Chanukah


CHANUKAH RITUALS AND BLESSINGS
Chanukah is a very special, festive and fun holiday, lasting eight days and nights. A menorah refers to a candelabrum, usually one with seven branches. A hanukiyyah is a menorah used specifically on Chanukah, which includes eight branches, one for each day of the holiday, and one extra branch for the shamash (helper) candle that is used to light the other candles. Blessings are recited over lighting the candles of Chanukah. One candle is lit for each night. The candle for the first night is put on the right side of hanukiyyah. On each subsequent night, an additional candle is placed to the immediate left of the previous night’s candle, and the candles are lit from left to right, so that the kindling begins with the newest candle. Since these lights are holy, it is forbidden to make practical use of them; therefore, a special shamash (helper) candle is used to light the others.  Candles are added to the hanukkiyah (menorah) from right to left but are kindled from left to right. The newest candle is lit first. (On the Shabbat of Chanukah, kindle the Chanukah lights first and then the Shabbat candles.) Light the shamash (the helper candle) first, using it to kindle the rest of the Chanukah lights. As you do, say or sing the following two blessings:  Transliteration:Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tsivanu l’hadlik ner shel Chanukah.  English:Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Sovereign of all, who hallows us with mitzvot, commanding us to kindle the Chanukah lights. 
Transliteration:Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, she-asah nisim laavoteinu v’imoteinu bayamim hahaeim baz’man hazeh.  English:Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Sovereign of all, who performed wonderous deeds for our ancestors in days of old at this season. For first night only (following the first two blessings) – the Shehecheyanu: 
Transliteration:Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, shehecheyanu v’kiy’manu v’higiyanu laz’man hazeh.English:Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Sovereign of all, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this