Have yourself an Orthodox Chanukah

By Rabbi Baruch Lederman

Rabbi Baruch Lederman

Rabbi Baruch Lederman

SAN DIEGO–This year, the first night of Chanukah is Tuesday December 16, 2014, at which time we will light one Chanukah light plus the shamash. The second night we light 2 lights plus a shamash. The third night we light 3 lights plus a shamash, and so on and so forth

The shamash is lit, the blessings are recited, then the chanukah lights are lit. On the first night, we recite all three of the following blessings, on the other nights we recite only the first two:

(a) Baruch ata Ado-noi E-lohainu melech ha’olam, asher kidishanu bemitzvosav vitzivanu lehadlik ner shel Chanukah.

(b) Baruch ata Ado-noi E-lohainu melech ha’olam, sheh’asah nisim la’avosainu bayamim ha’haim bazman hazeh.

(c) Baruch ata Ado-noi E-lohainu melech ha’olam, shehechiyanu v’kiyimanu v’higiyanu lazman hazeh.

We light the Menorah 30 minutes after sunset or as soon as possible thereafter. (5:15pm in San Diego)

The light must last for at least 30 minutes or at least till one hour after sunset, whichever is later

On Friday night of Chanukah (Dec 19), we light the Menorah right before we light Shabbos candles (18 minutes before sunset). The Chanukah candles should last till at least one hour after sunset.

On Saturday night (Dec 20) we light Chanukah candles no earlier than 42 minutes after sunset. Some light Chanuka candles before making havdala, some light havdala before Chanukah candles; but, neither may be done earlier than 42 minutes after sunset. Some wait till 72 minuets after sunset.

The candles in the menorah should be in a straight horizontal line. The shamash may not be in a straight line with the rest of the candles. We place the Menorah in the window and place the candles to our right. We light the newest candle first.

It is customary to eat foods made in oil (latkes, jelly doughnuts), since the miracle occurred with oil. It is customary though not obligatory to eat festive meals on Chanukah.

Guests in a hotel/motel should light in their room.

On all eight days of Chanukah, complete Hallel is recited. Al Hanisim is inserted in shmoneh esrei and bircas hamazon.

Everyone in the family lights their own Menorah, except a married woman whose husband lights for her. Sefardi tradition has just one menorah lit per family.

*
Rabbi Lederman is spiritual leader of Congregation Kehillas Torah in San Diego.  Comments on this article may be placed in the box below or sent directly to the author at [email protected]

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