The hanukiah is a nine-branched lamp or candelabrum lit during the eight-day holiday of Hanukkah which commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt in the 2nd century BCE. The festival is observed for eight nights and days. On each night a new light is lit. The ninth holder, called the shamash (helper or servant), is for a candle used to light all other candles.
At Etz Hayyim, we use a traditional hanukiah oil lamp with wicks (instead of candles). After all, the festival recalls the miraculous lasting for eight days of one small flask of kosher olive oil in the Temple menorah that only had enough oil for one day. The hanukiah is a copy in cast bronze of an Italian original. It was a gift of the Jewish Museum of Greece to Etz Hayyim Synagogue at its re-dedication in 1999.
Photo 1: © Etz Hayyim Synagogue