Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hanukkah Menorah

Hanukkah MenorahHanukkah Menorah, a special candelabrum, the Menorah lit for the Festival of Lights, an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Starting on the 25th day of Kislev of the Hebrew calendar, and may fall from late November to late December on the Gregorian calendar.
One light on each night, progressing to eight on the final night. An extra light called a shamash (Hebrew: "guard" or "servant") is lit each night, and is given a distinct location, usually higher or lower than the others. The purpose of the extra light is to adhere to the prohibition, specified in the Talmud (Tracate Shabbat 21b–23a), against using the Hanukkah lights for anything other than publicizing and meditating on the Hanukkah story.

(The shamash is used to light the other lights.) As such, if one were to read from the lights – something prohibited – then it's not clear whether the light one's reading from was from the Hanukkah lights or the shamash light. So the shamash acts as a safeguard from accidental transgression.

This image has been (or is hereby) released into the public domain by its author, Faigl.ladislav at the Czech Wikipedia project. This applies worldwide.

In case this is not legally possible: Faigl.ladislav grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Hanukkah

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