Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights is about to begin. Well actually the count down is two days because it begins on the 20th of December this year. I’m excited because this is a holiday I sometimes get to share and I don’t have to do anything! YAY! Luckily I have a lot of Jewish friends and this year I’m going to have some homemade latkes, can’t wait.
The Menorah is probably the most widely recognized and produced article of Jewish ceremonial art. The photo above depicts a nine-branch Menorah. There are eight nights of Hanukkah and a candle is lit for each evening. The ninth candle holder is in the middle and is known as the shamash candle and it’s the one used to light the other candles every night. The shamash candle is usually set higher than the other eight which must all be at the same level.
The celebration of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights commemorates the re-dedication of the Temple after the successful revolt against the Seleucid. They discovered they only had enough pure olive oil to light the Menorah for one night but the supply lasted eight nights until a new supply could be obtained. In celebration of this miracle the Menorah has eight branches. Candles are placed from right to left and are kindled left to right. The manner of lighting on additional candle each night follows the opinion of the House of Hillel.
It’s time to polish the Menorah if it’s brass.