Lighting the Menorah is a primary ritual done during the celebration of Hanukkah or the Festival of Lights. A Hanukkah Menorah is a candelabrum with nine branches. It is mitzvah (commanded by God) to light a Hanukkah Menorah each night for 8 days to recollect the Maccabees’ victory and the sacred oil that lit for 8 days at the holy temple in Jerusalem.
- Ideally, the Hanukkah Menorah is lit outside the front door of your house. This can also be done at the window for everyone to see. Lighting the Menorah can also be done on a table inside your home.
- Light the Menorah immediately at nightfall. It is also acceptable to light the candle later at night to make sure that all family members can participate in the ceremony. It is important that all household members are present when lighting the wicks. The Menorah should remain lit for at least 30 minutes. It is customary to light the candle before sundown on Friday afternoon.
- On the first night of Hanukkah, place a candle on the far right corner of the Menorah and another candle for the Shamash (located at the center of the Menorah). Recite the three blessings and light the wick using the Shamash candle.
– Borukh Ato Adoynoy Eloyheynu Melekh Ho-oylom Asher Kiddeshonu Be-mitsvoysov Ve-tsivonu Lehadlik Neyr Shel khanuko. (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.)
– Borukh Ato Adoynoy Eloyheynu Melekh Ho-oylom She-oso Nissim La-avoseynu Ba-yyomim Ho-heym Ba-zzman Ha-zze. (Blessed are you Lord, our God, King of the universe, who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season.)
– Borukh Ato Adoynoy Eloyheynu Melekh Ho-oylom She Hek-heyonu Ve-kiymonu Ve-higgi’onu La-zzman Ha-zze. (Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has kept us alive, and has preserved us, and enabled us to reach this time.
- Put a new candle on the Menorah each night starting from where the first candle was lit. Say the first two blessings and light the candles using the Shamash.
- Sing the Maoz Tzur when the candles have been lit.
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