Jewish Life in Your Life

Search and the other Reform websites:

How are Hanukkah candles lit?

How are Hanukkah candles lit?
Answer By: 
Rabbi Daniel B. Syme

In a celebrated Talmudic 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 shamash, 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.