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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1886, from Hebrew menorah "candlestick," from Semitic stem n-w-r "to give light, shine" (compare Arabic nar "fire," manarah "candlestick, lighthouse, tower of a mosque," see minaret).


n. 1 (context Judaism English) A holy candelabrum with seven branches used in the Temple of Jerusalem. 2 (context Judaism English) A candelabrum with nine branches used in Jewish worship on Hanukkah.

Menorah (Temple)

The menorah (; ) is described in the Bible as the seven-lamp (six branches) ancient Hebrew lampstand made of pure gold and used in the portable sanctuary set up by Moses in the wilderness and 300 years later in the Temple in Jerusalem. Fresh olive oil of the purest quality was burned daily to light its lamps. The menorah has been a symbol of Judaism since ancient times and is the emblem on the coat of arms of the modern state of Israel.

Menorah (Hanukkah)

The Hanukkahmenorah, also chanukiah or hanukiah, ( menorat ḥanukkah, pl. menorot) (also ḥanukkiyah, or chanukkiyah, pl. ḥanukkiyot/chanukkiyot, or Yiddish: חנוכּה לאמפּ khanike lomp, lit.: Hanukkah lamp) is a nine-branched candelabrum lit during the eight-day holiday of Hanukkah, as opposed to the seven-branched menorah used in the ancient Temple or as a symbol.

On each night of Hanukkah a new branch is lit. The ninth holder, called the shamash ("helper" or "servant"), is for a candle used to light all other candles and/or to be used as an extra light. To be kosher the shamash must be offset on a higher or lower plane than the main eight candles or oil lamps, but there are differing opinions as to whether or not all the lights must be arranged in a straight line, or if the channukiah can be arranged in a curve.

The menorah is among the most widely produced articles of Jewish ceremonial art. The seven-branched menorah is a traditional symbol of Judaism, along with the Star of David.


Menorah may refer to:

  • Menorah (Temple), a seven-branched lampstand used in the ancient Tabernacle in the desert and Temple in Jerusalem
  • Menorah (Hanukkah), a nine-branched candelabrum, also known as a ḥanukkiyah or chanukkiyah , which is used on the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah
  • Knesset Menorah, a bronze monument located at the edge of Gan Havradim (Rose Garden) in front of the Knesset
  • Menorah Medical Center, an acute care hospital
  • Kfar HaOranim, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank also known as Menorah
  • A fundamentalist sect in Switzerland, see Bruno Meyer (Menorah)

Usage examples of "menorah".

Our family tradition combined elements from both of their backgrounds, and although I had lighted the candles on a Hanukkah menorah earlier in the month, I always looked forward to decorating a tree and rediscovering the boxes of antique ornaments that my mother had collected throughout her life.

At Hanukkah, we lit the menorah, and my father and she gave gelt-not the foil-wrapped chocolate coins but real money.

So the priests, the Kohanim, took seven iron spits, covered them with wood, and crafted them into a makeshift menorah.

The oil, just barely enough for one day, burned for eight days, giving the Kohanim sufficient time to prepare and receive fresh uncontaminated oil that was fit for the menorah.

It probably said something disturbing about her psyche that she would rather chase a shipload of fugitives with an illegal plasma device than figure out how to display Klingon death icons alongside human menorahs in the Promenade without offending anybody's sensibilities.

The interior of the church was all like that-a mixture of styles and materials, announcing all sorts of possibilities but nothing specific, like an onion dome or a menorah.

You'll observe yontiff using nothing but virgin olive oil in your menorah, to celebrate the miracle?