Distinct from a Menorah, the nine-candle Chanukiah is used to celebrate the festival of Chanukah. Chanukah originally celebrated the Maccabees’ defeat of the superior Syrian army. However, post-biblical Jewish tradition as recorded in the Talmud describes that when the Maccabees were rededicating the Temple, they found only enough oil to light the menorah for one day. A miracle occurred and the oil lasted for eight days.
To celebrate Chanukah, one candle is lit on the first night, two candles are lit on the second night, and so on. The ninth candle, is a “helper candle” that is used to light the others, and to provide light, since tradition holds that one could not use the Chanukah lights to illuminate one’s home.
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