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Introduction

The History of Chanukah

The Menorah Files

How to Celebrate Chanukah

   Menorah

Dreidel

Recipies

Customs

Stories

Thoughts on Chanukah

Q & A

Letters From the Rebbe

Children's Corner

The Significance of Chanukah

 
 Light 8: Darkness Shines Dreidel


Chanukah Menorah

Chanukah Menorah

The Chanukah Lights should be kindled at nightfall on each of the eight nights of Chanukah. What follows is a brief, step-by-step guide to Chanukah observance.
Happy Chanukah!
Who All members of the family should be present at the kindling of the Chanukah lights. Children should be encouraged to light their own Menorahs. Students and singles who live in dormitories or their own apartments should kindle menorahs in their own rooms.
Where Many have the custom to place the menorah in a doorway opposite the mezuzah (such is the custom of Chabad-Lubavitch) so that the two mitzvot of mezuzah and Chanukah surround the person. Others place it on a window sill facing a public through-fare.
When
WednesdayDec 1, 20101 candle. After Nightfall. Blessings # 1, 2 & 3
Thursday Dec 2, 20102 candles. After Nightfall. Blessings # 1 & 2
Friday Dec 3, 20103 candles. BEFORE Shabbat Candle Lighting.
Blessings # 1 & 2
Saturday Dec 4, 20104 candles. AFTER Nightfall, and Havdallah.
Blessings # 1 & 2
Sunday Dec 5, 20105 candles. After Nightfall. Blessings # 1 & 2
Monday Dec 6, 20106 candles. After Nightfall. Blessings # 1 & 2
Tuesday Dec 7, 20107 candles. After Nightfall. Blessings # 1 & 2
WednesdayDec 8, 20108 candles. After Nightfall. Blessings # 1 & 2
Setting Up Your Menorah It is preferable to use cotton wicks in olive oil, or paraffin candles, in amounts large enough to burn until half an hour after nightfall. If not, regular candles can be used as well.

The candles of a menorah must be of equal height in a straight row.

The shamash, the servant candle that kindles the other lights, should stand out from the rest (i.e. higher or lower).

The Chanukah Lights must burn for at least half an hour each night. Before kindling the lights, make sure that there is enough oil (or if candles are used, that they are big enough) to last half an hour.

How to Light On the first night of Chanukah one light is kindled, on the following night, two, the third night, three, and so on, so that on the eighth night of Chanukah eight lights are kindled (not including the servant candle).

The candles are placed in the Menorah from right to left, so that on the first night only the far right one is used, on the second the two furthest to the right, and so on.

The lights are then kindled left to right, so that the additional light of each night is kindled first.

Special Shabbat Requirements On Friday eve, the Chanukah Lights are kindled before the Shabbat Lights (which are lit 18 minutes before sundown). Additional oil or larger candles should be provided for the Chanukah Lights to make sure they will last half an hour after nightfall.

Note: From the time the Shabbat candles are lit until Shabbat ends and the Havdalah (separation between Shabbat and weekday) prayer is recited, the Chanukah menorah should not be re-lit, moved or prepared. After Shabbat ends, the Chanukah lights for Saturday night are kindled.

Sitting by the Lights One is not to benefit from the light of the candles, only from the shamash and other sources of light. During the time the candles are burning, it is customary to sit by the candles, and tell stories relating to the holiday.

Work should not be done in the proximity of the burning candles. Some women have a custom to refrain from household work during the half hour that the lights are burning, to honor the brave Jewish women who played a big role in the Chanukah story.

More Chanukah Prayers During the eight days of Chanukah, we recite the Al HaNissim liturgy in the Amidah (daily silent prayer) and in Grace After Meals.

The complete "Hallel" prayer (see your prayerbook) is also said in the morning service.

A portion of the Torah is read daily in the Synagogue during morning prayers.

Extra Charity It is customary to increase one's daily giving to charity on Chanukah. On Fridays we give double, to account for Shabbat.
Chanukah Gelt It is traditional to give all children Chanukah gelt (money).

Of course, this beautiful custom adds to the children's happiness and festive spirit. In addition, it affords us an opportunity to give them positive reinforcement for exemplary behavior, such as diligence in their studies, and acts of charity.

Chanukah Gelt is given to children after lighting the menorah. The children should be encouraged to give charity from a portion of their money.

Holiday Foods Because of the great significance of oil in the story of the Chanukah miracle, it is traditional to serve foods cooked in oil. Among the most popular Chanukah dishes are potato latkes (pancakes) and sufganiot (doughnuts).
 Light 8: Darkness Shines Dreidel



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