The timing of lighting the Hanukkah candles is an age-old ritual celebrated by Jews around the world. But despite its long traditions, there is a fair bit of confusion and disagreement about the exact timing of this special ritual. In this article, we will explain when to light the Hanukkah candles and how to do it in accordance with Jewish practice.
When Is The Best Time To Light Hanukkah Candles?
The best time to light Hanukkah candles is after sunset, when it is dark out. This is because Hanukkah candles are lit to bring light into the darkness and darkness is considered a symbol of sadness and sorrow in Jewish tradition.
When Lighting Hanukkah Candles, Make Sure That:
- There is enough light in the house that the candles can be seen without difficulty.
- The candles have been placed in holders or cradles that keep them upright.
- The candles are at least 18 inches tall.
It is important to light Hanukkah candles in the presence of a few friends or family members. Reciting a special prayer as the candles are lit is also a tradition common in many Jewish homes.
When lighting the candles, start with the one on the far right side of the menorah and work your way to the left. It is also customary to light an additional candle―the Shamash (servant)―on the same menorah as the Hanukkah candles, which will be used to light all other candles. The Shamash needs to be placed higher or lower than the other candles on the menorah and should not be used to light other menorahs.
Note: If you are a first-time candle lighter, or if you have young children helping you, consider writing out the steps for lighting and be sure to follow them in order.
The lighting of the Hanukkah candles is an age-old ritual that is still revered among Jews around the world. It is a special time of year and a great opportunity to celebrate the miracle of Hanukkah and learn about its traditions. The best time to light the Hanukkah candles is after sunset when it is dark and making sure that all the candles and your surroundings are ready will ensure a safe and meaningful candle lighting experience.
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Last update 2023-11-26. Price and product availability may change.