Maximum visibility is important for the Hanukkah Menorah or the symbolic candelabrum of Jewish faith. Given that, answering the question ‘where to place the Menorah?’ should be easy.
But before we delve into answering the simple question, let’s get down first about what the Menorah stands for and how the celebration of Hanukkah came about.
Hanukkah is an important celebration Jews. It is an eight-day holiday where the ceremonial lighting of Menorah candles occurs. It is a custom that was lifted from the miraculous oil, which burnt for eight days at the holy Temple even if it was just enough for a day. It also symbolizes the miracle of the Maccabees’ victory. As a golden rule for the celebration, it is a commandment for Jews to publicize the miracle and let as many people know what it’s all about.
The Hanukkah Menorah
The Hanukkah Menorah can be bought or made, depending on your preference. It is a nine-branch candelabrum, which will hold all nine candles: the eight candles that will be lighted each day of Hanukkah plus the Shamash candle, which is also known as the assistant candle.
It is forbidden to use the Menorah candles for any other purpose other than viewing. That’s why you will need a Shamash candle. The Shamash candle is singled out. It can be found in the middle of the Menorah, placed a little higher than the other eight or it can also be found on the side. Sometimes, the Shamash candle is also of a different color than that of the Menorah candles. In the absence of a Shamash, a match can be used to light the Menorah.
The Menorah candles are lit one on the first night and an additional candle each night. The candles are kindled from right to left, but lighting should be done from left to right. Lighting should be done immediately after nightfall except for Fridays when you need to do the lighting before sundown. Prayers are recited before the lighting and you need t be sure that every member of the family is in to witness it. The Menorah candles are left burning for at least 30 minutes. During which time, the family memders may sing songs, play games, and exchange gifts.
Where to Place the Menorah?
The Menorah must be placed where it can enjoy as much exposure as possible. Maximum visibility is key. If you have space at the left side of the doorway, as you are facing it, that is the best place for the Menorah.
If it is not possible to place the Menorah outside where passersby can view it, you can put it at the window, which is facing the public thoroughfare. You may also light it inside the house, placed at a table in the living room area. The latter is permissible and is considered “publicizing the miracle” at least for all the members of the household.