Lighting the Chanukah Menorah

Each night during Chanukah Jews light candles in a special candelabra called a Menorah (Hebrew: Hanukiyah). The center candle, called the Shamash, is always the first candle placed in the Menorah and the first candle to be lit each night. The remaining candles are placed and lit in a specific order depending on the night of the celebration.

When placing candles in the Menorah – the Shamash (center) candle is placed first. Then that night’s candles are placed in the Menorah from right to left.

When the candles are lit, the Shamash would be lit first and then is used to light that night’s candles – from left to right. And as the candles are lit each night a special prayer is recited. (Prayer for Chanukah Candle-Lighting)

Click on the videos below to see exactly how to place and light each night’s candles.

Candle-lighting: 1st Night of Chanukah

Placing the candles:

On the first night of Chanukah the center candle, the Shamash, is placed first in the Menorah. Then the 1st night’s candle is placed in the farthest right spot.

Lighting the candles:

The Shamash, the middle candle, is lit first. The Shamash is then used to light the 1st nights candle.

Candle-lighting: 2nd Night of Chanukah

Placing the candles:

The Shamash is placed first in the Menorah. Then a candle is placed in the first nights position followed by a candle in the 2nd right spot.

Lighting the candles:

The Shamash, the middle candle, is lit first. Then the Shamash is used to light the 2nd candle from the right, followed by the first candle.

Candle-lighting: 3rd Night of Chanukah

Placing the candles:

The Shamash is placed first in the Menorah. Then a candle is placed in the first nights position followed by a candle in the 2nd and 3rd spots.

Lighting the candles:

The Shamash, the middle candle, is lit first. The Shamash is then used to light the 3rd candle from the right, followed by the 2nd and 1st candle.

Candle-lighting: 4th Night of Chanukah

Placing the candles:

The Shamash is placed first in the Menorah. Then a candle is placed in the first nights position followed by a candle in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th spots.

Lighting the candles:

The Shamash, the middle candle, is lit first. The Shamash is then used to light the 4th candle from the right, followed by the 3rd, 2nd and 1st candle.

Candle-lighting: 5th Night of Chanukah

Placing the candles:

The Shamash is placed first in the Menorah. Then a candle is placed in the first nights position followed by a candle in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th spots.

Lighting the candles:

The Shamash, the middle candle, is lit first. The Shamash is then used to light the 5th candle from the right, followed by the 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st candle.

Candle-lighting: 6th Night of Chanukah

Placing the candles:

The Shamash is placed first in the Menorah. Then a candle is placed in the first nights position followed by a candle in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th spots.

Lighting the candles:

The Shamash, the middle candle, is lit first. The Shamash is then used to light the 6th candle from the right, followed by the 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st candle.

Candle-lighting: 7th Night of Chanukah

Placing the candles:

The Shamash is placed first in the Menorah. Then a candle is placed in the first nights position followed by a candle in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th spots.

Lighting the candles:

The Shamash, the middle candle, is lit first. The Shamash is then used to light the 7th candle from the right, followed by the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st candle.

Candle-lighting: 8th, and last, Night of Chanukah

Placing the candles:

The Shamash is placed first in the Menorah. Then a candle is placed in the first nights position followed by a candle in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th spots.

Lighting the candles:

The Shamash, the middle candle, is lit first. The Shamash is then used to light the 8th candle from the right, followed by the 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st candle.

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