ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

History of the Hanukkah Menorah - Lighting the Menorah

Updated on August 18, 2015
Flickr Image by Scott Ableman
Flickr Image by Scott Ableman

History of the Menorah

The history of the Menorah, is something that I'm going to try to simplify, although if you are truly interested, I would suggest that you really research the history of the Menorah because it is a story that is in all actuality very interesting and meaningful. And the following paragraphs that I will summarize for you, will be barely scratch the surface of the true story of the Jewish Menorah.

Hanukkah is an eight night celebration, which is sometimes called the Festival of Lights, in which the Jewish people celebrate and remember the triumph of the Hebrews over religious persecution and when they were able to escape the oppression of Antiochus, a Syrian king.

Every night of Hanukkah, a candle is lit on the Menorah, or Hanukiyah.

Now, the tradition of lighting the Menorah, has its roots in about 167 B.C., when Antiochus IV, the Syrian king, tried to outlaw the Jewish religious practices, wanting the Jews to adopt Greek rituals. Antiochus has his men take over the Jewish Holy Temple in Jerusalem; they looted the temple and put an idol of a Greek god in place.

Well, the Hasmoneans, which was a Jewish family led by Mattityahu and his five sons, took stand and refused to violate their own religion by practicing Greek rituals and praying to the Greek gods. Mattityaho and his sons attacked the Greek soldiers when they arrived in Modiin, which was near Jerusalem.

 

Electric Menorah

This one family began the Jewish rebellion, and Mattityahu and his sons became known as the Maccabees, which means 'men who are as strong as hammers."

Well, Mattityahu's son Judah, fought a pretty big group of Greek soldiers, and in 165 B.C., the Maccabees were successful. The Maccabees were able to reclaim the Holy Temple on the 25th of Kislev, which is the Hebrew month of December.

The Maccabees rededicated the temple, "Hanukkah," which means dedication, and while the Jewish army was at the Temple, they were unable to find enough oil to light the menorah, which was commonly used in service. The Maccabees found one bottle of oil, which was typically enough to light the menorah for only one night, but upon every one's surprise, the one bottle of oil lasted for eight nights, which allowed the people enough time to produce more oil.

So, now as for tradition, Hanukkah celebrates the miracle and the triumph over religious oppression. During Hanukkah, Jews light one candle for the eight nights of Hanukkah to celebrate the rededication of the Holy Temply and the miracle of the one bottle of oil lasting for eight days.

 

Lighting the Menorah

You want to set a time towards the evening after the sun has gone down to light your Menorah and when all members of the house are available and present to light the Menorah.

When lighting the Menorah, use the ninth candle- the shamash- to light the other eight candles individually. You never want to use one of the eight candles, as they are to be looked at and seen only.

You want to make sure to leave the candle(s) lit for at least 30 minutes after nightfall. But, on Friday, you want to light the candles before the sun goes down.

On the first night of Hanukkah, you light the candle on the far right side, facing the Menorah, and for each night thereafter, you will light the next candle.

When lighting the candles, you will want to recite the following blessings.

  1. "Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by His commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah."
  2. "Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season."
  3. "Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has kept us alive, and has preserved us, and enabled us to reach this time."

The third blessing, is typically only recited on the first night.

 

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • electricsky profile image

      electricsky 

      8 years ago from North Georgia

      Thank you for the religious lesson on the history of the Menorah. Next tell us about the dreidel. I believe it is a toy?

    • thesirenwakes profile image

      Grace Roselynn 

      9 years ago

      Great Hub! Im studying to become a Jew and it helps a lot when other people explain things as well as me reading about them! ^_^

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)