How Do I Light A Menorah?

On Each Night Of Hanukkah You Start By Lighting The Shamash Candle, Which Is Always At A Different Height Than The Other Eight Candles On The Menorah. On The First Night Of Hanukkah You Take The Lit Shamash And You Light The First Candle On The Far Right Of The Menorah. On The Second Night You Place Two Candles On The Far Right Of The Menorah. Once You Light The Shamus You Will Light The Menorah From The Candle Closest To The Left And Then The Candle To The Right Of It That You Lit The Night Before. Each Night An Additional Light Is Added To The Left Of The Light Which Had Been Lit On The Previous Night. Candles Are Always Added From Right To Left, But The Actual Lighting Of The Candles Is Done From Left To Right. Sound A Bit Confusing? Take A Look At Our Video Below For A Better Understanding.

What Blessings Are Said When I Light The Menorah?

On The First Night Of Hanukkah You Recite The Following Three Blessings Before Lighting The Menorah.

On The Second Night And All Subsequent Nights After You Only Say The First Two Blessings.

The First Blessing

(Recited On All Eight Nights Of Hanukkah) In Hebrew - Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Haolam, Asher Kidshanu B’mitzvotav V’tzivanu L’hadlik Ner Shel Hanukkah. In English - Blessed Are You, O Lord Our God, Ruler Of The Universe, Who Has Sanctified Us With Your Commandments And Commanded Us To Kindle The Lights Of Hanukkah.

The Second Blessing

(Recited On All Eight Nights Of Hanukkah) In Hebrew - Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Haolam, She’asah Nisim L’avoteinu, B’yamim Haheim Bazman Hazeh. In English - Blessed Are You, O Lord Our God, Ruler Of The Universe, Who Made Miracles For Our Forefathers In Those Days At This Time.

The Third Blessing

(Recited Only On The First Night Of Hanukkah) In Hebrew - Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Haolam, Shehekheyanu, V’kiyamanu Vehegianu Lazman Hazeh. In English - Blessed Are You, O Lord Our God, Ruler Of The Universe, Who Has Kept Us Alive, Sustained Us And Brought Us To This Season.

Lighting A Menorah Video

What Is A Menorah?

A Menorah Is A Very Special Arrangement Of Nine Candles. Eight Of The Candles Are For Each Night Of Chanukah, And The Highest Candle, Known As The Shamash Or "Servant", Is Used To Light The Other Candles.

On The First Night Of Chanukah One Light Is Lit And This Continues For Eight Days Until All Eight Are Shining Brightly. This Reminds The People Of The Miracle That Happened So Long Ago. The Candles Are Placed In The Menorah From Right To Left, But Lit From Left To Right. Special Blessings Are Recited Each Night Before The Lights Are Lit.

Long Ago Olive Oil Was Used In Chanukah Menorahs, But Over The Years Colorful Candles Have Been Substituted. In Israel, The Chanukah Menorah Is Called The Hanukiyah. They Come In All Shapes And Sizes And Resemble The Holy Temple's Menorah.

Why Is Chanukah Celebrated?

Over 2300 Years Ago In A Country Called Judea (Israel) There Lived Many Hebrew, Or Jewish People. There Also Lived A Very Wicked Man Called King Antiochus. Antiochus Ordered All The Jewish People To Give Up Their God, Religion, And Customs And Worship Only The Greek Gods. By His Orders Jewish Temples Were Destroyed Or Used For His Purposes And Those Jews Who Would Not Worship How He Commanded Were Severely Punished.

Some Of The Jewish People Chose To Obey Antiochus, But Others Refused. Now One Of These Men Who Refused To Worship The Greek Gods Was Judah Maccabee. Judah Had Four Brothers And Together They Formed An Army With As Many As Would Join With Them. Their Goal Was To Defeat The Syrians That Oppressed Them So That The Jewish People Could Be Free To Worship As They Believed. They Chose To Call Themselves Maccabees, Which Means Hammer. The Maccabees And The Syrians Fought For About Three Years Until Finally The Maccabees Defeated The Syrians And Reclaimed The Temple In Jerusalem.

Their First Priority Was To Clean And Rededicate The Temple To The Service Of God. So They Washed And Scrubbed The Temple Clean And Removed The Greek Symbols And Idols From Within The Walls. Now They Were Ready To Rededicate It Unto Their God. Remember Chanukah/Hanukkah Means "Rededication". The Only Problem Was That Judah And The Judean Heroes Could Not Find Any Blessed Oil To Light The Lamps. They Searched And Searched. Finally, In One Of The Temple Chambers They Discovered A Very Small Cruse Of Oil.

The Maccabees Knew That There Was Just Enough Oil That The Lights Could Be Lit For One Evening. Then A Miracle Happened. That Very Small Flask Of Oil Lasted Not Just One Night But Eight Nights! This Is Why The Menorah Has Eight Candles. Each One Represents A Night That That Small Flask Of Oil Kept The Lights Of The Holy Temple Lit.


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