Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, began at sunset Dec. 20 – 25 Kislev on the Hebrew calendar – and lasts for eight days.
There is an order to the nightly lighting and blessings. Temple B'nai Shalom in Fairfax Station provided an online guide for Patch. Check here for events at Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation in Ashburn.
- Nine candles are placed in the menorah from right to left.
- One of the candles, the shamesh, is used to light all of the other candles on the menorah. It is often placed in the center, but the only requirement is that it is higher than the rest of the candles.
- The candles are lit from right to left.
- Each night an additional candle is lit, so that on day eight all candles are lit.
There is a blessing for the candles.
"Blessed are you, Adonai our G-d, Ruler of the Universe, Who sanctifies us with mitzvot, and commands us to kindle the Hanukkah lights."
"Blessed are you, Adonai our G-d, Ruler of the Universe, Who performed wondrous deeds for our ancestors in days of old, at this season."
And a first night blessing:
"Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Ruler of the Universe,
for giving us life, for sustaining us, and for enabling us to reach this season."