Chanukah – The Shamash Candle

The shamash candle is a servant. That’s what the word means in Hebrew. In many old-world synagogues the shamash was commonly listed along with a rabbi or chazzan. The shamash was able to stand in for the rabbi at any service or ceremony, except legal ones, and often acted as the administrator for the temple.

It’s interesting that Shamash also refers to a sun-god in ancient Babylonia and Assyria. The reference to servant is also relevant here, as some believe that in this pantheon Shamash was the child of the moon god and therefore second in position.

Think of the shamash candle as your connection to the fire of the Divine that exists in all creation. Through this candle you light the others. Try to connect your inner spark to the shamash candle as you say the prayers and light each candle.

Learn more about Shamash: