Menorah or Chanukiah?

Image: My chanukiah, 2nd night of Chanukah. Photo by Rabbi Ruth Adar.

The nine-branched lamp we use at Chanukah is most correctly called a chanukiah, (pronounced khah-noo-KEE-ah.) It is a calendar of a sort, measuring out the eight days of the holiday, with an extra candle to light the others.

However, you will often hear people refer to one as a menorah (muh-NOH-rah or meh-noh-RAH). That is also correct: in Modern Hebrew, menorah means lamp. The thing on your nightstand is also a menorah, but it is unlikely to work as a calendar.

How to light the chanukiah/menorah:

 

May your holiday be bright and warm!

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rabbiadar

Rabbi Ruth Adar is a teaching rabbi based in San Leandro, CA. She has many hats: rabbi, mom, poodle groomer, and ham radio operator K6RAV. She blogs at https://coffeeshoprabbi.com/ as the Coffee Shop Rabbi.

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