A Guide to Chanukah In The Home, 2013
Hanukkah begins on the eve of the twenty-fifth day of Kislev and lasts eight days. This year we light the first candle on Wednesday evening 27th November.
One light is kindled on the first night of Hanukkah; an additional light is added each succeeding night, so that eight lights are kindled on the eighth night. In general the lights should be kindled immediately after sundown. Three blessings are recited before the lighting on the first night and the first two are also recited on each of the seven subsequent nights. The shehechiyanu is recited on the first day only.
On Friday night the Hanukkah lights are lit before the Sabbath candles (and before sundown). On Saturday night we light before Havdalah.
The first candle is placed on the far right as the person lighting the Menorah looks at it. The second candle (on the second night) is placed directly to the left of the first candle, and so on, always moving leftward, The kindling starts on the left and moves toward the right. The first candle to be lit each day is the new candle for that day. Hanerot halalu, is sung while kindling the lights, followed by maoz tzur. The Menorah should be placed where it is visible from outside the house in order to proclaim the miracle of Hanukkah to passers-by--l'farsumei nisah.
In addition to the candles that are lit for each day, there is a special candle known as the shamash. This extra candle is necessary because the Hanukkah lights themselves should not be used for kindling other lights, as we say in the passage Hanerot halalu, ‘These lights are holy and we are not permitted to use them in any way.’
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloyheynu Melekh Ha-oylom Asher Kiddeshanu Be-mitsvoytov Ve-tsivanu Lehadlik Ner Shel khanukah.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, who has sanctified us by His commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah.
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloyheynu Melekh Ha-oylom She-oso Nissim La-avoteynu Ba-yamim Ho-hem Ba-zman Ha-zzeh.
Blessed are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, who wrought miracles for our ancestors in days of old, at this time of year.
Third Blessing (only on the first night of Hanukkah)
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloyheynu Melekh Ha-oylom She-hekheyonu Ve-kiymonu Ve-higgi'onu La-zzman Ha-zzeh.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, who has kept us alive, and has preserved us, and enabled us to reach this time.