Hanukkah is an important Jewish holiday that takes place each year in the month of Kislev and ends on the 25th of Kislev. Many Jews observe this special holiday by celebrating numerous rituals, including lighting the Hanukkah menorah and playing dreidel games. One of the most interesting elements in the Hanukkah celebration is the central candle, the shammash, which is lit before all the other candles. In this article, we will discuss in depth what is the middle candle in Hanukkah.
The shammash, or middle candle, is the central candle lit during the Hanukkah celebration. According to most rabbinical authorities, it is the ninth or the last candle lit during the ceremony. Its purpose is to provide the light by which all the other candles are lit and, if there are any doubts, it is allowed to be lit first.
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Symbolic Meaning of the Middle Candle
Reaching Inner Strength
The importance of the middle candle goes beyond the simple task of providing light. It is a central symbol in the celebration of Hanukkah and has a special significance to those who celebrate it. According to tradition, the shammash symbolizes the inner strength of the Jewish people and their ability to triumph despite impossible odds. The lighting of the central candle is a powerful affirmation of the Jewish spirit to persevere and overcome any obstacle.
Unity and Harmony
The middle candle also has a special meaning in promoting unity and harmony between the Jewish people. It brings them together through a common hope of security, justice and peace. The lighting of the shammash is a symbolic gesture of mutual respect and understanding, and a reminder to celebrate our differences and embrace our commonalities.
Commemoration of the Miracle
The shammash is also used to commemorate the miracle of the Maccabees. According to a Jewish legend, when the Maccabees entered the Temple of Jerusalem, they found only enough oil to light the seven-branched menorah for one day. However, by the grace of God, the oil miraculously lasted for eight days. This miracle is honored during Hanukkah by the lighting of the nine candles on the menorah, with the shammash being the last to be lit.
In conclusion, the middle candle of the Hanukkah menorah, known as the shammash, is a central symbol in the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah. It is lit last before all the other candles and is used to affirm the Jewish spirit and its ability to overcome any obstacle. It is also a symbol of unity and harmony between the Jewish people, and a reminder of the miracle of the Maccabees. By lighting the shammash, we honor this miracle and the spirit of the Jewish people.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.