branched menorah was originally found in the wilderness sanctuary and then later in the Temple in Jerusalem and was a popular motif of religious art in antiquity. Judas Maccabeus ordered construction of a new seven-branched candelabra, which he placed in the Temple after the desecration by Antiochus. Hanukkah is most visibly represented by the Hanukkah Menorah, a nine-branched candleholder whose candles are successively lit, one more each night, until all … Two main varieties exist: one with six or seven branches and one with nine branches. The word “menorah” is Hebrew for “lamp,” and generally refers to either the seven-branched golden candelabra that was lit every day in the Tabernacle, and then the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, or the eight-flamed lamp that is lit on the eight nights of the Jewish holiday of Chanukah. Some people also call it a candelabra or candelabrum. A Kentucky man was run over on Saturday during a Hanukkah celebration, according to police and CBS affiliate WKYT. [Hebrew mənôrâ; see nwr in Semitic roots.] This type of menorah is called a hanukiah in Modern Hebrew. The hanukkiah, along with the seven-branched menorah and the Star of David, is among the most widely produced articles of Jewish ceremonial art. According to the Talmud (the most important text of … Of course, I did not mention this at the time, not wanting to appear ungrateful for such a beautiful gift. The shamash – the "attendant" candle that is used to kindle the other lights – sits a bit higher or lower than the other candles, on the ninth branch of the menorah. The ninth one, called the Shamash (“helper” or “servant”), is used to light all the other candles or oil lamps. Documents relating to the Carolingian period speak of monumental bronze crucifixes and statues of the Virgin and of the saints, though the earliest surviving statues date…, …star of David and the menorah (candelabrum) in Judaism, and the cross in its various forms in Christianity.…. Hanukkah lamp from Brody, Galicia (now in Ukraine), 1787; in the Jewish Museum, New York City. Chanukah (also spelled Hanukah or Hannukah) is the Jewish festival of lights and feast of dedication, a joyous holiday that celebrates the miracle of one day's quantity of oil burning for eight days in the menorah in the Temple of Jerusalem. The Hanukkah menorah commemorates, but is distinct from, the seven-branched menorah used in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem.The hanukkiah, along with the seven-branched menorah and the Star of David, is among the most widely produced articles of Jewish ceremonial art. The menorah was originally built for use within the Jewish tabernacle constructed in the wilderness by the Israelites during the time of Moses. The Menorah and Hanukkah English speakers originally used the Hebrew borrowing menorah for the seven-branched candelabra used in Jewish worship since ancient times. 10 fun facts about the menorah will tell about the less-known facts about the menorah temple. The menorah was painstakingly crafted after years of extensive research by the Temple Institute's full time staff of researchers. The menorah which stands today in Jerusalem's old city Jewish Quarter, overlooking the Temple Mount, is the work of the Temple Institute. This idea is highlighted in the vision of the Prophet Zechariah who sees a menorah, and G-d explains: "Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit." This type of menorah is called a hanukiah in Modern Hebrew. It was created exclusively to be used in the new Holy Temple. Long before then, a menorah with seven branches was used. It is an eight branch candelabrum with a place for a ninth candle which is called the shammes. How many candles are on the menorah? During Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, Jews worldwide will light the chanukiah , a modern-Hebrew word describing the candelabrum with nine branches that resembles a menorah and is used on this festival. Menorah, also spelled menora, multibranched candelabra, used in the religious rituals of Judaism, that has been an important symbol in both ancient and modern Israel. Omissions? This article was most recently revised and updated by. The evolution of the menorah itself. The Temple of Solomon, according to the book of Kings, had 10 golden candelabras, 5 on each side of the entrance to the inner sanctuary. The Menorah light is a free-standing translucent pylon light and the Star of David is translated into two hanging lamps constructed like Japanese lanterns of white parchment. The use of objects ornamented with dragons is explicitly forbidden by Jewish law (See Mishnah Avodah Zarah 3:3). Menorah is one of the main and most ancient Jewish religious symbols. The Menorah as the Symbol of the State of Israel The symbol of the State of Israel is a Menorah, flanked on each side by an olive branch. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The menorah is described in the bible as the seven lamp (six branches) ancient hebrew lampstand, it contained pure gold and used in the portable sanctuary set up by Moses in the wilderness and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. Menorah lighting is done on the first night of Hanukkah. On each night of Hanukkah we light new candle or wick. A nine-branched candelabrum used in celebrating Hanukkah. The menorah is made of six candles and a shamash (in this case, a candle that is use to light the other candles) which is a different height than that of the other six. One candle is lit on the first evening, and an additional candle is lit on each subsequent evening until eight candles are burning on the last evening. Lighting Hanukkah menorah . It has been said that the menorah is a symbol of the nation of Israel and its mission to be "a light unto the nations." Rabbi Yisroel Kahan, a leader in Monsey and a member of the Rockland County Human Rights Commission, posted a photo of the shattered table and the menorah stand to Twitter. A Kosher Hanukah menorah is when 8 candle holders are in one line with a ninth Shamash, out of placed