The word Menorah comes from a Semitic root meaning "to shine." The emblem of the State of Israel is the Menorah surrounded by an olive branch on each side. It is based on a depiction of the Menorah on the Arch of Titus were the Romans considered the menorah so recognizable a Jewish symbol that they depicted it to illustrate the spoils that they had carried away after conquering Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The Menorah was used in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem and has been a symbol of Judaism since ancient times. Before that it was used in the tabernacle set up by Moses in the wilderness. Fresh olive oil was burned daily to light its lamps. It symbolizes universal enlightenment, based on what is written in Isaiah 60: "Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn". Some say the Menorah’s seven branches represented the five visible planets, plus the sun and the moon, and its rounded branches suggested their trajectories across the heavens. The idea that the Menorah symbolizes wisdom is noted in the Talmud where the seven lamps allude to the branches of human knowledge, represented by the six lamps inclined inwards towards, and symbolically guided by, the light of Hashem represented by the central lamp. The Menorah also symbolizes the creation in seven days, with the center light representing the Sabbath. The nine branched Menorah used for Chanukah comes from the Talmud, after the Seleucid desecration of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, there was only enough sealed (and therefore not desecrated) consecrated olive oil left to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, which was enough time to make new pure oil. A Chanukah Menorah therefore has eight main branches, plus the raised ninth lamp set apart as the Shamash (servant) light which is used to kindle the other lights.
In Kabbalah, Or Panim translates to "the light of the face" It is a fundamental conception for the process called Tikkun. All the Kavvanot, the spiritual measures of faith for the realization of the Kingdom of Hashem, focus on the manifestation of the Or Panim. Darkness is in itself a negative element, that is, it does not give the hope of obtaining complete devotion. During the victory of the Kedushah in Chanukah, the Kohen Gadol declared that divine light must triumph. The risk of "fall" can be made by the loss of faith in the Jewish religion as the abyss of Israel's personal and collective identity, the Kohen Gadol thus insists for the "awakening" of the most distant souls in order to direct them with Kavanah towards the fulfillment of the Mitzvot-Because the Torah is the Light and the Mitzvah is a Lamp.