Lighting Hanukkah candles is a meaningful part of the eight-day Jewish holiday. The typical method of lighting is by kindling one light each night on a special menorah. There is a special prayer said while doing this, and special customs which make the process even more meaningful. Here, we’ll discuss how to light Hanukkah candles.
Table of Contents
To Light the Candles of the Menorah
Step 1: Gather the Supplies
- A menorah (You can buy a menorah, or make one from components that can be purchased separately)
- A box of Hanukkah candles (Make sure to purchase enough candles for each of the eight days of Chanukah. You may want extra candles for the special Shabbat service on Chanukah)
- Matches or lighter
Step 2: Clean and Prepare the Menorah
- Clean the menorah before beginning. It is important that the candles can fit securely and not fall out too easily.
- Place the menorah in a safe place close to you. It must be visible to others as well.
Step 3: Light the Candles
- In modern-day practice, no blessing is traditionally made on the first night of Hanukkah.
- On subsequent nights, a blessing should be made.
- The special prayer for Hanukkah is “Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah lights.”
Step 4: Place the Candles
- Right-Hand Side Candles: These are the candles for the first four nights of Hanukkah, and should be lit from right to left.
- Left-Hand Side Candles: These are the candles for the last four nights of Hanukkah, and should be lit from left to right.
- The farthermost candle is called the shamash, or helper candle. This candle is used to light the other candles.
- Only one candle should be lit on the first night. On the second night, two candles should be lit, and so on, until all eight candles are lit on the last night.
Step 5: Place the Menorah in a window
- The lit menorah should be placed in a window so that the light of the menorah can be seen by passers-by.
- This is an important part of the Hanukkah celebration and is meant to remind others of the miracle of the oil lasting eight days.
Lighting Hanukkah candles is an important and cherished part of the Jewish holiday. The lighting of one light each night for eight nights is a powerful symbol of freedom and survival, and is meant to remind us of the miracles that took place. With these simple steps, anyone can light the candles of the menorah and properly honor the meaning of Hanukkah.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.