Everything You Need to Know About the Menorah

Hannukah is probably one of the best known Jewish holidays, partly because it falls in the winter at a similar time to so many other festive celebrations. The most recognizable symbol of Hannukah is undoubtedly the Hannukah menorah.
Hanukkah Menorah
Hanukkah Menorah
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Aug. 16, 2012 - PRLog -- Hannukah – The Festival of Lights
Many people know that Hannukah is also known as the festival of lights.  Here’s the reason why...  Take yourself back in time by around two thousand years and a period in history when the Greek empire ruled over Jerusalem.  The harsh decrees of their leader, Antiochus IV, were designed to ensure that the practice of Judaism was outlawed in the region.  This included the overthrow of the Jewish Holy Temple, which was replaced by a Greek shrine.  It was an act which so enraged the Jewish people, that a revolt was launched and eventually led by Judah the Macabee.  When Judah re-captured the Holy Temple, he ordered that it should be restored to its former glory and that an oil lamp should burn constantly as in the days of old.  However, they could only find enough oil to burn for a single day.  Miraculously, the oil lasted for a whole eight days.  
As a result, many of the traditions of the Hannukah holiday are based around the theme of oil and light.  Foods cooked in oil, such as doughnuts are usually eaten.  And of course, each Jewish family lights a special Menorah (candelabra) during the holiday.
The Special Features of the Hannukah Menorah
The Hannukah Menorah is no ordinary candelabra.  It must include nine branches in total.  Eight of these are used to light an additional candle each night of the eight day holiday.  The ninth and final candle is known as the Shamash (helper) and is used to light all the other candles.  On the first night of the holiday, a single candle is kindled, in addition to the Shamash.  A further candle is added every evening until on the final night of the holiday, the candelabra is filled with eight Hannukah candles plus the Shamash.  The effect is quite beautiful and quite often the Hannukah menorah is displayed in the window in order that the world might appreciate the message of light and hope.
Traditionally, the Hannukah menorah is lit from left to right, rather than right to left, with that evening’s new candle being lit first.
Take Your Pick For a Special Hannukah Menorah  
The Hannukah menorah is indeed a central feature of the Hannukah celebrations.  Therefore, if you see a menorah for sale, bear in mind that this could make for the perfect Jewish gift.  The Hannukah menorah is something that almost every Jewish household is likely to contain.  In addition to lighting the candles during Hannukah, many people display the candelabra in their home all year round.
If you are choosing a Hannukah menorah, you will find that there is a huge range available.  Some consider the traditional silver candelabra to be the classic design, whereas others prefer a colourful, ceramic model.  Either way, there is an impressive range to choose from.  

Hanukkah Menorah - http://www.israel-catalog.com/judaica/menorahs-chanukiot
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