Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish festival of lights that begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Jewish calendar and lasts until Tevet 2. It is a joyous occasion that remembers the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem by the Maccabees in 165 BC after their successful rebellion against the rulers of the day. One of the main ceremonial objects of Hanukkah is the menorah, a nine-branched candelabrum lit to commemorate the miracle that happened when one day’s worth of oil miraculously lasted for eight days. This is where the question of How Many Candles Are Lit For Hanukkah arises.
For the first six days of Hanukkah, the Jews light the candles from left to right, one for each day of the holiday. On the seventh day two candles, the shamash and yarmulke are placed in the middle of the menorah. The shamash (the helper candle) is used to light the other candles and traditionally symbolizes that light should spread to a wider audience. The yarmulke (receptacle of the spirit) which is placed on the outermost right side of the menorah, symbolizes the receptacle that absorbs the spiritual power of the menorah and the miracle that is celebrated each night. On the final, eighth day, the candles are lit from right to left. This is an allusion to how Jews celebrate the last day of every holiday, which marks the return to the way they began.
When lighting the menorah, Jews recite the blessings which are accompanied by a special hand gesture called the Netilat Yadayim. After the candles are lit, a special Hanukkah prayer is said. It’s called Shehechiyanu which translates to ‘He who has kept us alive’ and thanks the Almighty for guiding us until the most sacred time of the year.
So, to answer the question, “How Many Candles Are Lit For Hanukkah?”, the total is nine. One candle is lit on the first night, two on the second night, and so on, until all nine candles are lit on the last night. The lighting of the Hanukkah candles is both spiritually uplifting and aesthetically beautiful. For the Jews, the Hanukkah candles represent the sanctity of the Jewish religion and the power of the everlasting light in the face of persecution. Hanukkah is truly a treasured time of the year, when Jews take time to celebrate the miracles of the past and look towards a brighter future.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.