We light Chanukah candles to remember the miracle of the Maccabees’
victory and the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days in the Holy
Temple. It is a mitzvah to “publicize the miracle” by lighting a Chanukiyah,
each night, during the eight days of Chanukah.
What to Light - The Menorah should have eight candle holders in a row and
a separate candle holder for the “Shamash” (helper candle). The Shamash is
used to light the other eight candles since it is forbidden to use the Chanukah
lights for any purpose other than viewing.
Where to Light - To best publicize the miracle, the Menorah should be lit in
a window facing a public thoroughfare. If the Menorah cannot be lit by the
window, it may be lit inside the house on a table, which fulfills the mitzvah
of “publicizing the miracle” for members of the household.
When to Light - It is preferable that the menorah is lit immediately at nightfall.
If necessary, the Menorah can be lit late into the night. It is best to wait until
all members of the household are present to light the Menorah. The Menorah
should remain lit for at least 30 minutes after nightfall. On Friday afternoon,
the Menorah should be lit before sundown, and before Shabbat candles are lit.
How to Light on the First Night - On the first night, place one candle in the
Menorah’s far right (as you face the Menorah) candle holder. Another candle
is placed for the Shamash (helper candle). Say all 3 blessings and then light
the candle using the Shamash candle.
How to Light on the Second through Eighth Nights - The second night, place
two candles in the Menorah’s far right (as you face the Menorah) candle
holders. Another candle is placed for the Shamash (helper candle). Say the
first two blessings and then light the candles using the Shamash candle.
Light the candles from left to right each night, lighting the newest candle
first, adding an additional candle to the left each night.
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