What Part Do the Blessings Play in Hanukkah?
On the first night of Hanukkah, the Shamash candle or master candle is lit. After which several blessings or Brachos are recited concurrently, every evening, until Hanukkah is over.
The first blessing and one that is only recited on the first night as the Shamash candle is lit:
"Baruch ata Ado-nai, Elo-heinu Melech ha'olam, She'hecheyanu, vekiyemanu vehigi'anu laz'man hazeh."
Blessed are You, Hashem our God, King of the universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.
When the first candle is placed in the Menorah, the following two blessings are recited:
"Baruch ata Ado-nai, Elo-heinu Melech ha'olam, Asher kid'shanu b'mitzvosav v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner shel Chanukah."
Blessed are You, Hashem our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments, and has commanded us to Kindle the Chanukah light.
"Baruch ata Ado-nai, Elo-heinu Melech ha'olam, She'asah nisim la'avoseinu, bayamim ha'hem baz'man hazeh."
Blessed are You, Hashem our God, King of the universe, Who has wrought miracles for our forefathers, in those days at this season.
Immediately following the lighting of the first candle, the Haneros Halalu is spoken:
“These lights we kindle upon the miracles, the wonders, the salvations, and the battles which you performed for our forefathers in those days at this season through Your holy priests. During all eight days of Chanukah these lights are sacred, and we are not permitted to make ordinary use of them, but to look at them in order to express thanks and praise to Your great Name for Your miracles, Your wonders, and Your salvations.”
The aforementioned blessings are recited every night of Hanukkah. These blessings are the Jewish laws of the Torah and should be observed as part of the Hanukkah celebration. Why are these blessings so important? Perhaps there is only one answer. For those who understand, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not, no explanation will suffice.
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