Tuesday, December 20, 2011


In our community, we light one Chanukkia per family, not per individual. Other communities have the custom to allow or encourage children and other family members to light their own Chanukkia. 

The father or the person in charge of the family, recites the following three blessings before he lights the candle. (On all subsequent nights, only blessings number 1 and 2 are recited).

Blessing #1: Barukh Ata Ado-nai Elo-henu Melekh ha-olam, Asher Kid-deshanu be-Mitzvo-tav, Ve-tzee-vanu le-had-leek Ner Chanukka.

Blessing #2: Barukh ata Ado-nai Elo-henu Melekh ha-Olam, She-asa Nee-seem la-abo-tenu, Baya-meem ha-haem baz-e-man ha-ze.

Blessing #3: Barukh ata Ado-nai Elo-henu Melekh ha-olam, Sheh-he-che-yanu ve-kee-yihemanu Ve-hee-gee-yanu laze-man ha-ze.

The following text is also read each night, after all the candles, or at least the first one, has been kindled:

Ha-nerot ha-lalu anu mad-likin Al ha-nissim ve-al hapurkan ve-al hageburot  ve-al ha-teshu-ot ve-al hanif-laot ve-al haniflaot she-asita la-abo-tenu Ba-yamim ha-hem, ba-zeman ha-zeh Al ye-de kohan-ekha hake-doshim. Ve-khol shemonat ye-me Chanukkah Ha-nerot ha-lalu kodesh hem, Ve-en lanu reshut le-heesh-tamesh ba-hem ela leer-otam bilbad Kede le-hodot li-shmekha Al ni-sekha ve-al yeshuo-tekha ve-al nifleo-tekha .

"We kindle these lights for the miracles and the wonders for the redemption and the portents, salvations and marvels which You performed for our ancestors in those days, at this time (of the year) through Your holy priests. During all eight days of Chanukka these lights are sacred and we are not permitted to make ordinary use of them, but only to look at them in order to express thanks and praise to Your great Name for your miracles, and Your salvations and Your wonders, ".

Then we recite: Mizmor shir Chanukkat haBayit leDavid