Celebrating the Festival of Lights

Hanukkah is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil.  Translated as the “Festival of Lights”.  Hanukkah is a remembrance and celebration of the menorah’s one day supply of oil that miraculously burned for eight days after the Jews regained control of the desecrated Temple from the Syrians.  This rekindling of the menorah signified the “Light of God” coming back to His people, as the Temple was regained and the worship of Jehovah was reinstated.

As you celebrate Hanukkah with Jews and Christians around the world, the following instructions will lead you in the proper observance of this wonderful occasion.

How to Celebrate Hanukkah…                                                                                        

     1.  Acquire a Chanukkiah (a nine-branched candlestick)

     2.  Place candles in each holder, filling all nine positions.  Then recite the following blessings at dusk/nightfall on the first day of Hanukkah before lighting any of the candles. Note: only on the first night do you say the Shehecheyanu Prayer.

“Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has granted us life, and sustained   us, and brought us to this season.”

     3.  Light the Shammash candle (servant candle).  This candle is usually elevated and found in the center position.  You will light this candle first and then use it to light the other candles each night.  Note: the Shammash candle does not count as one of the eight candles to be lit.  It is the servant candle used to light all the other candles each night.

The following blessings are to be prayed each night of Hanukkah after lighting the Shammash candle and before lighting any other candle.

“Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah.”

“Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who performed miracles for our ancestors, at this season, on days past.”

     4.  Using the Shammash candle, light only the first candle on the far right of the chanukkiah and repeat the following blessing:

“We kindle these lights to commemorate the miracles and the wonders, and the victorious battles that You achieved for our fathers in those days, at this season, through Thy holy priest. During all the eight days of Hanukkah these lights are sacred, and we are not permitted to make use of them; but we are only to look at them, in order to give thanks and to praise Your Name for Your miracles, Your wonders and Your salvation.”

     5.  Repeat steps three and four each night, lighting an additional candle for each evening.  Always light candles from right to left.

Daily Prayer Focus during Hanukkah

Following are recommended areas to focus your thoughts and prayers on each evening. 

  1. Recognize and worship Yeshua as the “Light of the World”
  2. Rededicate everything in your life to Yeshua
  3. Recognize and proclaim Yeshua as the restorer and ultimate victory in every area of your life just as He was with the Restoration of the Temple
  4. Celebrate your family and offer blessings for each member
  5. Pray for your friends’ salvation, blessings and healing
  6. Pray for PEAK Worship to be a light in the community
  7. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for Jews worldwide
  8. Thank Yeshua for His keeping you through this year and ask Him to prepare your heart and spirit for the New Year.

References to Hanukkah:

Numbers 7:11; 84-89; II Chronicles 7:1-12; Ezra 6:14-22; Nehemiah 12:26-30; Psalm 30:1-12; Matthew 5:16; John 2:19; 10:22-23