Chanukkah blessings and events

Blessing over the candles & Chanukkah Events

Blessing over the candles:

-“Baruch atah YaHoVaH, Eloheinu, melech ha’olam asher kidishanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’had’lik ner shel Chanukkah. Amen.”

(Blessed are You, YaHoVaH, our Elohim, king of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to light the lights of Chanukkah. Amen.)

-“Baruch atah YaHoVaH, Eloheinu, melech ha’olam, she’asah nisim la’avoteinu bayamim haheim baziman hazeh. Amen.”

(Blessed are You, YaHoVaH, our Elohim, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time. Amen.)


Shehecheyanu (on the first night only)

-“Baruch atah YaHoVaH, Eloheinu, melech ha’olam, shehecheyanu v’kiyimanu v’higianu laz’man hazeh. Amen.”

(Blessed are You, YaHoVaH, our Elohim, King of the universe who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season. Amen.)

How to light the candles:

The candles should be placed in the menorah beginning from right and moving left, adding another one each night.

Light the candles with the shamash, moving from left to right on the night which has all candles in place.

On a Shabbat that falls within Chanukkah the Chanukkah candles should be lit first and then Shabbat.  Chanukkah candles cannot be used for any other purpose other than for Chanukkah.




Hanukkah, Chanukah, Chanukkah: How to Spell It Right

this next segment was Posted by Jill Baughman

on December 1, 2010 at 1:15 PM

Festival of Lights begins today. But could you ever have imagined a holiday that had more variations on its official spelling?

Hanukkah, Chanukah, Chanukka, Hanuka, Channukah, Hanukah, Chanukkah, Hannukah, Chanuka, Hanaka … this could drive any word nerd to the psycho ward. Which version is correct? Who’s the ultimate authority on the English spelling of this Hebrew word? If only it could be as easy as “Yom Kippur.”

So it’s time to consult the experts. Unfortunately, and almost comically, they all disagree.

The one source that we pretend is an expert on all things even though it really shouldn’t be considered as a 100 percent factual source (thanks, Internet!), Wikipedia gives a brief linguistic lesson on why there are so many variations of the spelling, for all you Hebrew newbies.

It is most commonly transliterated to English as Chanukkah or Hanukkah, the former because the sound represented by “CH” ([χ], similar to the Scottish pronunciation of “loch”) essentially does not exist in the modern English language.

Also, the letter “chet,” the first letter in the Hebrew spelling, is pronounced differently in modern Hebrew and classical Hebrew. And guess what? Neither of these sounds is represented in English. Awesome., a how-to site, did the work for me and found all the authorities on spelling and what their version of it is. To make things difficult for us linguistic lovers, none of them can seem to come to an agreement:

* Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Hanukkah * Manischewitz: Chanukah * Hallmark: Hanukkah * American Greetings: Chanukah and Hanukkah * Hebrew Union College: Chanukkah * Jerusalem Post: Hanukka * Rabbinical Council of America: Chanukah * The Kabbalah Centre: Chanukah * Oxford English Dictionary: Hanukkah * American Israel Public Affairs Committee: Hanukkah * Tikkun: Chanukah * Society for Humanistic Judaism: Hanukka

* Judaism 101: Chanukkah * Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism: Chanukah

So, if you want to base it purely off popularity, Google Trends lists “Hanukkah” above “Chanukah” today, which seems to be the two most common spellings. also made a list of how the spellings rank according to Google. As a disclaimer, I can’t find out what year they did this, and I can’t verify because Google has seemed replace their total results number with “Happy Hanukkah! (celebrated Dec 1 through Dec 9).” Not helpful, Google engineers, not helpful at all.

1. 12,700,000 for Hanukkah 2. 2,440,000 for Chanukah 3. 739,000 for Hanukah 4. 631,000 for Hannukah 5. 465,000 for Chanukkah 6. 377,000 for Hanuka 7. 359,000 for Chanuka 8. 191,000 for Channukah 9. 163,000 for Hanaka 10. 119,000 for Chanukka

So, if you’re a Merriam-Webster follower and prefer to go along with what most people use, then you should start spelling the holiday as “Hanukkah.”

Or you could completely throw everyone off and spell it “Janukah,” which is how they do it in Spain. L’chaim! (Or is it la chaim, le chiam, or l’chayim?)

First Candle of Chanukah Lit at Kotel   by Gil Ronen

The Chief Sephardic Rabbi, Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Minister of Education Gideon Saar and Kotel Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich lit the first candle of Chanukah at the Kotel – or Western Wall – Wednesday evening.

Saar referred to the Palestinian Authority’s latest claim denying that the Kotel is truly a Jewish holy site. “The Palestinians are busy denying the history of this land and of Jerusalem,” he said. “He who denies history is not interested in building a peaceful future.”

He added: “The present government rejects [former Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert’s offers to cede Israeli sovereignty in the heart of Jerusalem – at the Temple Mount, the Old City and the Mount of Olives – and hand them over to international control.”

In a report last week, Taha Al-Mutawakil, Deputy Information Minister of the Palestinian Authority, wrote that there was no historical evidence that the Western Wall was the retaining wall for the ancient Jewish Temple; instead, he wrote, it is a Muslim relic called the Al-Buraq wall, where Mohammed tied his donkey before ascending to heaven from the Temple Mount. “This wall has never been a part of what is called the Jewish Temple,” the report said. “It was Islamic tolerance which allowed the Jews to stand before it and cry over its loss.”

The Kotel is the holiest Jewish site which is not under a foreign religion’s occupation. The holiest site – the Temple Mount itself, of which the Kotel is just an external wall – has been under the Muslim religion’s occupation since the seventh century CE.

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