in height or position on the 9 branched menorah. The Hanukkah menorah commemorates, but is distinct from, the seven-branched menorah used in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. Every tiny detail has been considered to perfection. (Isaiah 42:6). The menorah is the 7 branch candelabra that stood in the Temple. The menorah disappeared after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 ce; according to Josephus, the menorah was displayed during the Roman triumphal march, but the menorah displayed on the Arch of Titus is no longer thought to be the Temple candelabra. “It was biblically [mandated] in Exodus, with an elaborate description,” says Rabbi Patz. Though the shamash's primary function has been served once the candles have been lit, we don't extinguish the shamash. After the Temples were destroyed, a tradition developed not to duplicate anything from the Temple and therefore menorah's no longer had seven branches. Today, it is the emblem on Israel’s coat of arms. Becoming not only Judaism’s oldest symbol, but also the Western world’s oldest continuously used religious symbol, the menorah once stood in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem. The menorah in the First and Second Temples had seven branches. During the early modern period the menorah as symbol gave way to the Star of David, but in the 19th century it was adopted as the symbol of the Zionists. Wick holders are made from brass or glass; a pitcher pours oil; scissors snip wicks. The original Menorah (see Exodus 25) was made for the Tabernacle. Menorah, also spelled menora, multibranched candelabra, used in the religious rituals of Judaism, that has been an important symbol in both ancient and modern Israel. The earliest Hanukkah menorahs were lamps of clay or stone, with an opening on top to pour in olive oil, and a small spout in the front for a wick. The Menorah is a candelabra with eight candles, and an additional single one set apart that is used for lighting the others. Hanukkah menorah, New York, 1919; in the Jewish Museum, New York City. The first appearance of menorah in history is associated with the wanderings of the Jewish people in the desert. Fresh and pure olive oil was used to light it daily. The Talmud (Menahot 28b) states that it is prohibited to use a seven-branched menorah outside of the Temple. It is the oldest continuously used religious symbol in Western civilization. Although candles can be used to light the hanukkiah, oil containers are preferred, to imitate the original Menorah. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The Hebrew word for menorah is Hanukiyah. Corrections? (Isaiah 42:6). An eight-branched menorah modeled after the Temple menorah is used by Jews in rites during the eight-day festival of Hanukkah. It was forged by the craftsman Bezalel and put in the Tabernacle, and its cups in the shape of flower blossoms suggested the tree of life. The menorah which stands today in Jerusalem's old city Jewish Quarter, overlooking the Temple Mount, is the work of the Temple Institute. The menorah, a seven-branched candelabrum, is the oldest symbol of the Jewish religion, and a variation of it is used for the observance of Chanukah – the Festival of Lights. Menorah lighting is done on the first night of Hanukkah. How many days is Hanukkah celebrated? Tall and beautiful, 7 branched or 9 branched, the Menorah, has been a Jewish symbol and part of Jewish traditions for centuries. The Menorah - YHWH Himself designed it! The menorah is used during the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah. (JTA) — A Chabad center in Lexington, Kentucky, will see increased police presence for the rest of Hanukkah after an assault during one of the community’s public menorah lightings. It has been said that the Menorah is a symbol of the nation of Israel and its mission to be “a light unto the nations” (Isaiah 42:6). The hanukkiyah is used during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah and commemorates the miracle of the oil lasting for much longer than it … More evidence for Rabbi Herzog that the Menorah on the Arch of Titus is … The menorah is first mentioned in the biblical book of Exodus (25:31–40), according to which the design of the lamp was revealed to Moses by God on Mount Sinai. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. This menorah was made of pure gold and lit with consecrated fresh olive oil, as per the mandates of God. The first menorah had seven branches. Updates? It is described in the Bible as the seven-branched ancient "lampstand" made and used in the portable sanctuary set up by Moses in the wilderness and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple Menorah refers to the original seven-lamp, six-branch menorah, which was made for the Tabernacle and later used in the Temple of Jerusalem. Menorah definition, a candelabrum having seven branches (as used in the Biblical tabernacle or the Temple in Jerusalem), or any number of branches (as used in modern synagogues). Though the shamash's primary function has been served once the candles have been lit, we don't extinguish the shamash. …Hanukkah lamp, or candelabra (menorah), which recalls the Temple lampstand, is kindled each evening. A menorah is an ancient type of lampstand originally described in the Bible as the golden lampstand Moses used in a portable sanctuary in the wilderness and, eventually, in the Temple in Jerusalem. The menorah also symbolizes the creation in seven days, with the center light representing the Sabbath. This Menorah used fresh olive oil to light its lamps. Becoming not only Judaism’s oldest symbol, but also the Western world’s oldest continuously used religious symbol, the menorah once stood in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem. Many Jews have a tradition to use a beeswax candle for the shamash.. Hanukkah is celebrated each year on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev. The nine-branched menorah used on Chanukah is commonly patterned after this menorah, because Chanukkah commemorates the miracle