How are Hanukkah candles lit?

Answered by
Rabbi Daniel B. Syme

In a celebrated Talmudic TalmudתַּלְמוּדThe Jewish legal work that comprises the Mishnah and the Gemara. There are two works of Talmud: The Palestinian Talmud was compiled between 200-450 C.E. in the land of Israel and is also called the Jerusalem Talmud or Talmud Yerushalmi. The Babylonian Talmud or Talmud Bavli was compiled in Babylonia between 200-550 C.E.   dispute, two great Jewish teachers, Hillel and Shammai, argued whether we should begin by lighting eight candles and gradually decrease to one (Shammai), or begin with one candle and add an additional one each night, thus continuously increasing the light and joy of the holiday (Hillel). The majority ruled with Hillel. Thus, on the first night of Hanukkah, we recite or chant the blessings and light one candle with the shamashshamashשַׁמָּשׁHelper candle used to light the other candles in a menorah. , two on the second night, and so on. Customarily, the candles are placed in the menorah from right to left but lit from left to right.