Lighting candles on Hanukkah is an important ritual, one that helps us remember and celebrate an ancient Israeli victory and the miracle associated with that victory. Lighting the candles properly is essential to the ritual, not only to commemorate the occasion but also to get the most of the blessings associated with each candle, so it is certainly worth learning the basics.
Using A Menorah
A menorah is a special 9-branched candelabra used for lighting during Hanukkah. It has 8 branches for the Hanukkah candles, plus one center branch for the shamash, which is used to light the other candles. The 8 branches of the menorah correspond to the 8 nights of Hanukkah.
Lighting The Menorah
- Place the menorah in a prominent spot in your home, preferably near a window or in a place that allows the light of the menorah to be seen outside.
- Light the shamash, which is the helper candle used to light the other candles.
- On the first night of Hanukkah, light one Hanukkah candle.
- Move from right to left. Light the second candle by using the shamash to light it.
- Do the same with the other six candles until all eight candles are lit.
- Recite the blessings and the Hanukkah prayers.
- Blow out the shamash.
Maintenance Of The Menorah
Make sure to check the candles every night, and replace them as needed to keep the flame burning and the menorah up and running. It is also recommended that you keep a little bit of oil handy, to use in case of any emergency.
Lighting candles on Hanukkah is a meaningful ritual, bringing cheer and joy to the celebration of this holy season. Knowing the basics of how to light a menorah correctly is important, as is doing proper maintenance to ensure that the menorah remains lit throughout the 8 days of Hanukkah.
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Last update 2023-11-22. Price and product availability may change.