At nightfall, on the first evening of the Hanukkah holiday, put a candle into the holder at the far right of the HANUKIYA as you face it. 

Recite the three Hanukkah blessings.

 (Never use the Hanukkah candles to light each other, use the "shamash").

Blessings before lighting

the Hanukiya:

First blessing:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ

לְהַדְלִיק נֵר חֲנֻכָּה

Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-he-nu Me-lech ha-olam a-sher ki-de-sha-nu be-mitz-vo-tav ve-tzi-va-nu le-had-lik ner Ha-nu-kah.

Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Hanukah light.

Second blessing:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בִּזְּמַן הַזֶּה

Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-he-nu Me-lech Ha-olam she-a-sa ni-sim la-avo-te-nu ba-ya-mim ha-hem bi-zman ha-zeh.
 

Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.


Third blessing, recited only on the first night

(or the first time lighting this Hanukiya):

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לִזְּמַן הַזֶּה

Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-he-nu Me-lech Ha-olam she-heche-ya-nu ve-ki-yi-ma-nu ve-higi-a-nu liz-man ha-zeh.
 

Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.

Major differences between Ashkenaz and Sepharad customs in regards to Hanukkah:

  1. Sepharadim DO NOT say: "Shel" (Hanukkah). click here to see explanation:  http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/2829769/jewish/Order-of-Kindling-the-Chanukah-Lights.htm

  2. Sepharadim do not use the Shamash to light the other candles. (It started when people started to use wax candles rather than oil. When oil was used, it was impossible to use the Shamash, and that is the source of the custome to use another candle to light the Hanukkiya.

  3. ONLY the head of the houshold is saying the blessings. If someone wants to light another Hanukkiya, then first hear the blessing from the head of the houshold and then light the Hanukkiya.

  4. MOST Sepharadim sayin: AL HANISSIM and not V"AL HANISSIM like all Ashkenaz.

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The Menorah and the Hanukiya

A common mistake among Jews in the Diaspora is calling the Hanukiya – a Menorah.

What is the difference? Is there a difference?

 

There is a huge difference.

  1. MMenorah comes from the Hebrew word ‘Ma’or’ = (spiritual) Light, while Hanukiya comes from the word Hanukah (and is used only on Hanukah).

  2. The Menorah has SEVEN branches while theHanukiya has EIGHT branches (plus the Shamash).

  3. The Menorah was lit ONLY in the BeitHamikdash – the Holy Temple, every day, while the Hanukiya is lit in every home but only on Hanukah.

  4. The Menorah was lit by purified Kohanim, while Hanukiya can be lit by anyone.

  5. The Menorah is lit ONLY with the first drop of extra virgin olive oil, while the Hanukiya can be lit with any kind of wax or oil.

 

These are a few of the differences between the Holy Menorah and the Hanukiya. If someone insists on calling the Hanukiya a Menorah, one should at least call it a Hanukah Menorah, to

make a difference between the two.

 

In Israel, no one calls the Hanukiya a Menorah, since everyone knows that they are two totally different items. And now you know too.

So, please prepare your HANUKIYA for Hanukkah