Hanukkah Blessings

Hanukkah is a holiday celebrated for eight days to commemorate the victory of Judah Maccabees over King Antiochus IV of Syria thousands of years ago. It came with the famous story of the miraculous jar of oil that should have lasted for a day, but burned for eight days.

How to Recite the Three Hanukkah Blessings

Lighting the Hanukkah menorah before sundown is a time-honored tradition of the holiday. For each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, prior to the lighting of the candle, all family members gather around the menorah and recite the Hanukkah blessings.

The Shamash candle or lead candle is lit on the first night of Hanukkah, after which several blessings (Brachos) are recited synchronously, every evening, until the eighth day when Hanukkah is over.

These Blessings (Brachos) are recited

The first blessing and only recited on the first night as the Shamash candle is given light.

“Baruch ata Ado-nai, Elo-heinu Melech ha’olam, She’hecheyanu, vekiyemanu vehigi’anu laz’man hazeh.”

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

Two blessings are recited after the first candle is placed in the Menorah:

Baruch ata Adonai, Elohenu melech ha-olam
asher kideshanu be-mitzvotav, ve-tzivanu le-hadlik
ner shel Hanukah.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by His commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah.

“Baruch ata Ado-nai, Elo-heinu Melech ha’olam, She’asah nisim la’avoseinu, bayamim ha’hem baz’man hazeh.”

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has wrought miracles for our forefathers, in those days at this season.

After reciting the blessings and lighting the candles the Haneros Halalu is spoken

“Ha’Neiros halalu anachnu madlikin al hanisim ve’al hanifla’os, ve’al hat’shu’os ve’al hamilchamos, sh’asisa la’avoseinu bayamim hahem baz’man hazeh, al yedei kohaneicha hakedoshim. Vechol sh’monas yemei Chanukah, haneiros halalu kodesh hem. Ve’ein lanu reshus le’hishtamesh ba’hem, eh’la lir’osam bilvad, ke’dei le’hodos u’lehalel leshimcha hagadol al nisecha ve’al nifle’osecha ve’al yeshu’oshecha.”

These lights we kindle upon the miracles, the wonders, the salvations, and the battles which you performed for our forefathers in those days at this season through your holy priests. During all eight days of Chanukah these lights are sacred, and we are not permitted to make ordinary use of them, but to look at them in order to express thanks and praise to your great Name for Your miracles, your wonders and your salvations.

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