Chanukah Prayers & Blessings

Throughout Chanukah, one recites the Full Hallel, after the morning AmidahAl HaNisim (For the Miracles) is added to each Amidah prayer and to the Grace After Meals.

On each day of Chanukah, we read the Torah. The reading is taken from the book of Numbers 7, which describes the sacrifices that were brought by the heads of the twelve tribes for the dedication of the altar.

On the eighth day of Chanukah, the Torah reading includes all the sacrifices that were brought from the eighth through the twelfth days, and continues into Chapter 8, which describes how the menorah was lit by Aaron and his sons.

On Shabbat (or two Shabbatot, depending on when Chanukah falls), two Torah scrolls are taken out. If the Shabbat is also Rosh Chodesh, then three Torah scrolls are taken out. The regular Sidra is read from the first Torah scroll, and seven people are called up.

The Maftir is then read from the second scroll and it consists of the Chanukah reading for that day, which is Numbers 7. The Haftara is read from the book of Zechariah. If there are two Shabbatot during Chanukah, the second Shabbat also has a special Haftara.

Blessings for Lighting the Chanukiah

Two blessings are said each night of Chanukah immediately before lighting the chanukiah, and a third blessing is also said on the first night.

The first blessing concerns the lighting of the chanukiah and the text is as follows:

“Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheynu melech ha’olam. Asher kidshanu be’mitzvotav ve’tzivanu le’hadlik ner shel Chanukah.”

“Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by Your commandments, and commanded us to kindle the light of Chanukah.”

The second blessing concerns the miracles performed and the text is as follows:

“Baruch atah Adonai Eloheynu Melech ha’olam. She’asah nissim la’avoteynu ba’yamim hahem ba’zman hazeh.”

“Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this time.”

On the first night of Chanukah we also say the she’hh’che’yanu blessing, the text of which is as follows:

“Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheynu melech ha’olam, she’he’che’yanu vi’ki’yemanu hig’ianu laz’man ha’zeh.”

“Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has kept us alive and sustained us and brought us to this time.”

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