Why is the shamash higher?

Asked by: Omer Lockman
Score: 4.9/5 (33 votes)

The menorah has nine branches, one for each night of the Festival of Lights, plus a shamash, meaning helper or attendant, which is lit first and then used to light the other candles. The shamash always sits a bit higher or lower than the rest of the candles so as to not get confused with the others.

Why does the Hanukkah have 9 candles?

Light the Menorah

The centerpiece of the Hanukkah celebration is the hanukkiah or menorah, a candelabra that holds nine candles. Eight candles symbolize the number of days that the Temple lantern blazed; the ninth, the shamash, is a helper candle used to light the others.

What does Hanukkah symbolize?

The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah or Chanukah commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt.

Can you eat Hanukkah candles?

Stick a candle in 9 of them before you eat them. (Since they are fried, sufganiyot, as they are called in Hebrew, have become a traditional food for Chanukah.) ... You can eat them after, but I like cupcakes and marshmallows better.

15 related questions found

What does the 7 candles in a menorah stand for?

The seven lamps allude to the branches of human knowledge, represented by the six lamps inclined inwards towards, and symbolically guided by, the light of God represented by the central lamp. The menorah also symbolizes the creation in seven days, with the center light representing the Sabbath.

What are the 3 Hanukkah blessings?

The traditional Hanukkah candle lighting service consists of saying all three blessings on the first night, and only the first and second blessings for the seven nights to follow. Transliteration: Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha'olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tsivanu l'hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.

What are 3 interesting facts about Hanukkah?

8 Interesting Things You May Not Know About Hanukkah
  • Hanukkah Isn't A Major Jewish Holiday. ...
  • A Menorah Is Actually A “Hanukiah” ...
  • 17.5 Million Donuts Are Eaten In Israel During Hannukah. ...
  • The Dreidel Was Used As A Cover-Up For Studying The Torah. ...
  • Gifts Are Only Given Because It's Close To Christmas.

What is the story behind Hanukkah?

The story of Hanukkah celebrates the tale of the Maccabees, who defeated the Greek King Antiochus' troops after a three year war. It commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after the 167-160 BCE revolt against the Seleucid Empire.

Does Jesus celebrate Hanukkah?

The word “Hanukkah” means dedication and is celebrated each year as the Feast of Dedication or the Festival of Lights. Jesus made sure he was in Jerusalem during Hanukkah, The Feast of Dedication, in John chapter 10. He did not ignore it, or any of the prescribed feasts.

Why are there 9 lights on a menorah?

The ninth lamp is called a shamash, a “servator,” and it symbolically differentiates the eight holy flames from other, mundane light sources. It is usually used to light the other eight.

Does the menorah have 7 or 9 candles?

A menorah, which has only seven candleholders, was the lamp used in the ancient holy temple in Jerusalem — now a symbol of Judaism and an emblem of Israel. ... A Hanukkiah, however, has nine candlesticks — one for each night of Hanukkah and an extra one to light the others.

How many candles are on a 7 or 9 menorah?

A seven branch menorah must be part of every Jewish home and lit as sign of enlightenment and symbol to temple menorah. 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.

What does Shamash mean in English?

noun. 8. A person who assists in the running of a synagogue or its religious services, especially the reading of the Torah. noun.

What does the word Shamash mean in Hebrew?

Shammash, also spelled shamash or shammas (Hebrew: “servant”), plural shammashim, shamashim, or shammasim, salaried sexton in a Jewish synagogue whose duties now generally include secretarial work and assistance to the cantor, or hazan, who directs the public service.

Is it OK to say Happy Hanukkah?

What is the proper greeting for Hanukkah? To wish someone a Happy Hanukkah, say “Hanukkah Sameach!” (Happy Hanukkah) or simply “Chag Sameach!” (Happy Holiday).

Why is Hanukkah so important?

Hanukkah (/ˈhɑːnəkə/; Hebrew: חֲנֻכָּה‎, Modern: Ḥanukkáh, Tiberian: Ḥanukkāh; usually spelled חֲנוּכָּה‎, pronounced [χanuˈka] in Modern Hebrew, [ˈχanukə] or [ˈχanikə] in Yiddish; a transliteration also romanized as Chanukah, Ḥanukah, Chanuka, Chanukkah, Hanuka) is a Jewish festival commemorating the recovery of ...

Is a Hanukkah bush a real thing?

A Hanukkah bush is a bush or tree—real or simulated—that some North American Jewish families display in their homes for the duration of Hanukkah. It may, for all intents and purposes, be a Christmas tree without any Christianity-themed ornaments. It is associated with Chrismukkah.

What are 5 facts about Hanukkah?

11 Festive Facts About Hanukkah
  • Don't worry about spelling Hannukah wrong. ...
  • Hannukah celebrates a military victory and miracle. ...
  • Hannukah is not the biggest Jewish holiday. ...
  • Hannukah food isn't necessarily the healthiest. ...
  • The letters on a Hannukah dreidel form an acronym. ...
  • The dates of Hannukah change each year.

Why do we give gifts on Hanukkah?

Parents didn't want their children to feel left out as their peers received presents every December. ... “[Parents] saw that [giving gifts] was a way of creating joy around the time of Hanukkah,” Creditor says. “I think it wasn't to be like Christmas, it was so that Jewish children would have joy on Hanukkah.

What food is eaten during Hanukkah?

One of the most popular foods eaten during Hanukkah are latkes, which are fried potato pancakes. Some Jewish people eat latkes sweet, accompanied with apple sauce, while others prefer them savoury, served with sour cream. Either way, they're a treat for the taste buds.

What are the two Hanukkah prayers?

"Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, shehecheyanu v'kiy'manu v'higiyanu laz'man hazeh." Translation: "Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion." On all other nights, only the first two prayers are said.

What to say while lighting the menorah?

Saying the Blessings

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech HaOlam, asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner shel Hanukkah. Blessed are You, O Lord Our God, Ruler of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah.

What do you read on Hanukkah?

As you light the first candle of Hanukkah, you read a special blessing called the Shehecheyanu. The Hebrew reading is Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam shehecheyanu v'kiyimanu v'higi'anu laz'man hazeh.