Lighting the Hanukkiah

Kindle one candle plus the Shammash (helper) candle tonight.

The eight-day festival of Hanukkah begins tonight. In commemoration of the miracle of the oil we kindle the Hanukkah lights — oil lamps or candles — each evening for eight days, increasing the number of lights each evening. Tonight, the first night of Hanukkah, we kindle one light. (In the Jewish calendar, the day begins at nightfall; this evening, then, commences the 1st day of Hanukkah).

On the 1st night of Hanukkah, we recite three blessings before lighting. The lights—which ideally should be kindled soon after sunset—must burn for at least half an hour after nightfall. For the rest of the nights, only recite the first 2 blessings below.

Here are the blessings to be said after lighting the candles:

First blessing:

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

Bah-rookh ah-tah ah-doh-noi eh-loh-hay-noo meh-lekh hah-oh-lahm ah-sher ki-deh-shah-noo beh-mitz-voh-tahv veh-tzee-vah-noo leh-hahd-lik nayr kha-noo-kah 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.

Second blessing:

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

Bah-rookh ah-tah ah-doh-noi eh-loh-hay-noo meh-lekh hah-oh-lahm sheh-ah-sah nee-sim lah-ah-voh-tay-noo bah-yah-mim hah-haym biz-mahn hah-zeh. Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.

Third blessing, recited only on the first night (or the first time lighting this Chanukah):

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לִזְּמַן הַזֶּה

Bah-rookh ah-tah ah-doh-noi eh-loh-hay-noo meh-lekh hah-oh-lahm sheh-heh-kheh-yah-noo veh-kee-mah-noo ve-hig-ee-yah-noo liz-mahn hah-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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