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Lighting the Hanukkah Menorah: Here’s How

Trying to figure out how to light a Hanukkah menorah? Is it left to right or right to left? Which side do you put the candles in first? Lighting the Hanukkah menorah is an easy activity that the whole family can participate in. On the first night of Hanukkah, there are three prayers given: over the lighting of the candles, over the miracle of Hanukkah and for a new experience. On the remaining seven nights, only the first two prayers are said.

Which Way To Light Hanukkah Candles?

Facing the hanukkiah (Hanukkah menorah), put a candle in the right-most spot on the first night. On the second night, candles are placed in the right-most spot and the one to its left. Keep adding additional candles to the left for each night.

You light the newest night’s candle first, so you start by lighting the left-most candle available. (In other words, fill in the menorah from right to left, but light the menorah from left to right.) You light the menorah by lighting the shamash (helper candle – usually the center of the menorah or otherwise distinguished from the others), then using it to light the other candles.

When and Why Do You Light The Menorah?

The whole purpose of lighting the Hanukkah menorah is to bring awareness to the miracle. For this reason, it is important to light the menorah candles in a location where they are visible from a public area. Most people will do this in the synagogue following the Hanukkah blessings on the first night. 

The menorah candles must only be lit during nightfall since it is the only time that the candle flames will be visible. Once set, the candles should be left until they burn out if possible. 

Menorah lighting blessings

Photos via @ariel.loves and Peace Love Light.


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Author: 18Doors