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Guide to Lighting Hanukkah Candles

The Hanukkah candles should be lit at sunset or afterwards.

Using an extra candle called the Shamash, light one candle on the first night (starting at the extreme right side of the hanukkiah) and add a candle each night. By the eighth night, all eight candles are lit.

Each night, before lighting the candles, the first two blessings below are recited. On the first night, the third blessing is added.
Click here to listen to the blessings.

  • Baruch Atah Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech Ha-olam
    Asher Kid’shanu B’mitzvotav
    V’tzivanu L’hadlik Ner Shel Chanukah

    Blessed are You, Lord our God
    King of the Universe
    who sanctified us with his commandments
    and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.

Baruch Atah Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech Ha-olam
She-Asah Nisim La-avoteinu Bayamim
Ha-heim Ba-zman Hazeh

Blessed are You, Lord our God
King of the universe
who performed wondrous deeds for our ancestors
in those days, at this season.





Baruch Atah Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech Ha-olam
She-heche-yanu V'kiye-manu
Vehigi-yanu La-z'man Ha-zeh.

Blessed are You, Lord our God
King of the universe
who has kept us in life, sustained us
and enabled us to reach this season.

Additional Prayers/Songs Traditionally Recited After Lighting the Candles  

Ha-neirot ha-lalu anachnu madlikin al ha-nissim
ve'al ha-niflaot ve 'al ha-teshu'ot ve'al ha-milchamot
she'asita la-avoteinu ba-yamim ha-heim
ba-zeman ha-zeh al yedei kohanecha ha-kedoshim.
Ve-chol shemonat yemei Hanukkah
ha-neirot ha-lalu kodesh heim
ve-ein lanu reshut le-hishtamesh ba-hem
ella lir'otam bilvad kedei lehodot ul'halleil
le-shimcha ha-gadol al nisecha ve'al yeshu'otecha
ve'al nifleotecha. (Some versions: ve'al nifletoecha, ve'al yeshu'otecha)

We light these lights for the miracles and the wonders
for the salvation and the battles that you made for our forefathers
in those days at this season through your holy priests.
During all eight days of Hanukkah these lights are sacred
and we are not permitted to make use of them
except to look at them in order to express thanks and praise
to your great Name for your miracles, your salvations, and your wonders.

Maoz Tzur

Ma-oz Tzur yeshu-ati lecha na-eh leshabei-ah.
Tikon beit tefilati vesham todah nezabei-ah.
Le-et tachin matbe-ach mitzar ha-mnabei-ah.
Az egmor be-shir mizmor chanukat hamizbeiah.

English non-literal version

Rock of Ages, let our song
Praise Thy saving power;
Thou, amidst the raging foes,
Wast our sheltering tower.
Furious they assailed us,
But Thine arm availed us,
And Thy Word
Broke their sword
When our own strength failed us.

Kindling new the holy lamps,
Priests, approved in suffering,
Purified the nation's shrine,
Brought to God their offering.
And His courts surrounding
Hear, in joy abounding,
Happy throngs,
Singing songs
With a mighty sounding.

Children of the martyr race,
Whether free or fettered,
Wake the echoes of the songs
Where ye may be scattered.
Yours the message cheering
That the time is nearing
Which will see
All men free,
Tyrants disappearing.