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Chanukkah Candle Lighting Blessings

See also:
Chanukkah

Please note that this page contain the name of God.
If you print it out, please treat it with appropriate respect.

If you do not have experience reading transliteration
please see the Guide to Transliteration.

One candle is added to the menorah each night. The first night, you light only the shammus (the one at a different height) and one Chanukkah candle. By the eighth night, you light all of the candles.

Candlelighting Procedure Candles should be added to the menorah from right to left (like Hebrew writing). See animation at right. The shammus candle is lit first. While holding the shammus candle, recite the following blessings. They are usually sung. Click the music icons in the blessings below to hear the tune.

If you would like to hear the blessings, check out this RealPlayer recording of Cantor Pinchas Rabinovicz singing the blessings and other tunes from 613.org, a great source of free traditional audio files. (Please note: This recording uses Ashkenazic pronunciation)

Blessing over Candles 

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Light the shammus candle first, then recite the blessings while holding the candle. Do not light the other candles until the blessings are done!

Hebrew MIDI
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe
Hebrew
asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu
Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us
Hebrew
l'had'lik neir shel Chanukah. (Amein)
to light the lights of Chanukkah. (Amen)

Blessing for the Chanukkah Miracle 

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Hebrew MIDI
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe
Hebrew
she'asah nisim la'avoteinu bayamim haheim baziman hazeh. (Amein)
Who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time

Shehecheyanu (Who Has Kept Us Alive) 

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This blessing is recited only on the first night of Chanukkah.

Hebrew MIDI
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe
Hebrew
shehecheyanu v'kiyimanu v'higi'anu laz'man hazeh. (Amein)
who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season (Amen)

Lighting the Candles 

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After reciting the blessings, use the shammus to light the Chanukkah candles from left to right (newest to oldest). See animation at top.

Candles should be left burning until they go out on their own. They must burn for more than half an hour. Standard Chanukkah candles burn for about an hour.

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