Menorah: An Important Symbol Of Jewish Culture And Judaism

June 10, 2020

When we talk about Judaism and Jewish culture, we must not forget the importance of menorah. One can find extensive use of menorahs in different religious rituals of Jewish culture including sabbath. Thus, the symbolic importance of menorahs are very essential in modern and ancient Israel. Not only in Israel, the whole Jewish community scattered around the globe consider menorahs as a holy object that has a deep link with their religious culture. 

In this post, we will enlighten you about menorahs by discussing them in detail. After reading this post, if you find yourself interested in menorahs, there are large menorahs for sale n the internet and you can choose your favorite one with a mouse-click effort.

What Is A Menorah

A menorah is basically a candelabra with several branches. It is a Hebrew word that means ‘lamp’ in English. A traditional menorah generally consists of 7 branches. You can also find its usage in the 1st and 2nd temples situated in Jerusalem. Jews light a menorah regularly and they use the purest form of olive oil to light it up. A Hanukkah menorah is a bit different than traditional menorahs as it has a total of 9 branches. 

Lighting A Menorah

You need to follow certain rules to light up a menorah. Fortunately, most of the rules require you a general knowledge of knowing your left from right. You need to light each branch of menorah among the designated 9 branches in every night of the festival of light, accompanied by a Shamash (helper). You first need to light up the Shamash and then, with the help of Samash, you need to light up other candles. The position of Shamash is always a bit higher than other candles. This is to avoid any type of confusion and correctly identify the Shamash. You should place the candles in a direction from right to left on the menorah. It is the same way you read the Hebrew language. However, while lighting, you need to move in the reverse direction and use the Shamash to light the other candles on menorah from left to right. It may sound a bit puzzling, but with two or three times of practice, you will learn the rules well. 

Sabbath Menorah

You need to start preparing the menorah during the afternoon to avoid any delay in lighting them up at the correct time. This is even more important in the Chanukah Friday as things may get difficult due to the approaching of Sabbath. You can also prepare another menorah to light it up on Saturday night. This will help you light the menorah at the right time just after Sabbath. On Friday Chanukah, do Daven Mincha prior to lighting the candles as Mincha is a type of Friday Mitzvah and candle lighting is a Sabbath Mitzvah. You should be very careful so that you light up the menorah candles before Friday evening, or else you may infringe with the Sabbath customs.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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