Lighting a menorah for Hanukkah is a joyful ritual that is full of meaning and tradition. This festive holiday activity reminds us of the miracle of oil that was recounted in the Talmud and of many other major events in Jewish history. In this article, we will explain how to light a menorah for Hanukkah, step-by-step.
Table of Contents
What You Need to Light a Menorah
- A Hanukkah menorah
- A multi-wicked candle (also known as a shamash)
- Eight candles, one for each night of the holiday
- Matches or a lighter
Step by Step Instructions on How to Light a Menorah
1. Assemble the Menorah
The Hanukkah menorah consists of a base and the eight candleholders which belong on it. Each candleholder is designed to hold one candle, except for the one in the center which is designed to hold a multi-wicked candle (the shamash candle). Place the multi-wick candle in the center candleholder and the other eight candles in the other candleholders and make sure they are secure.
2. Light the Shamash
Using either a match or a lighter, light the multi-wick candle (the shamash) and let it burn for a few moments.
3. Light the Other Candles
Starting with the candle to the right of the shamash, light each of the other candles (one for each of the eight days of Hanukkah). Each night when you add a new candle, you will light it from right to left, starting with the rightmost candle and then the leftmost.
4. Say the Blessing
After you have lit each candle, recite the blessing out loud: Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu, l’hadlik ner shel Hanukkah (Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with his commandments and commanded us to light the Hanukkah lights).
5. Enjoy the Menorah
Once all eight candles have been lit, enjoy the beauty of the Hanukkah menorah’s lights. Some people like to say a prayer or sing a Hanukkah song while they gaze at the flames.
Lighting a menorah for Hanukkah is an easy and meaningful ritual. Although it is simple, lighting a menorah for the holiday will fill your heart with the spirit of Hanukkah and will also remind you that your Jewish heritage and values are something to be celebrated.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.