Hanukkah Candle Lighting Blessings

Traditional Hanukkah MenorahHanukkah candles are lit every night of the eight days of Hanukkah. One candle on the first night and then one additional candle every day until all eight candles are lit on the last day.

The middle candle, or the one off to the side (depending on the Menorah you use), is the Shamash. The Shamash is sort of a "support" candle, Shamash actually comes from the root of the word "to use", and you use it to light the other candles.

So even when you light the first candle, the Shamash is lit as well - but not counted. It's always the Hanukkah day number Plus one.

The candles in the Menorah are lit from right to left and added from right to left as the eight days of Hanukkah progress. Only the Shamash should be used to light the other Hanukkah candles. Once you set the candles in the Menorah hold up the Shamash and recite the following blessings:

Hanukkah Candle Blessing

  "Baruch Ata Addonay Eloheynu Melech HaOlam Asher Kideshanu
   BeMitzvotav VeTzivanu Lehadlik Ner Shel Hanukkah."


Translation: Blessed are you my god, king of the universe, that blessed us with his will and commanded us to light the candle of Hanukkah.

Hanukkah Blessing

  "Baruch Ata Addonay Eloheynu Melech Haaolam Sheasah Nisim,
   Laavoteynu Bayamim HaHem BaZeman HaZeh"


Translation: Blessed are you my god, king of the universe, that made miracles for our forefathers in those days, at these times.

First Night of Hanukkah Blessing

  "Baruch Ata Adonai Eloheynu Melech HaOlam SheHecheyanu
   VeKiyimanu VeHigiaanu LaZman HaZeh."


Translation: Blessed are you my god, king of the universe, who gave us life, sustained us, and brought us to this time.

Israeli Handmade MenorahWhen you finish the blessing, light the candles and watch those fingers. In Israel there are some additional songs that are sung for the Hanukkah holiday. The Menorah with the lit candles is normally placed on the window sill to be seen by all.

Notice: Always set the Menorah on a tray or plate that is not flammable and does not pose a risk. Don't place the Menorah near any drapes or other potential fire hazards.