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The Hanukiah


menorahsThe Hanukkah menorah is different from the Temple menorah in that it has nine branches instead of seven.

The Hanukkah menorah is sometimes referred to as the Hanukiah. The spelling of the words “Hanukkah” and “Hanukiah” varies because they are transliterations of how the Hebrew words ‘sound’ to the hearer.

The center candle is called the Shammash or Servant Candle. It sits higher than all the others and is lit first. The other eight candles must be lit by the Shammash rather than by a match.

The Servant Candle, the Shammash, represents Yeshua. He is the Light of the World and only He can bring the light of wisdom and understanding to us so that we can bring light to others, making known to the world the miracle of salvation.

“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” (Isaiah 9:2 as quoted in Matthew 4:16)

“And Jesus called them to him and said to them, ‘You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’” (Mark 10:42-45)

The Star and Cross Hanukiah

Jewish tradition alludes to two redeemers, both are called Mashiach (Messiah) and are involved in ushering in the Messianic age: Messiah ben Joseph and Messiah ben David. Messiah ben Joseph is called the Suffering-Servant Messiah because they believe he will suffer and die in preparing the way for the coming of the Conquering-King Messiah, Messiah ben David. Believers in Yeshua know that there is only one Messiah (Yeshua/Jesus) who came 2000 years ago as our Suffering Servant Messiah who died to redeem us, thus preparing the way for His return as the Conquering King who will rule and reign for a thousand years. The Star and Cross Hanukiah’s unique design depicts “both” Messiahs. The Cross represents our Suffering-Servant, Yeshua and the Star of David represents Yeshua as the coming King David.

crossandstar medium glow