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.
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 sung, check out the MP3 recording on SiddurAudio.com. The recording is designed for educational purposes, and is chanted at a very moderate pace with very clear enunciation. Siddur Audio and its sister site, Haftorah Audio are great sources for learning the melodies of Jewish liturgy. (They are not associated with this website).
Blessing over Candles
Light the shammus candle first, then recite the blessings while holding the candle. Do not light the other candles until the blessings are done!
Blessing for the Chanukkah Miracle
Shehecheyanu (Who Has Kept Us Alive)
This blessing is recited only on the first night of Chanukkah.
Lighting the Candles
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.
© Copyright 5759-5771 (1998-2011), Tracey R Rich