7. Add at least one image at the top above the introduction.
Hanukkah is one of the most beloved and celebrated Jewish holidays. It is a time to come together with family and friends, light the menorah, eat traditional Hanukkah foods, exchange gifts, and sing special holiday songs. On the first night of Hanukkah, it’s important to get the celebration off to a great start. There are many ways to do this, whether you are planning a large gathering or a small family tradition!
Light the Menorah
The evening starts with lighting the Menorah. It is customary to start lighting from the right, as a symbol of the way that our forefathers were used to writing. On the first night, the candle in the middle is called the shamash (servant) and is used to light the other candles. The middle candle is lit first and then all the other candles are lit from it, from right to left.
It is customary to say a blessing before lighting the Menorah. During the first night, there are two blessings said. The first one is:
“Baruch atah Adonoy, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav, vitzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.”
This translates to:
“We thank You, G-d, Ruler of the universe, who has sanctified us by His mitzvot and commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah”.
The second blessing that is said is:
“Baruch atah Adonoy, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, shehecheyanu vekiyemanu vehigianu lizman hazeh.”
This translates to:
“We thank You, G-d, Ruler of the universe, who has given us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this day”.
Food & Gifts
After the lighting of the menorah, traditional Hanukkah foods such as latkes and sufganiyot (jelly-filled donuts) are eaten to celebrate. It is also customary to exchange gifts, bags of gelt (money), or to play dreidel with family and friends.
To keep the energy high and the spirit of the holiday alive, song and dance is often included in Hanukkah festivities. Many traditional Hanukkah songs such as “Maoz Tzur”, “Rock of Ages”, and “Hanerot Halalu”, as well as popular modern songs are sung.
Hanukkah is a special time of year to celebrate the victory of the Jews, and the first night of Hanukkah is especially important. By lighting the menorah, saying blessings, eating traditional foods, exchanging gifts, and singing songs, you’ll have the perfect start to the holiday.
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Last update 2023-11-22. Price and product availability may change.