Q:

What do the candles on the menorah stand for?

A:

Quick Answer

The eight candles of the menorah signify the miracle of a single day's worth of olive oil burning for eight days. When the Maccabees retook Jerusalem from the Seleucids, they wanted to rededicate the temple. Unfortunately, there was only a single flask of sacred oil for the temple menorah, and it would take eight days to produce more. They lit the menorah anyway, and the oil burned for eight days.

Know More
What do the candles on the menorah stand for?
Credit: Jeffrey Coolidge Getty Images

Full Answer

In ancient Israel, the menorah was a seven-branched lamp that was kept lit day and night inside the temple. It required a special supply of olive oil as fuel, and this oil had to be blessed and sealed by the high priest. The Seleucid Empire attempted to force their own beliefs on the Israelites, and had desecrated the temple and destroyed most of the supply of oil stored there, leaving only the one small flask that provided the miracle.

Modern menorah have a total of nine branches, four on each side and one in the middle. The candle on the central branch is lit first, and it is used to light the others, one for each night of the Chanukah festival. Typically, menorah are displayed prominently near windows in order to remind others of the miracle.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Do scented or unscented candles burn longer?

    A:

    Unscented and scented candles both burn for an equal amount of time. As long as the scented candle is made properly, the only difference between how the candles burn is the fragrance released.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How soon after ovulation can I do a pregnancy test?

    A:

    Blood pregnancy tests can detect pregnancy as early as six to eight days following ovulation, according to WebMD. Urine tests can typically detect pregnancy by the 10th day following a missed period. Urine pregnancy tests are approximately 97 percent accurate if taken correctly.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How long do fleas live?

    A:

    Fleas can live up to eight days on short-haired animals and even longer on animals with long hair. When adult fleas have no host to feed upon, they can survive from a few days to a couple of weeks.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you celebrate Sukkot?

    A:

    Jews and some Christians celebrate Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles, by building temporary outdoor shelters or huts in which families eat their meals throughout the eight-day holiday. Many sleep in the huts as well. Celebrators observe Sukkot in the fall, from the 15th to the 22nd of the Jewish month of Tishri, which occurs sometime between late September and late October on the Gregorian calendar.

    Full Answer >

Explore