what is the menorah used for

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. This type of menorah holds a symbolic meaning as well. The seven branch candelabra is a menorah which was used in the holy temple. The menorah ("lamp" in modern Hebrew) is the nine-branched candelabra used during the celebration of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. 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. The nine-branched variety is used only in relation to the Hanukkah (or Chanukah) celebration and is often referred to as a hanukiah (or chanukkiah). (Zechariah 4:1-6). Menorah is the Hebrew word for lamp, and specifically refers to the seven-branched candelabrum that was used in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. Photo by Bob Rosenberg licensed CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 . However most families use taper candles and holders to accommodate the shamash candle (the middle one that lights the others) so it stands highest. The menorah which stands today in Jerusalem's old city Jewish Quarter, overlooking the Temple Mount, is the work of the Temple Institute. 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. 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. Scripture makes no mention of the Menorah during the time of the traveling of the Ark of the Covenant or in Solomon’s Temple. 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. Representations of the menorah decorated tombs and the walls and floors of the synagogues. 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. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Many Jews believe olive oil, used for the biblical original, is the most authentic fuel for menorahs. This symbolizes the light of the Bible that must be in our midst at all times. It is the oldest continuously used religious symbol in Western civilization. The Hebrew word for menorah is Hanukiyah. Ner Tamid, symbolizing the Menorah stands in the modern-day synagogues. In Jewish tradition, the menorah is reminiscent of the Tree of Life from the creation story. Many Jews have a tradition to use a beeswax candle for the shamash.. 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. Of course, I did not mention this at the time, not wanting to appear ungrateful for such a beautiful gift. 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). 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. rah (mə-nôr′ə) n. Judaism 1. Tall and beautiful, 7 branched or 9 branched, the Menorah, has been a Jewish symbol and part of Jewish traditions for centuries. On each night of Hanukkah we light new candle or wick. …Hanukkah lamp, or candelabra (menorah), which recalls the Temple lampstand, is kindled each evening. The menorah is also ideal when crafted into small charms, as a way to express one’s religious ideals and Jewish identity. 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. The light of the Menorah symbolizes an eternal flame. The first appearance of menorah in history is associated with the wanderings of the Jewish people in the desert. Wick holders are made from brass or glass; a pitcher pours oil; scissors snip wicks. A channukiah is the 9 branch candelabra used during the holiday of Channukah. 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. This article was most recently revised and updated by. Menorah lighting is done on the first night of Hanukkah. 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 menorah—“lamp stand” in Hebrew—has been the pre-eminent symbol of Jews and Judaism for millennia. 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. Though we understand why we light menorahs for Hanukkah, no one can … What is Menorah? While it’s not exactly a typical choice for jewelry, it does make for an intriguing design when used in pendants. Modern replicas are also called a menorah. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. The hanukkiah, along with the seven-branched menorah and the Star of David, is among the most widely produced articles of Jewish ceremonial art. 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. 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. 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). See more. 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 also symbolizes the creation in seven days, with the center light representing the Sabbath. 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. 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). This Menorah used fresh olive oil to light its lamps. But I realized that it was missing a crucial element, the Shamash, which is the ninth branch of the menorah, which is used to hold the candle that lights all the others. Uses of the Menorah Symbol The symbol of the menorah is sometimes used in decorative items and jewelry. Hanukkah is celebrated each year on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). 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. 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. This ninth candle is used to light the other eight candles. 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. A hanukkiyah is nevertheless a kind of menorah. The Second Temple, built after the Jews returned from exile in Babylon, contained one menorah that was seized in 169 bce by Antiochus IV Epiphanes when he desecrated the Temple. The menorah ("lamp" in modern Hebrew) is the nine-branched candelabra used during the celebration of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. 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. (Isaiah 42:6). — Birnbaum, Philip (1975). Two main varieties exist: one with six or seven branches and one with nine branches. Long before then, a menorah with seven branches was used. One of the oldest symbols of the Jewish faith is the menorah, a seven-branched candelabrum used in the Temple. Thus, a hanukkiah, or Hanukkah menorah, is a type of menorah; every hanukkiah is a menorah, but not every menorah is a hanukkiah. This type of menorah is called a hanukiah in Modern Hebrew. The menorah is used during the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah. According to the Talmud (the most important text of … The Menorah and Hanukkah English speakers originally used the Hebrew borrowing menorah for the seven-branched candelabra used in Jewish worship since ancient times. How many candles are on the menorah? According to the Mosaic Law, the menorah was lit every evening and cleaned every morning (Exodus 27:20-21). It was created exclusively to be used in the new Holy Temple. 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. It must never go out. 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.…. 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