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So I've been corrected. Right here in my community of LJ Friends. And I totally trust what my mentor tells me. She should know. She's an IAF veteran, now a Reservist involved in very classified national security work, in fact.

So, this was not classified! What I have thought was a Menorah is not so simple at all.

There are two kinds of Menorahs.

One kind is called a Hanukkiah Menorah, which is an eight-branched candelabrum proceeding from a single central stem. The stem has one more candleholder built into it and is usually higher than the line of the other eight, or outside of that line. Total = nine.

The other kind is called a Temple Menorah, which is a six-branched candleabrum designed with one more {as above,} total = seven candles.

The seven-candle variation is described in Exodus 25, 31-46. Precise details on how to build it.

On each one of them, the center candle, the 'shamash', is one of the historical names for SUN, and that name goes all the way back to the Hammurabi Code, 4600 years ago now, or so.

The tradition is that when the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem was occupied and desecrated, the surviving rabbis only found enough consecrated olive oil remaining to keep the eternal flame of the faith going for a single day longer. So they poured it into the sacred vessel anyway. A miracle happened when G-d kept the flame burning for eight days, not just one. That provided enough time for more olive oil to be made and consecrated, so that the flame could have new life over and over again.

I think that is just wonderful.

How the ceremony is done today is that each evening in Chanoeka, each 24-hour period, the shamash is used to light yet another candle in the row. This continues until they are all lighted.

Perhaps the reason there are seven candles on one, and nine on the other one, is that the seven are memorializing the extra days nobody thought would possibly happen?

I'm getting all cranked up about this partly because I didn't learn near enough about it when I was in Sunday School and we'd all go visit our friends' synagogue, and I've believed the wrong -- or incomplete -- thing ever since; and, partly because it's fun to find out these new things about light and faith; and, partly because this is what it looks like downstairs right now:

So we are now at shamash plus four more lights, and I'm still annoyed that the City Hall was locked up for two days so nothing happened to start up these other lights [last night it looked the same as the previous three nights, I came down here to check.] The bigger problem is that the Hanukkiah Menorah here in the capital of Holland has to be set up inside, under cameras, and locked up for security reasons. But we had the same thing at Chabad House on campus --- of all places, in the People's Republic of Vermont --- where the one placed out on the green got totally trashed one year. I think the one outside the House itself on Williams Street gets lighted each evening in a ceremony and then does not stay on when the ceremony's over -- they just relight it the next night and go forward.

I guess I'm just naive, aren't I.

So much for tolerance and brotherhood. Sisterhood.

I think this says far more about the "people" doing it than whatever statement they are trying to advance.

Put out the Light?

No way you can ever do that.

Might as well put out the very Sun.

That may happen someday but prejudiced intolerant persecutors will not be the ones to do it.


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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