Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Hanukkah!

(stamp size 2")

Happy Hanukkah, everyone! Tonite is the night to light the first candle on your menorah.
The Hanukkah Menorah

Many people refer to the hanukkiah as a Hanukkah "menorah." Menorah is the Hebrew word for lamp, and specifically refers to the seven-branched candelabrum that was used in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. The Hanukkah lamp contains nine branches, though it is possible to find some antique European examples with 10 candle holders.

While eight lights are required on the hanukkiah, one to be lit each night of Hanukkah, it became customary for the Hanukkah menorah to have place for nine flames. The ninth flame is called the shamash ("the servant"), for its purpose is to light the others. The reason for the shamash probably derives from the legal principle that the Hanukkah lights themselves are not to be used for any purpose other than to "publicize the miracle." Thus, a "servant flame" is needed to light the other eight, keeping them from serving the pragmatic function of lighting another flame.

4 comments:

Rogue Artist said...

Happy Hanukkah! May you have a happy and blessed holiday!

Mama Cache said...

Have a wonderful time this week, my friend. Thanks for sharing. The '09 stamp is cool. I'm glad it was you and not me carving circles. My Hanukkah stamp would not have been so happy. ;-)

Ari C'rona said...

I love this year's stamp, my friend! Chag Sameach! :o)

Anonymous said...

Hope that you have a great holiday my friend.

SFF

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