The menorah is the central symbol of Hanukkah. It is an important part of the celebration as it represents the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days, allowing the Maccabees to rededicate the Second Temple. Here’s how to use the menorah to celebrate this Jewish holiday.
Steps to Set Up the Menorah
- Place the menorah in an area where it can be visible
- Fill the glass jars or cups with pure olive oil
- Place a wick in each container that was filled with olive oil
- In the center of the two side branches is a 9th holder for a special light called the shamash (servant)
- Designate where the Western direction is and place the menorah so that all the lights are facing that direction
- Light the menorah on the first night of Hanukkah. On the first night, kindle the shamash and use it to light the the first candle on the right side (or the left side as seen from the Western direction)
- Say the blessings over the candles and recite names of God
- Place the shamash down after you light the candles. Do not extinguish the shamash
- On each following night, light a new candle from left to right and don’t forget to say the blessings
- On the eighth night, all of the candles should be lit
Caring for Your Menorah
You should take care of your menorah when it’s not in use. Store it in a safe place, and it’s best to store it in a container that will keep out excess air and humidity; this will help protect the menorah from aging.
The menorah is a powerful symbol of Hanukkah, and it is a privilege to use it for the festival. Through the eight lights of the menorah, we celebrate the miracle of the oil and commemorate the Maccabees’ rededication of the Second Temple. With the steps outlined above, you can properly use your menorah and bring joy and meaning to your Hanukkah celebration.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.