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The menorah is a seven branched candelabrum lit by olive oil in the Tabernacle and the Temple in Jerusalem. The menorah is one of the oldest symbols of the Jewish people. It is said to symbolize the burning bush as seen by Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 25).
The Menorah is also a symbol closely associated with the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. According to the Talmud, after the desecration of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, there was only enough sealed (and therefore not desecrated by idolatry) consecrated olive oil left to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days which was enough time to get new oil as well as finish rebuilding the Temple. The Hanukkah Menorah therefore has not seven, but nine candle holders. The four holders on either side are to represent the eight day celebration of the miracle of oil, while the one in the middle, called the Shamash, is used to light the others. While this type of menorah is technically called a Hanukiah, the "menorah of Hanukkah" is sometimes simply called a menorah.
Let's light all the candles in the menorah.
by JR-Fire May 16, 2007
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