Guide to Lighting Chanukah Candles

The Chanukah candles should be lit at sunset or afterwards.


Using an extra candle called the Shamash, light one candle on the first night (starting at the extreme right side of the chanukiah) and add a candle each night. By the eighth night, all eight candles are lit.


Each night, before lighting the candles, the first two blessings below are recited. On the first night, the third blessing is added.


Click here to listen to the blessings.

Baruch Atah Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech Ha-olam

Asher Kid’shanu B’mitzvotav

V’tzivanu L’hadlik Ner Shel Chanukah


Blessed are You, Lord our God

King of the Universe

who sanctified us with his commandments

and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.




Baruch Atah Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech Ha-olam

She-Asah Nisim La-avoteinu Bayamim

Ha-heim Ba-zman Hazeh


Blessed are You, Lord our God

King of the universe

who performed wondrous deeds for our ancestors

in those days, at this season.



Baruch Atah Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech Ha-olam

She-heche-yanu V'kiye-manu

Vehigi-yanu La-z'man Ha-zeh.

Blessed are You, Lord our God

King of the universe

who has kept us in life, sustained us

and enabled us to reach this season.


Additional Prayers/Songs Traditionally Recited After Lighting the Candles 



Ha-neirot ha-lalu anachnu madlikin al ha-nissim

ve'al ha-niflaot ve 'al ha-teshu'ot ve'al ha-milchamot

she'asita la-avoteinu ba-yamim ha-heim

ba-zeman ha-zeh al yedei kohanecha ha-kedoshim.

Ve-chol shemonat yemei Hanukkah

ha-neirot ha-lalu kodesh heim

ve-ein lanu reshut le-hishtamesh ba-hem

ella lir'otam bilvad kedei lehodot ul'halleil

le-shimcha ha-gadol al nisecha ve'al yeshu'otecha

ve'al nifleotecha. (Some versions: ve'al nifletoecha, ve'al yeshu'otecha)

We light these lights for the miracles and the wonders

for the salvation and the battles that you made for our forefathers

in those days at this season through your holy priests.

During all eight days of Hanukkah these lights are sacred

and we are not permitted to make use of them

except to look at them in order to express thanks and praise

to your great Name for your miracles, your salvations, and your wonders.


Maoz Tzur



Ma-oz Tzur yeshu-ati lecha na-eh leshabei-ah.

Tikon beit tefilati vesham todah nezabei-ah.

Le-et tachin matbe-ach mitzar ha-mnabei-ah.

Az egmor be-shir mizmor chanukat hamizbeiah.


English non-literal version



Rock of Ages, let our song

Praise Thy saving power;

Thou, amidst the raging foes,

Wast our sheltering tower.

Furious they assailed us,

But Thine arm availed us,

And Thy Word

Broke their sword

When our own strength failed us.

Kindling new the holy lamps,

Priests, approved in suffering,

Purified the nation's shrine,

Brought to God their offering.

And His courts surrounding

Hear, in joy abounding,

Happy throngs,

Singing songs

With a mighty sounding.

Children of the martyr race,

Whether free or fettered,

Wake the echoes of the songs

Where ye may be scattered.

Yours the message cheering

That the time is nearing

Which will see

All men free,

Tyrants disappearing



Find your local Federation for ways to celebrate the Jewish holidays with your community.