|Blessing of the Hanukah Lights - Had'lakat Nerot Hanukah|
Kindling the Hanukah candles/lights is an especially joyous holiday in the life of a Jewish family. In Ashkenazi families every member of the household has an individual menorah, called a "Hanukiah", while in Sephardic families only the head of the household lights candles or olive oil for the home. It is always a moment of song and happiness, recalling the miracles of the Maccabees, and the many other times in Jewish history when the hand of God prevailed over seemingly impossible odds. Some families also have the custom of ceasing all household chores for the duration of the candles' flames, so that the parents and children have extra time to spend with one another, adding to the closeness of this special family time.
There are two blessings recited on each of the eight nights of Hanukah, and a third blessing is recited on the first night only. Following the blessings, a short paragraph is recited or sung, to remind us that these candles have but one purpose - to publicize the miracles of Hanukah - and they may not be used for anything else.
This blessing art comes in 8x10 or 11x14. You can frame it, put it in a large acrylic table top holder, or laminate (so it can be easily cleaned from oil spills or candle wax).
First Blessing - Transliteration:
Baruch Atta Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech Ha'Olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner shel Hanukah. (Sepharadim omit the word "shel".)
First Blessing - English Translation:
Blessed are You, O Lord, our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us to kindle the Hanukah light.
Second Blessing - Transliteration:
Baruch Atta Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech Ha'Olam, she'assa nissim la'avoteinu bayamim hahem ba'z'man ha'zeh.
Second Blessing - English Translation:
Blessed are you, O Lord, our God, King of the universe, Who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.
On the first night only - Transliteration:
Baruch Atta Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech Ha'Olam, she'hecheyanu v'kiymanu v'higi'anu la'z'man ha'zeh.
Blessed are you, O Lord, our God, King of the universe, Who has granted us life and has sustained us and has brought us to this time.
After reciting the blessings, the candles or oil lamps are lit as follows: On the first night, the candle/ or lamp position to the extreme right is lit first. On each subsequent night, a new candle is added to the immediate left of the previous night's candle. The new candle is always lit first, followed by the one to its immediate right, etc. The shamash - useful candle - is used by Ashkenazim to light the other candles. Sepharadim simply light the shamash last.
Sing the following song after lighting the first candle/lamp, while lighting the remaining ones:
Ha'nerot ha'lalu anachnu madlikin al ha'nissim v'al hanifla'ot, v'al ha't'shu'ot v'al hamilchamot, she'assita la'avoteinu ba'yamim ha'hem ba'z'man ha'zeh, al y'dei kohaneicha ha'k'doshim. V'chol sh'monat y'mei Hanukah ha'nerot ha'lalu kodesh hem. V'ein lanu r'shut l'hishtamesh ba'hem ella lir'otam bilvad, k'dei l'hodot u'l'hallel l'shimcha ha'gadol al nisseicha v'al nif'loteicha v'al y'shu'atecha.
These candles we light for the miracles and for the wonders and for the salvations and for the battles that You performed for our forefathers in those days at this time, at the hands of Your holy Kohanim (priests). And for all eight days of Hanukah, these candles are sacred. And we are not permitted to use them, but only to look at them, in order to express thanks and praise to Your great Name for Your miracles and for Your wonders and for Your salvations.