Q:

What is the Hanukkah Menorah prayer?

A:

Quick Answer

The Hanukkah Menorah prayer is recited each night of Hanukkah but prior to lighting the Hanukkah candles of the night. It contains three sections, the last of which is only recited on the first night of Hannukah. This section is called the "Shehecheyanu."

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Full Answer

The full prayer is as follows: "Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Hannukah light. Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time. Blessed are You, Lord our God, ruler of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion."

Each section begins with the same three phrases and then goes on to regard or celebrate a certain aspect of the ritual. The first section is used to bless the candles being lit. The second section speaks to miracles performed by God for one's ancestors. The third and final section is only recited on the first night, thanking the Lord for helping one sustain life and find joy in the moment.

Translations and traditions vary between different families and sects of Judaism, such as which language is used to recite the prayer or where the menorah is placed once the candles have been lit.

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