I am providing the basic instructions for lighting the Chanukkah candles and the associated blessings for your learning and convenience.
The kindling of the lights is the most significant ceremony of the festival. It should be observed in a spirit of reverence and solemnity in a beautiful manner.
- The Chanukkah candles should be kindled after nightfall. The Menorah should be placed near a window for public view. Some people have more than one Menorah such as one for the window, and one on a special table. Some families have a menorah for each family member.
- 2. On Friday night, the Chanukkah candles are kindled before nightfall and before the Shabbat candles. On Saturday night, they are kindled after the conclusion of Shabbat or Havdala if this is also celebrated.
- 3. On the first night, place one candle in the Menorah at the extreme right. Light the Shamash (servant candle) and recite the blessings. With the Shamash candle that is representative of Yahshua, light the candle on the far right on the Menorah. On the second night, place two fresh candles in the Menorah and so on, adding one candle each night of the festival.
- The Chanukkah Blessings
- (Recited after the Shamash candle is lit but before the other candles are kindled)
- Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha’olam,
- asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Chanukkah
Blessed are You, O L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to kindle the light of Chanukkah
Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha’olam, she’asa ni’sim l’avotaynu ba’ya’mim ha’haym ba’zman hazeh.
Blessed are You, O L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, who performed miracles for our ancestors in days of old in this time of the year.
On the first night only:
Baruch Ata Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha’olam, shehecheyanu v’kiy’manu v’higianu la’zman hazeh.
Blessed are You O L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and permitted us to celebrate this season.
You will find other variations of this ceremony, just as you will for Erev Shabbat . It is important to remember the concept of the festival and celebrate it with humility and reverence. This is a basic protocol for observing Chanukkah that will glorify G-d if done with sincerity and love.
Rabbi Tamah Davis