Hanukkah

Hanukkah 2017 will begin in the evening of Tuesday, December 12 and ends in the evening of Wednesday, December 20

 

Hanukkah Blessings 
First Blessing

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tsivanu l'hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who hallows us with mitzvot, commanding us to kindle the Hanukkah lights.


Second Blessing

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, she-asah nisim la'avoteinu v'imoteinu bayamim hahaeim baz'man hazeh.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who performed wonderous deeds for our ancestors in days of old at this season.


Shehechiyanu (Only said on the first night)

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, shehecheyanu v'kiy'manu v'higianu laz'man hazeh.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, for giving us life, for sustaining us, and for enabling us to reach this season.

Connection Group & Congregational Celebrations:
Buerger Early Learning Center Hanukkah Celebration - Wednesday, December 13
Shabbat Hanukkah Service & Dinner - Friday, December 15
A Taste of Hanukkah - Sunday, December 17
Hanukkah Candle Lighting in Rittenhouse Square - Monday, December 18
 

Hanukkah Songs
Maoz Tzur
Transliteration
Ma-oz Tzur Y'shu-a-ti
Le-cha Na-eh L'sha-bei-ach
Ti-kon Beit T'fi-la-ti
V'sham To-da N'za-bei-ach
L'eit Ta-chin Mat-bei-ach
Mi-tzar Ha-mi-ga-bei-ach
Az Eg-mor B'shir Miz-mor
Cha-nu-kat Ha-miz-bei-ach
Az Eg-mor B'shir Miz-mor
Cha-nu-kat Ha-miz-bei-ach

Popular English Translation (Rock of Ages)
Rock of ages, let our song
Praise Your saving power;
You, amid the raging foes,
Were our sheltering tower.
Furious they assailed us,
But Your arm availed us,
And Your word,
Broke their sword,
When our own strength failed us.

Hanukkah O Hanukkah
Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah, come light the Menorah
Let's have a party; we'll all dance the hora
Gather round the table, we'll all have a treat
Sivivon to play with, and latkes to eat.

And while we are playing
The candles are burning bright
One for each night, they shed a sweet light
To remind us of days long ago.
One for each night, they shed a sweet light
To remind us of days long ago.

Sivivon
Sevivon, sov, sov, sov
Hanukkah hu chag tov
Hanukkah hu chag tov
Sevivon, sov, sov, sov

Chag simcha hu la'am
Nes gadol haya sham
Nes gadol haya sham
Chag simcha hu la'am

Translation (Dreidel)
Dreidel, turn, turn, turn
While the lovely candles burn
What a great holiday
Watch us sing and watch us play

Tell the story everywhere
A great miracle happened there
It's a festival of lights
For eight days and for eight nights.

Eight Nights of Hanukkah

Hanukkkah comes at the darkest and coldest time of the year. One of the greatest mitzvot we can perform over the 8 nights of Hanukkah is that of persum haneis, literally advertising the miracle of Hanukkah and bringing light and warmth into the night. For this reason we place our chanukiot, our Hanukkah menorahs, in the window, so all can share in the experience.

Hanukkah means “dedication,” and just as the Maccabbees rededicated the Temple after it was destroyed, we have the opportunity each night of this Festival of Lights to dedicate ourselves and our families to bringing light and warmth into our lives and into the world. When, in the frame of the window, we linger over the light of the candles and engage with questions that help us connect with our loved ones, we make known God’s ancient miracle and create the miracle of Hanukkah yet again.

As you celebrate each of the 8 nights, after you light the candles, sing the blessings and some songs, but before you step away from the window and exchange gifts, perhaps you might take the time to consider and talk about each night’s “dedication” listed below.

1st Night
On this night, we dedicate ourselves to enjoying the purity of the candles’ light while disconnecting from phones, tablets, and computers. What activities allow you to connect with the people you love and focus on what’s most important? What examples of quality family time have you seen others enjoy that you would like to try with your family? What has worked best for you in the past or what do you imagine would be meaningful now and in the future?

2nd Night
On this night, reflecting on the ability of the candles to reach their light far and wide, we dedicate ourselves to reaching out and bringing warmth to someone or some family you have not talked to in a long time, or who is distant in another way. Whom do you miss? With whom would you like to reconnect?

3rd Night
On this night, we dedicate ourselves to engaging in an act of tzedakah in the coming year.  As the Maccabbees stepped up to rededicate the Temple after its destruction, how can you step up and take on a project with your family or others to help those who are needy? To which worthy cause would you like to direct your tzedakah?

4th Night
On this night, we dedicate meal time as a time of togetherness, nurturing the warmth in your home and reflecting the strength of the Maccabbee family. Whom do you know who needs a companion at meal time? Which days in the week present the opportunity for your family to come together over any meals of the day to reconnect and to share?

5th Night
On this night, we dedicate ourselves to inviting guests into our homes more regularly. Whom would you like to invite to your Shabbat table? Who would enjoy the warmth of sharing a meal, entertainment, or playtime with friends? How can your home reflect the value of a meeting place for all in the community, the value that inspired the Maccabbees to rededicate the Temple?

6th Night
On this night, we dedicate ourselves to recalling and retelling a story of someone or some group, though small, achieving something big. As we learn that the Maccabbees, through their spirit, achieved more than they thought their small band could, we dedicate ourselves to recognizing the force of spirit in ourselves and others and to recognizing when those who are underrated surpass expectations.

7th Night
On this night, we dedicate ourselves to contributing to the beauty in the world. As we enjoy watching our chanukiot and our Hanukkah candles, each a work of art, how can we engage in hiddur mitzvah, the act of making our Jewish ritual observance more beautiful? How do you want to bring warmth and light into the world in a creative way, or how do you enjoy others’ artistic expressions of beauty? How do we dedicate ourselves to honoring artistic and natural beauty in the world?

8th Night
And on this night, as all eight candles glow and we recall that in the Hanukkah story the oil lasted eight nights when it seemed there would only be enough for one night, we dedicate ourselves to respecting the limited resources in the world. How can we commit to working toward making the most of least?