The Hanukkah menorah or chanukiah (Hebrew: מנורת חנוכה menorat ḥanukkah, pl. menorot) (also Hebrew: חַנֻכִּיָּה ḥanukkiyah, or chanukkiyah, pl. ḥanukkiyot/chanukkiyot, or Yiddish: חנוכּה לאמפּ khanike lomp, lit.: Hanukkah lamp) is a nine-branched candelabrum lit during the eight-day holiday of Hanukkah, as opposed to the seven-branched menorah used in the ancient Temple or as a symbol. On each night of Hanukkah a new branch is lit. The ninth holder, called the shamash ("helper" or "servant"), is for a candle used to light all other candles and/or to be used as an extra light. To be kosher the shamash must be offset on a higher or lower plane than the main eight candles or oil lamps.
Shamash (Akkadian: Šamaš, "Sun") was a native Mesopotamian deity and the Sun god in the Akkadian, Assyrian, Babylonian and Hebrew pantheons. Shamash was the god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria, corresponding to Sumerian's Utu. Akkadian šamaš is cognate to Syriac ܫܡܫܐ šemša or šimšu Hebrew שֶׁמֶשׁ šemeš and Arabic شمس šams.
Shamash is the Arabic and Modern Hebrew word for the Sun, also written the same, although pronounced differently in Hebrew. The name is still found as a surname among Assyrians adn Iraqi Jews.
USAGE: WESTERN AFRICAN, YORUBA.