Hanukkah or Chanukah, also known as the “Festival of Lights”, is a popular Jewish holiday celebrated for 8 days each year. It is a time for family and friends to come together to light and enjoy the Hanukkah Menorah. One of the most meaningful Hanukkah traditions is the lighting of the Menorah candles. The question that arises every year is “How many lights should be lit for Hanukkah today?”.
Typically, one candle is lit each night during the 8 nights of Hanukkah. Starting with the Shamash (service) candle, it is placed in the center or on the right side of the Menorah and is the first candle to be lit each night. On each successive night, another candle is lit, beginning on the left side of the menorah. This order is repeated for each of the 8 nights. The number of lights each night should correspond to the number of days already passed, thus indicating the progress of the celebration.
The first night of Hanukkah only one candle, the Shamash, is lit. On the second night, two candles are lit. On the third night, three candles are lit, and so on and so forth until all eight candles are lit on the eight night. It is also appropriate to light all eight candles on the seventh night and keep them lit until the eight night.
Order of Blessings
Following the candle lighting ceremony, it is traditional to recite three special blessings:
- Blessing over the Hanukkah lights: This blessing is said while holding up the Shamash candle.
- Blessing for kindling the Hanukkah lights: This blessing is said when all the Hanukkah lights are lit.
- Blessing for praising God: This blessing is said when the Hanukkah lights are lit.
The lighting of the Hanukkah Menorah is a special and exciting part of the Jewish celebration. While many may not understand the exact rituals of lighting the candles, the meaning behind the ritual is extraordinary. It is a reminder of the miracles God performed years ago and a way of keeping alive the spirit of Hanukkah.
Hanukkah is about joyous celebration, fun and togetherness. It is a time to remember the courage and spirit of our people and the miracles that were performed in the past. It is a time to rejoice and light up our lives by lighting the Hanukkah Menorah candles. Whether one, two, three or more, the number of candles to light on each night of Hanukkah is up to each individual’s personal preference.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.