Learn about the history of Hanukkah - the menorah in this video about the holiday.
Sheilah Kaufman: Hi! This is Sheilah Kaufman. Today we are learning about Hanukkah and now we are going to learn about the Menorah. Lighting the Menorah of Hanukkah should begin with one light and one should be added each night because holiness is something that must grow not becomes smaller. That point of Hanukkah was first discussed by the sages, the idea was to light all eight candles the first night and seven the next, then six, five, four, three, etcetera but later it was overruled to comply with holiness and light growing. So now we light one each night working our way towards the final night. We use the word Menorah to speak of a special candle holder we use only at Hanukkah but Menorah is really just the Hebrew word for any kind of lamp or lighting fixture. But in Israel Hanukiya is used to describe the Hanukkah candle holder. The Menorah is the symbol of light and truth, and is usually lift and placed in the window for all to see. In order not to duplicate the temple Menorah which held seven cups and to commemorate the miracle of Hanukkah, the eighth cup was added to the Menorah making it special for Hanukkah. Menorahs can be made out of tin, they can be made out of ceramic, they can made out of porcelain, they can made be out of silver. Today, they can be made out of almost anything but the eight candles have to be on the same level and the Shamash is raised. The Shamash is the candle that lights all of the other candles and that has a higher position on the Menorah. The word Shamash is Hebrew for a guard or servant. When we light the Menorah, we light the candles from left to right. One that new candle is added each night of Hanukkah. Now that we have learned something about the Menorah, we are going to learn about two other items that are important for Hanukkah. Hanukkah geld and the dreidel.