An 18-foot menorah was unveiled inside the Massachusetts State House Wednesday night during a reception and lighting ceremony in the Grand Staircase.

Hanukkah begins on Saturday night and over the eight nights, eight candles will be lit.

On Wednesday, officials lit the shamash,the ninth candle that is used to light all of the other candles. Shamash means "helper" or "servant," in Hebrew, and it must be either higher or lower than the other eight candles.

State and local officials who attended included Lt. Gov. KarynPolito, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Senate President Stan Rosenberg and Secretary of State William Galvin.


Rabbi Rachmiel Libermanof Congregation LubavitchSynagogue in Brookline helped in the lighting and had to be hoisted up by a mechanical lift to reach the massive menorah.

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