Hanukkah is a centuries-old Jewish celebration celebrated by millions of Jews around the world. Every year, during the eight days of Hanukkah, a special menorah is lit to honor the miracle of light that took place in ancient Israel over 2,000 years ago. One of the central aspects of the festival is the lighting of the menorah candles, and many people wonder – what time do we light Hanukkah candles?
The Hanukkah menorah, or hanukiah, is a nine-candle holder: eight of the candles represent the eight nights of the Hanukkah holiday, and the ninth is used to kindle the other eight. The candles should be lit in a precise order, from right to left. On the first night, only the first candle is lit. On the second night, two candles are lit – the one from the previous night and the new candle. This process continues for the duration of the holiday, with the additional candle(s) lit each night.
The time you light the Hanukkah candles is determined by the time that the sun sets. According to traditional Jewish law, the Hanukkah candles should be lit at nightfall, which is when the glow of three stars is visible in the sky. However, in modern times, the candles may be lit starting from approximately an hour before sunset (Havdalah time). This allows for the mitzvah to be done closer to the actual time marking nightfall.
There is also a custom to recite special blessings while lighting the candles each night. The blessings must be said in the presence of the lit candles, so they must be recited prior to, and not after, lighting the hanukiah. The first blessing, said on the first night, thanks God “for commanding us to kindle the Hanukkah (festival) lights.” The second blessing, which is then said on each of the following nights, is a more general blessing of thanksgiving, praising God for the miracle of the oil lighting up the menorah for eight days in the Temple.
Hanukkah is a time for family and friends to come together and enjoy the miracle of light. Lighting the hanukiah is a beautiful way to bring people together and remember the miracle of the Temple.
In summary, the time to light the Hanukkah candles is when the sun sets, usually around an hour before. After lighting the hanukiah, special blessings are recited to thank God for the miracle of light. Hanukkah is a time of joy and celebration and is a perfect time to get together with family and friends for this special Jewish holiday.
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Last update 2023-11-22. Price and product availability may change.