why do we light the menorah on hanukkah
On the first night, one light is lit and on every successive night, an additional light is added so that on the eighth night, eight lights are lit. which has holders for eight lights: On the first night one kindles the light on the extreme right. On the following night, another light is added to the left of that and is lit first, followed by the light in the holder which he had lit on the previous night. On each night, an additional light is added to the left of the light which had been lit on the previous night. This new light is kindled first, followed by the light which had been lit previously. Thus one is always adding from right to left, but lighting from left to right. The reason why we first kindle the light which had been added that evening is to show that the greatness of the miracle increased on each successive night. The lights should be lit so that they are in an even line. The holders should be the same height so that one light is not higher than the others. The holders should also be placed in a straight line so that some lights do not protrude, and they should not be in a circle.
There should be sufficient space between the holders so that the flame of one light does not join that of another and so that the heat from one flame does not melt the wax of another. , three blessings are recited before lighting:
1. Blessed are You. Who has commanded us to kindle the Chanukah lights. 2. Who has performed miracles for our fathers. 3. б She-hecheyanu [Who has given us life. ]. On the subsequent nights of Chanukah, only the first two blessings are made. If one was inadvertently unable to light on the first night of Chanukah, then She-hecheyanu is recited the first time that one lights. It is customary to light an additional light aside from the Chanukah lights. This extra light, referred to as the, may be used to light the Chanukah lights and one may derive benefit from its light. The Chanukah lights themselves may not be used for any other purpose as long as they are burning in fulfillment of the. Therefore, the shamash is lit so that any benefit derived is considered to be from the light of the shamash rather than from the Chanukah lights.
To make it obvious that the shamash is not one of the Chanukah lights, the shamash should not be placed on the same level as the Chanukah lights. It is proper that there be another source of light in the home besides that of the shamash. It is customary to refrain from using the Chanukah lights even to light each other. Rather, the Chanukah lights should be lit using the shamash or another candle. When lighting the Chanukah lights, the entire household should gather so that the miracle which is being commemorated will be publicized. [ Pirsum hanes, "publicizing the miracle," is an essential component of Chanukah. ] After lighting the first candle, and while lighting the others, one recites or sings HaNerot Halalu. When the lighting is concluded, Chanukah hymns are sung in accordance with local custom. Place the shamash in the chanukiah. On your chanukiah, you should see 9 slots for candles, with eight slots on one level and one slot elevated above the rest. This is the spot for the shamash, or the candle used to light all the other candles.
Place one candle in this elevated spot. Every night of Chanukah, you place and light the shamash first before the other candles. The word БshamashБ means БattendantБ in Hebrew, and its elevation away from the other candles is meant to separate it from the candles that represent each day of Chanukah. Its position also alludes to its important role of lighting the other candles. It doesnБt matter what color candles you use. Some choose traditional blue and white candles, while others prefer differently colored candles! An electric chanukiah is a great decoration, but it canБt be used to properly fulfill the ceremony of Chanukah. You need to use a candle or oil chanukiah to fulfill the mitzvah (the commandment or good deed) of lighting the chanukiah. The candelabra Jewish people use for Chanukah is actually a "chanukiah," which has nine branches, not a menorah, which has seven. People incorrectly call the chanukiah a menorah, but they have become accepted as the same thing. If you wish to be technically accurate, call the candelabra a chanukiah.
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