Hanukkah or Chanukah
Chanukah (also spelled HanuKkah), meaning “dedication” in Hebrew, refers to the joyous eight-day celebration during which Jews commemorate the victory of the Macabees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and “re-dedication” of the Temple in Jerusalem. The modern home celebration of Hanukkah centers around the lighting of the chanukiyah, a special menorah for Hanukkah; unique foods, latkes and jelly doughnuts; and special songs and games.
When is Chanukah?
2018: First Candle Sunday, December 2, sundown; and ends in the evening of Monday, December 10.
We kindle the first candle of Chanukah on Sunday night, December 6th and the last candle on Sunday night, December 13th.
Candles are added to the Chanukiyah from right to left but are kindled from left to right. The newest candle is lit first.
(On the Shabbat of Hanukkah, kindle the Hanukkah lights first and then the Shabbat candles.)
Light the Shamash – the helper candle – first using it to kindle the rest of the Hanukkah lights; say or sing:
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tsivanu l’hadlik ner shel Chanukah.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who hallows us with mitzvot, commanding us to kindle the Hanukkah lights.
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, she-asah nisim laavoteinu v’imoteinu bayamim hahaeim baz’man hazeh.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who performed wonderous deeds for our ancestors in days of old at this season.
For first night only:
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, shehecheyanu v’kiy’manu v’higianu laz’man hazeh.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, for giving us life, for sustaining us, and for enabling us to reach this season.
We kindle these lights because of the wondrous deliverance You performed for our ancestors. During these eight days of Hanukkah, these lights are sacred; we are not to use them but only to behold them, so that their glow may rouse us to give thanks for Your wondrous acts of deliverance.