Following up on this question about the use of the words "menora" or "chanukiya" to refer to Chanuka lights:

I find it interesting that the use of "chanukiya," popularized in 1897 through a secular lexicographic effort, seems to embody a distinction that is religiously valuable: between the seven-branched Menora in the Temple and the eight-(plus one)-part Chanuka lights, which are in different categories of holiness and uniqueness. This distinction would seem to be of a similar spirit to a practice I've seen1 of lit models of the Menora in contemporary synagogues specifically not having seven lights, apparently so as not to be confused with the original Menora.

  • Are there any religious sources from before the coinage of "chanukiya" that indicate a preference for not referring to Chanuka lights as a "menora"?

  • Are there any religious sources from after the coinage of "chanukiya" that indicate a preference for specifically using "chanukiya" rather than "menora" to refer to Chanuka lights?


1. Consistent with the Rambam in Beit Habechira 7:10 (thanks to DoubleAA for the source):

ואסור לאדם שיעשה בית תבנית היכל. אכסדרא תבנית אולם. חצר כנגד העזרה. שולחן בצורת שולחן. ומנורה בצורת מנורה. אבל עושה הוא מנורה של חמשה קנים או של שמונה קנים או מנורה שאינה של מתכת אע"פ שיש לה שבעה קנים

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    The Shulchan Aruch does not make mention of a menorah with regards to channukah because the mitzvah is done with a ner echad and the rest is mehadrin.It seems that not everyone was able to afford a menorah and maybe they used single neiros next to each other. The eight branch menorah seems to be used in a shul though. – sam Dec 11 '12 at 18:41
  • in modern Hebrew menorah can also refer to the regular light fixtures in your house and so the term chanukiyah is used to differentiate in speech any lights with the lights specifically used to celebrate chanukah – Dude Feb 27 '17 at 20:13
  • Well, the Be'er Heitev in סימן תרעא says שכל א' יטריח לעשות לו מנורה יפה and the Kitzur in סימן קלט says וְעַל כֵּן תִּהְיֶה לוֹ מְנוֹרָה נָאָה שֶׁל מִינֵי מַתֶּכֶת. וּמִי שֶׁיָדוֹ מַשֶּׂגֶת, יִקְנֶה מְנוֹרָה שֶׁל כֶּסֶף לְהִדּוּר מִצְוָה (Kind of a disproof to the question, but not an answer.) – Danny Schoemann Oct 16 '17 at 10:15
  • FWIW throughout Talmudic literature (and beyond) "מנורה" refers to any sort of candelabra, typically containing more than one candle. – Ploni Oct 25 '17 at 1:59
  • It's not just the רמב"ם, that's the gemara in ר"ה (lashon is slightly different) - מנורה כנגד מנורה אבל עושה של חמשה ושל ששה ושל שמונה ושל שבעה לא יעשה – Uber_Chacham Feb 21 at 11:47

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