Hanukkah is an important and widely celebrated Jewish holiday, full of meaningful rituals, traditions, and prayers. A key component of the holiday is the Hanukkah prayer, or blessings, which are recited at each day’s liturgy. While a traditional Hanukkah prayer is said in Hebrew, many people choose to also recite the blessings in English. To better understand what the English translation of the Hanukkah Prayer is and why English is sometimes chosen, it is important to look at the backstory of the holiday and its rituals.
The typical English translation of the Hanukkah prayer is below:
<h2>The English Translation of the Hanukkah Prayer</h2>
<li>Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days, at this season.</li>
<li>Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.</li>
<li>We thank You and praise You, for our lives which are in Your hands, for Your miracles, and for Your wonders and favors.</li>
<h3>Why Recite an English Translation </h3>
Many people choose to recite the Hanukkah prayer in English, either in addition to or instead of Hebrew. In some cases, the choice to speak English may be because of a deeper connection that the speaker has with the religion, as many diaspora Jews may not have learned traditional Hebrew. Or, it may be to open the prayer up to people of different faiths or a non-Jewish spouse. No matter the reason, reciting in English is completely acceptable during the Hanukkah liturgy.
While speaking in English during the Hanukkah prayer does not replace the traditional Hebrew version, it is a nice addition to any celebration of the holiday. Words in any language can be used to express thanks for the things we have in our lives, but having an English translation of the Hanukkah prayer makes it easier for those who do not speak or understand Hebrew to comfortably participate in the liturgy. By doing this, we can share the miracles and joy of this holiday with more people of varied backgrounds instead of limiting it to those with a Hebrew language fluency.
Hanukkah is full of traditions and rituals, all of which are significant in creating a deeper meaning behind the holiday. Today, the choice to recite in both Hebrew and English has become more common, making it easier for a greater number of people to connect with the modern-day celebration and find relevance in the romanticized story of the victory of the Maccabean revolt against Greek occupation and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.