Most people incorrectly mistake The Chanukiah for the Menorah, but I have been told there is a difference between the two. The Menorah only has 7 branches, whereas the Chanukiah has 9 (Jeopardy Question for ya). The nine branches are represented by the 8 days of Chanukah plus the extra one (the shamash) as the candle that lights all the other 8, since it is forbidden to use the other candles to light each other.
Why 8?: The eight candles are a reminder of the miracle that occurred back within the story of Chanukah. When the Maccabees re-established Jerusalem and they were looking for oil in the temple for lighting the candle (ner in Hebrew), there was only enough oil for one day; but miraculously the oil lasted for 8 days….hence the 8 nerot.
How to light the Chanukiah: I found this silly video on you tube, which for some reason just cracked me up. Maybe it reminded me of the Schoolhouse Rock videos like ‘I’m just a Bill, but anyways, you get the idea of how its done….
(After you watch this, if you’re really brave, take a look at ‘My Manorah’, which is one of the thumbnails for more videos at the end. What’s cuter than singing candles?!?)