December 24, 2019
We have three menorot (plural of menorah) at the house; one for lighting, two as all day 24/7 reminders of each day of Chanukah. So, today, there are two unlit candles, plus the shamash (servant) candle on two of the menorot. Short of a constantly burning flame, this will suffice as a continual reminder of the holiday; i.e., the appropriate amount of unlit candles for each successive day.
As I write, I recall that the most traditionally designated term for a menorah that is specific to Chanukah, is called a Chanukiah – the nine-candled menorah. One for each of the eight days of Chanukah, plus the shamash. This type of menorah seems to have become more standard as a symbol in general, than the seven-candled menorah that was designated for use in the Beis HaMikdash, at leat, in regard to synagogues, because it is not acceptable, according to halachah (Judaic law) to have a seven-candled menorah associated with a synagogue. Only in the Beis HaMikdash (Temple); and, we await the building of the Third Temple. In fact, there is a carefully constructed seven-candled menorah awaiting that day, currently on display in Jerusalem.
Until that day, the Chanukiah seems popular: there is a nine-candled menorah design on the ark, where I attend synagogue in Arizona. Also, here, in Florida, where I attend synagogue, there is a nine-candled menorah with lightbulb fixtures, on the most prominent external wall of the synagogue. Yesterday morning, the lightbulb fixtures were lit in accordance with the first day of Chanukah. I imagine the same is in effect for today as well.
We need these constant reminders, so that our souls become infused with what is godly in our lives – the spiritual significance of the times. The light of Chanukah should permeate our thoughts for these eight days. We should glow like the menorah, and shine in the darkness. Spread the light to others by lighting up the way for those who are unable to see the positive side of life. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the L-RD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6, JPS 1917 Tanach).