Hanukkah

A Hanukkah Prayer of Lights

By: 
Rabbi Warren Stone

Hanukkah Prayer for Religious Freedom

Source of Creation and Life of the Universe 
We gather together on Hanukkah
As Jews of conscience
with a deep spiritual bond to the lights of freedom.

We are grateful for the inner might of the Maccabees
Who fought to reclaim a Jerusalem in despair 
And rekindle the lights of human freedom.

Freedom has many faces: 
Freedom from war and conflict or threats of terror
Freedom to have a secure home
Freedom from hunger, poverty and despair.

Freedom is deeply personal as well:
Freedom to express one’s gender identity without fear
Freedom to express one’s racial identity without fear
Freedom to make choices about of life and deepest beliefs
Freedom to live our faith in all of its beauty
without negating anyone else’s.

Our Hanukkah menorah with its eight branches and
Kindling light
Remind us of the diversity on our Earth
Bound together with a branch of Oneness.
It is a reminder that we are interconnected as a
Global Community.

We are diverse yet equal in our world: Jewish, Christian, Moslem, Hindi,
Buddhist, Sikh, and Humanist.

At times of deep darkness instead of walking in fear
Let us kindle Godly lights
Lights within and lights beyond
And let us increase these lights each day
To light the way for All. 

Rabbi Warren Stone serves Temple Emanuel.

Blessing of Praise (Shehecheyanu)

Recite this blessing the first time you do something each Jewish calendar year (e.g., the first night of Hanukkah when you light the menorah), and to mark joyous occasions.

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, shehecheyanu, v'kiy'manu, v'higianu laz'man hazeh.

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam,
shehecheyanu, v'kiy'manu, v'higianu laz'man hazeh.

Our praise to You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of all:
for giving us life, sustaining us, and enabling us to reach this season.

Hanukkah Blessings

hanukkahchild.jpg

Download a printable version of the Hanukkah blessings.

Candles are added to the hanukkiyah (menorah) from right to left but are kindled from left to right. The newest candle is lit first. (On the Shabbat of Hanukkah, kindle the Hanukkah lights first and then the Shabbat candles.)

Light the shamash (the helper candle) first, using it to kindle the rest of the Hanukkah lights. As you do, say or sing:

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, asher kidshanu bmitzvotav vtsivanu lhadlik ner shel Hanukkah.

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tsivanu l'hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who hallows us with mitzvot, commanding us to kindle the Hanukkah lights.

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, she-asah nisim laavoteinu v'imoteinu bayamim hahaeim baz'man hazeh.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who performed wonderous deeds for our ancestors in days of old at this season.

For first night only:

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, shehecheyanu v'kiy'manu v'higianu laz'man hazeh.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, for giving us life, for sustaining us, and for enabling us to reach this season.

Hanerot Halalu

We kindle these lights because of the wondrous deliverance You performed for our ancestors. During these eight days of Hanukkah, these lights are sacred; we are not to use them but only to behold them, so that their glow may rouse us to give thanks for Your wondrous acts of deliverance.


Download a printable version of the Hanukkah blessings.

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