Hanukkah is one of the most beloved Jewish holidays, celebrated around the world by Jews of all backgrounds. One of the main symbols of the holiday is the Hanukkah menorah, which is lit every night of Hanukkah to celebrate the miracle of the eight lights. But when is the proper time to light these candles? Here we will discuss when to light the menorah for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.
When to Light the Hanukkah Menorah
The time to light the Hanukkah menorah is on the evening after nightfall, which is the idea of Havdallah. Havdallah is a short ceremony which marks the end of the Shabbat or holiday and begins the weekdays. Traditionally, Jews would light the menorah shortly after Havdallah.
On the first night of Hanukkah, the menorah should be lit right after Havdallah. On the following days, however, the menorah should be lit shortly before nightfall. Depending on the time of year, this can be anytime from as early as 4:00 PM or as late as 6:00 PM. It is best to check a Jewish calendar for exact times.
Lighting the Menorah Procedure
The proper procedure for lighting the menorah is as follows:
- Take the Shammash (helper candle) and light it first.
- Light each candle from the Shammash from right to left, starting with the furthest candle to the left.
- Say a blessing for the lighting of the Hanukkah candles.
- Enjoy the beauty of the menorah and recite the Hallel prayer.
It is important to note that all candles must be lit at the same time. If for some reason some candles are not able to be lit the first night, two or three may be lit the following night.
When lighting the menorah, it is important to recite the traditional blessing:
- Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav, v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Chanukah
which translates to:
- Blessed are You, Lord our God, ruler of the universe, who sanctified us with God’s commandments and commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah.
In summary, the Hanukkah menorah should be lit each night of Hanukkah shortly after Havdallah during the evening on the first night and shortly before nightfall on the following nights. It is important to recite the traditional blessing before lighting and to light the entire menorah at once. From the smallest child to the oldest adult, everyone should be able to appreciate the significance and beauty of the Hanukkah menorah as it brightens and enlivens each night of the holiday season.
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Last update 2023-11-26. Price and product availability may change.