Eight lights are lit in the Menorah, one for each night of Hanukkah. Most Menorahs burn candles, but some have wicks to burn oil, as did the Temple Menorah long ago.
A special candle, the shammas, is used to light the menorah candles. New candles are lit each night. A new shammas is lit each night, too. The shammas is lit first, and the Hanukkah candles are lit from it.
On the first night of Hanukkah, put the first candle at the right end of the Menorah, as you face it. On the second night two candles, three on the third night, and so on. Always light the newest candle first, then light the others, from left to right. Place the lighted Menorah in a window, so all may see and share the celebration.
Messianic Hanukkah Candle Lighting
Each night we recite three blessings, acknowledging God’s Lordship, power in working miracles, and sustaining us another year.
Then we acknowledge the Scriptural significance of each candle lit.
Shammash (Servant) Candle
Messiah Yeshua stated in Mark 10:44-45:
Whoever wishes to be first among you shall be the servant of all. For
even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to
give His life a ransom for many.
Genesis 1:3-4 describes the creation of the first light:
God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that
the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
Exodus 13:21-22 reveals that God is the source of Israel’s light:
And the Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to
lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them
light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take
away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from
before the people.
What did we learn today?
First, God is Lord and in control of all things.
Second, we need to be servants, not demanding to be served. (Shammash candle)
Third, light was spoken into existence by God. Light is good. God separated the light from the darkness. (The first candle)
Fourth, God led the nation of Israel. He gave them literal light to lead them through the wilderness and spiritual light to lead them to Him. (The second candle)
Tomorrow, we will look at the Dreidle and the Third candle.