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Chanukah Lighting Guide

What Is It?
For a kosher Chanukah menorah, any candles will do, as long as they are arranged in a straight row. For the most authentic experience, use olive oil and wicks, the way it was done back in the day.

When Do We Light?
Regular lighting: Each night of Chanukah, just after dark. The menorah should remain lit for at least half an hour after the first stars appear.

Lighting for Shabbat:
On Friday, we light the Chanukah candles before lighting the Shabbat candles.
Chanukah candles should be lit a few minutes earlier than Shabbat candles.

On Saturday Night, we light the candles after Shabbat is over, after reciting Havdallah.
Chanukah candles should be lit as soon as possible after Shabbat. 

Who Should Light It?
All family members should be present at the time of the nightly menorah lighting.
Children should be encouraged to light their own menorahs.

Where Do We Light It?
On a chair or low table, next to a doorway of the main room in the house, opposite the mezuzah.
Some have the custom of lighting it near a window, facing the street.

How Do We Light It?
On the first night, we place the oil and wick (or candle) on the extreme right of the menorah. Each night, we add one light to the left and light the new candle first. The lights are kindled using a “shamash” candle (the candle used to light the other candles, which is not counted as one of the candles).

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Lighting the Menorah

1. Arrange the lights on the menorah. Ensure that there is enough oil, or that the candles are big enough, for the lights to burn until half an hour after nightfall (or, if lighting after nightfall, for one half hour). On the first night, set one candle to the far right of the menorah. On the following night, add a second light to the left of the first one, and then add one light each night of Chanukah - moving from right to left.

2. Gather everyone in the house around the menorah.

3. Light the servant (shamash) candle. Then hold it in your right hand (unless you are left-handed).

4. While standing, recite the appropriate blessings.

5. Light the candles. Each night, light the newest (left-most) candle first and continue lighting from left to right. (We add lights to the menorah from right to left, while we light from left to right.)

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The Blessings

Before lighting the Chanukah candles, we thank G‑d for giving us this special mitzvah, and for the incredible Chanukah miracles:


1. .בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר חֲנֻכָּה

Baruch Atah Adonai Elohenu Melech haolam asher kideshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu lehadlik ner Chanukah.

Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.

2. .בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בִּזְּמַן הַזֶּה

Baruch Atah Adonai Elohenu Melech Haolam sheasa nisim laavotenu bayamim hahem bizman hazeh.

Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.

On the first night of Chanukah, (or the first time on Chanukah you perform this mitzvah), add the following blessing:

3. .בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לִזְּמַן הַזֶּה

Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-he-nu Me-lech Ha-olam she-heche-ya-nu ve-ki-yi-ma-nu ve-higi-a-nu liz-man ha-zeh.

Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.

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Chanukah To Do List

A. There should be at least one menorah lit every night of Chanukah in every house. Each male adult, and preferably every child as well, should light their own menorah.

B. Gather together, especially with children, to recall the story of Chanukah and light the Chanukah candles. Get everyone into the spirit of Chanukah.

C. Give Chanukah gelt (money) to your children, both young and old. Get children to give to their friends, as well, and a portion of what they receive to charity.

D. Add in Torah learning during Chanukah, especially regarding Chanukah itself.

E. Be happy and join the festivities!

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Wed, April 24 2024 16 Nisan 5784