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9:21 AM

Chanuka: The Shamash

Posted by Scholar

  • The Shamash should be placed a little higher than the other candles to show its not part of the required amount of candles. Where do we learn that we need to do such a thing?

There is an expression that comes from Isaiah "serafim omdim mema'al lo." lo has the numerical value of 36 which is the amount of candles we light during the whole of Chanuka. Serafim means the fiery ones which refers to the shamash is the one that kindles the others(other candles) should be placed above(lo) the 36.


  • We can learn an amazing lesson from the shamash as well. The Shamash is the one to bring all the candles to life and watches over them, if they go out it comes back and rekindles them. It is a giver of light but it never reaches the level of candle in its own right.
Nevertheless the shamash is higher than the rest because there is no greater virtue then to forgo one's own luminary potential to help kindle the spark in others

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