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Hanukkah Began at Sunset Dec. 20

A brief guide to the candles and the blessings.

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. in Fairfax Station provided an online guide for Patch. Check here for events at in Ashburn.

Lighting the Candles

  • 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.

The Blessings

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."

Phyllis December 21, 2011 at 11:59 PM
Hannukah candles are lit from right to left, like the Hebrew alphabet is from right to left, which is the proper way to light the candles.

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