Lighting Chanukah Candles

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The eight night

Lighting

  1. For a hidur mitzvah the number of lights lit is increased by one each night.[1]
  2. The purpose of the shamash is to adhere to the prohibition, specified in the Talmud against using the Hanukkah lights for anything other than pirsumay nisah.[2]

Materials

  1. The lights can be candles or oil lamps [3]
  2. The use of electric lights is reserved for special circumstances.

Location

  1. The reason for the Hanukkah lights is so that passers-by should see it and be reminded of the holiday's miracle. Accordingly lamps are set up at a prominent window or near the door leading to the street.
  2. Lamps are placed on the opposite side from the mezuzah, so that when one passes through the door he is surrounded by the holiness of mitzvoth

Pirsumay Nisah

  1. The menorah is set up at a prominent window or near the door leading to the street. It is customary amongst some Ashkenazim to have a separate menorah for each family member (customs vary), whereas most Sephardim light one for the whole household

Timing

  1. Hanukkah lights should burn for at least one half hour after it gets dark
  2. The Menorah can be lit late into the night. It is best to wait until all members of the household are present to light the Menorah.

Berachot

ברוך אתה ה' א לוהינו מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו להדליק נר (של) חנוכה ‏ ברוך אתה ה' א לוהינו מלך העולם, שעשה נסים לאבותינו בימים ההם בזמן הזה.

ברוך אתה ה' א לוהינו מלך העולם, שהחינו וקימנו והגענו לזמן הזה.

  1. On the first night all three blessings are said. On all other nights only the first two are said [4]

Lighting

  1. On the first night one candle is lit on the right side of the Menorah. On each subsequent night an additional light is placed to the left of the previous candle and so on, proceeding from right to left over the eight nights.
  2. On each night, the leftmost candle is lit first, and lighting proceeds from left to right.

Difference from Shabbat Candles

  1. Shabbat candles are meant to be used for illumination.

Lighting Friday night

  1. Since candles may not be lit on the Shabbat itself, the candles must be lit before sunset. However, they must remain lit until the regular time—thirty minutes after nightfall—and inexpensive Hanukkah candles do not burn long enough to meet the requirement. A simple solution is to use longer candles, or the traditional oil lamps. In keeping with the above-stated prohibition, the Hanukkah menorah is lit first, followed by the Shabbat candles which signify its onset

Hanerot Halalu

  1. Hanerot halalu anachnu madlikin
Al hanissim ve'al haniflaot
Al hatshu-ot ve'al hamilchamot
She-asita la'avoteynu
Bayamim hahem, bazman hazeh
Al yedey kohanecha hakdoshim.
Vechol shmonat yemey Chanukah
Hanerot halalu kodesh hem,
Ve-ein lanu reshut lehishtamesh bahem
Ela lirotam bilvad
Kedai lehodot leshimcha
Al nissecha veal nifleotecha ve-al yeshuotecha.

Maoz Tzur

  1. Ma'oz tsur yeshu'ati
lecha na'eh leshabeakh.
Tikon beit tefilati
vesham todah nezaveakh.
Le'et tachin matbeakh
mitsar hamnabeakh,
'az 'egmor beshir mizmor
khanukat hamizbeakh.

Sources

  1. Shulkhan Arukh Orach Chayim 671:2
  2. Shabbat 21b–23a
  3. Shulkhan Arukh Orach Chayim 673:1.
  4. Shulkhan Arukh Orach Chayim 676:1-2