Lighting the Hanukkah menorah is central to the celebration of Hanukkah. The menorah is lit every night for eight nights to remind us of the miracle that took place. One day’s worth of oil burned for eight days after the Maccabees fought and reclaimed the Holy Temple.
“Thanksgivukkah” is a special Hanukah. This year, the first day of Hanukkah lands on Thanksgiving. Hence the name, “Thanksgivukkah!” This will not happen again in our lifetime, so let’s start celebrating!
- Hanukkah menorah
- Hanukkah candles (make sure they fit the menorah)
- Matches or lighter
First Night of Hanukkah
Assemble the above items and let’s get ready to start celebrating “Thanksgivukkah” or Hanukkah. Traditionally Hanukkah is celebrated at sundown. Depending on where one lives, these times will be different. If interested, please visit Chabad.org for the candle lighting times.
Place a candle in rightmost position on the menorah. Grab one extra candle, called the shamash, and hold onto this. This candle will be placed in the center once lit. Say the following blessing:
“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.” “Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.” “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.”
This blessing can be found on Chabad.org . The blessing can be found in Hebrew and in a transliteration on their website if interested.
After this blessing is said, light the shamash candle, and then light the candle that was placed in the menorah. Once that is lit, place the shamash (middle candle) in the center spot of the menorah.
Other Nights of Hanukkah
During the next, seven nights, place the candles in the menorah from right to left. Like the first night, the shamash (middle candle) is not counted. Once the candles are in place, one candle for each night of Hanukkah, light the shamash candle.
The following blessing is said while lighting the candles:
“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.” “Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.” This blessing can be found on Chabad.org
Light the candles, from left to right, opposite of how they were placed in the menorah. When all of the candles are lit, place the shamash candle in the middle.
Once the candles are lit, this is a great time to play dreidel or other games. Happy “Thanksgivukkah” and Happy Hanukkah!
For further explanation of the history, lighting instructions, and customs, visit Aish.com .