Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated to commemorate the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem following the Maccabean Revolt. The holiday is celebrated with the lighting of candles over eight days. The exact number of candles to be lit has long been a matter of debate, with the traditional answer varying according to different interpretations of Jewish laws.
<h2>Lighting the Candles for Hanukkah</h2>
The number of candles to be lit for Hanukkah is determined by the number of days of Hanukkah – eight days in total. On the first night of Hanukkah a blessing is said and one candle is lit on the shamash (a type of helper candle) and then transferred to the rightmost candle of the Hanukkah Menorah (which usually holds nine candles). On the rest of the nights, the blessing is recited and one additional candle is lit on the right side of the Menorah from right to left. This is repeated on each succeeding night until the end of the eight days of Hanukkah.
<h3>The Total Number of Candles for Hanukkah</h3>
The total number of candles that will be lit during the celebration of Hanukkah is 44. This is because in addition to the eight days of lighting one candle each night, a ninth candle, the shamash, is lit each night. As such, each night during Hanukkah is counted as two – one candle is added while one is transferred from the shamash to the rightmost candle of the Menorah.
<h3>Alternative Oppinions and Variations</h3>
While the traditional answer of 44 candles for Hanukkah is the most widely accepted within Western Judaism, there are a variety of interpretations of the commandment to light the Menorah. Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews may light two lights each night, for a total of 36. Another school of thought is that for each night two blessings are said and two candles are lit, for a total of 72 candles.
<li>The traditional number of candles to light for Hanukkah is 44.</li>
<li>Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews may light two lights each night, for a total of 36.</li>
<li>Another interpretation is that for each night two blessings are said and two candles are lit, for a total of 72.</li>
The answer to the question of “How Many Candles For Hanukkah Total?” can vary according to interpretation. Traditional Western Judaism has long held that the correct answer is 44 candles lit over the eight nights of Hanukkah. Other schools of thought interpret and light the Menorah in different ways, either by lighting two candles per night for 36 candles total, or two blessings and two candles per night for 72 candles total. Whichever interpretation is chosen, its purpose is to commemorate the miraculous victory of the Jewish Maccabees and the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
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Last update 2023-11-26. Price and product availability may change.