Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that is celebrated for eight days during late November or December. During Hanukkah, Jews light one candle on the menorah each night while singing prayers and songs. The eight-day celebration is marked by the lighting of the menorah candles which are used to commemorate the miracle that happened many years ago. But what do the candles in Hanukkah represent?
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The Nine Candles Of The Menorah
The ninth candle is called the shamash. The shamash is the servant candle, used to light all the other candles. It is positioned above or below the other eight candles, or in a separate candle holder. This represents the special role of the shamash in the menorah. Each night of Hanukkah, the shamash is lit first, and then used to light one of the other eight candles.
The Unity of The Eight Candles
The eight candles on the menorah signify the unity of the Jewish people. The tradition of lighting the candles on Hanukkah reminds us of a miracle that happened in Jerusalem over two thousand years ago. The Maccabees were a small band of Jewish warriors who overcame their enemies and liberated the people of Israel.
The Miracle Of Oil
In ancient times, the menorah in the Temple was lighted every night. Before the last day of Chanukah, the Maccabees found a small cruse of oil that lasted for eight nights. This extraordinary miracle was celebrated with an eight-day festival. To commemorate this event, we light the menorah candles for eight nights.
The Dedication Of The Maccabees
The menorah also symbolizes the faith, courage, and strength of the Maccabees. They held true to their beliefs and their commitment to live by the Torah’s laws in spite of the difficulties they faced. We light the Hanukkah candles to commemorate their dedication to our values and religious practices.
The Miracle Of Light Over Darkness
Finally, the menorah symbolizes the miracle of light over darkness. Although the Maccabees were small in number, they were able to overcome their enemies. This is symbolic of the power of light over darkness, the truth of the Torah over falsehood, and good over evil.
Hanukkah commemorates a time of great joy, when the Maccabees rose up to liberate the Jewish people from tyranny. The menorah candles are lit each night to symbolize the unity of the Jewish people and the courage and commitment of the Maccabees. Through the lighting of the candles, we are reminded of the miracle of the oil, the dedication of the Maccabees, and the light of our faith that will never be extinguished.
The menorah candles are a powerful reminder of our faith and commitment to our religious and cultural traditions. Hanukkah is a time for joy and celebration, and the lighting of the menorah is a reminder of our history and the miracle of that time.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.