Hanukkah is a Jewish festival celebrated as a time of rededication and commemoration for over 2500 years. A major part of the Hanukkah celebration includes the eight-day-long tradition of lighting candles. But do you know what side do you light the Hanukkah candles? This article will provide all the information you need to know.
Lighting Up Hanukkah Candles with Tradition
The menorah or the Hanukkiah is the nine-branched candelabra used to light the Hanukkah candles during the eight-day festival of Hanukkah. Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of the Jewish month Kislev, which corresponds to different dates each year in the regular Gregorian calendar. The menorah is placed in the window to symbolize the miracle of light. On each day of Hanukkah, one more candle is lit until the eighth and final day.
The correct order for the Hanukkah candles is to light them from left to right. It is a custom to light the Hanukkah candles starting with the newest candle (the one that will be lit that day) and working backwards.
The Blessing for Lighting Hanukkah Candles
Before lighting the candles, one must recite the blessing. On the first night of Hanukkah, members of the household recite the following blessing:
- Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha-olam asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Chanukah.
- Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, who sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah lights.
The same blessing is recited for every night, but on the seventh and eighth nights of Hanukkah, an additional sentence is added at the conclusion of the initial blessings:
- She-asah nisim la-avoteinu ba-yamim ha-heim ba-zman ha-zeh
who made miracles for our ancestors in those ancient days at this season.
The Symbolic Meaning of Hanukkah Candles
The lighting of the Hanukkah candles has many symbolic meanings. It symbolizes the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after it was desecrated by the Syrian-Greeks. It also symbolizes the deliverance from assimilation with Grecian culture and the success of the Maccabean revolt. Finally, it symbolizes the message of hope and celebration in the long journey of the Jewish people for freedom.
When lighting Hanukkah candles, it is important to light them from the left and always make the newest candle the first one to be lit. This ensures that you are following the traditions of the Jewish people. The blessing that is recited before lighting the candles is an important part of the ceremony as it has great meaning in its symbolism. This Hanukkah, don’t forget to light those candles and enjoy the celebration.
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Last update 2023-11-22. Price and product availability may change.