that a day's worth of oil for this menorah lasted eight days. These menorahs, made of metal, had an ornate back wall (to affix the menorah to a wall), and a narrow tray on the bottom, with eight dimples for oil. Photo by Bob Rosenberg licensed CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 . The menorah was painstakingly crafted after years of extensive research by the Temple Institute's full time staff of researchers. See more. Menorah is the Hebrew word for lamp, and specifically refers to the seven-branched candelabrum that was used in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. The seven-branched candelabra depicted on the Arch of Titus became the official emblem of the state of Israel in the 20th century. The Hanukkah menorah therefore has eight main branches, plus a ninth branch set apart as the shamash (servant) light which is used to kindle the other lights. In Jewish tradition, the menorah is reminiscent of the Tree of Life from the creation story. The sages emphasize that light is not a violent force; Israel is to accomplish its mission by setting an example, not by using force. Sources: Judaism 101; The Jewish Book of Why, Download our mobile app for on-the-go access to the Jewish Virtual Library, Zechariah 4:1-6, Exodus 25:31-40, © 1998 - 2020 American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. It refers to the seven-lamp golden candelabrum that was used in the portable Temple (Mishkan) that was set up in the wilderness by Moses. rah (mə-nôr′ə) n. Judaism 1. The menorah—“lamp stand” in Hebrew—has been the pre-eminent symbol of Jews and Judaism for millennia. The seven branch candelabra is a menorah which was used in the holy temple. It was carried in the wilderness by the Israelites until they crossed the Jordan River. (Zechariah 4:1-6). On each of the holiday’s eight nights, another candle is added to the menorah after sundown; the ninth candle, called the shamash (“helper”), is used to light the others. The directions for its construction came directly from God to Moses. This type of menorah holds a symbolic meaning as well. A channukiah is the 9 branch candelabra used during the holiday of Channukah. It was created exclusively to be used in the new Holy Temple. A Book of Jewish Concepts. The lamp stand in today's synagogues, called the ner tamid (lit. Menorahs with branches for nine candles are used exclusively for Hanukkah. According to the Talmud (, …50 monumental seven-branched candlesticks (menorah) in various churches in Germany, England, France, Bohemia, and Italy, though only a few of these have survived. The Menorah – the candelabra – that the Jewish people light every Chanukah is connected to the Menorah that the Priests lit in the Temple every day. Ner Tamid, symbolizing the Menorah stands in the modern-day synagogues. While it’s not exactly a typical choice for jewelry, it does make for an intriguing design when used in pendants. The Menorah is among the most widely produced articles of Jewish Ceremonial art. However most families use taper candles and holders to accommodate the shamash candle (the middle one that lights the others) so it stands highest. 2. often Menorah A ceremonial seven-branched candelabrum of the Jewish Temple symbolizing the seven days of the Creation. The menorah is perhaps the most recognizable symbol of Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival of lights that began at sundown on Thursday, Dec. 10, and continues through Friday, Dec. 18. This ninth candle is used to light the other eight candles. the continual lamp; usually translated as the eternal flame), symbolizes the menorah. The shamash – the "attendant" candle that is used to kindle the other lights – sits a bit higher or lower than the other candles, on the ninth branch of the menorah. One of the oldest symbols of the Jewish faith is the menorah, a seven-branched candelabrum used in the Temple. Modern replicas are also called a menorah. What is a menorah? Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Hanukkah menorah, silver with enamel medallions, by Johann Adam Boller, early 18th century. It is a symbol of the Hanukkah miracle, oil burning miracle that lasted for eight days instead of one. The Temple Menorah was typically lit inside the temple, during the daytime. Adam and Eve were banished from it, and Revelation 22 tells us … In the Bible, God commands us to always keep the fire lit – 24 hours a day. This symbolizes the light of the Bible that must be in our midst at all times. It is lit on the eight nights of Channukah, one more candle each night, to commemorate the victory of the Jews over the Greek Syrians, and the rededication of the Temple. The menorah is perhaps the most recognizable symbol of Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival of lights that began at sundown on Thursday, Dec. 10, and continues through Friday, Dec. 18. The menorah is the 7 branch candelabra that stood in the Temple. The illustration feautred on this page is based on instructions for construction of the menorah found in Exodus 25:31-40. Originally, the menorah was described as a seven-lamp lampstand fashioned of gold and included as part of the Tabernacle erected by the Israelites during their wanderings to … Uses of the Menorah Symbol The symbol of the menorah is sometimes used in decorative items and jewelry. Representations of the menorah decorated tombs and the walls and floors of the synagogues. The lamp has taken many forms through the ages, but its essential feature has been eight receptacles for oil or candles and a holder for the shammash (“servant”) light, which is used for kindling the other lights. The menorah is also ideal when crafted into small charms, as a way to express one’s religious ideals and Jewish identity. It must never go out. The seven-branched menorah was originally found in the wilderness sanctuary and then later in the Temple in Jerusalem and was a popular motif of religious art in antiquity. The directions for its construction came directly from God to Moses. 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