In Jewish tradition, the candle flame is also considered a symbolic representation of the human soul and serves as a reminder of the fragility and beauty of life.
And…We must not forget about the Hanukkah candles when we talk about traditions. But many people are entirely blank about them or even when to light Hanukkah candles.
In this article, we will shed some light on Hanukkah candle lighting.
So, let’s begin!
The connection between the candle flame and souls derives originally from Mishlei (Proverbs) 20:27:
‘The soul of man is the lamp of the Lord, which searches all his private parts.’
The candle of the Lord, the soul of man, searches all the chambers of the womb.
Hanukkah candle lighting time
In Judaism, Hanukkah blessings are very philosophical. The concept is more important than when to light Hanukkah candles. The soul in the body is like the flame in the wick. Fire consumes wax or oil without wearing it out. Moreover, the body, not the soul, is consumed by life.
Even if there are multiple flames, there will only be a single light in the room. So, although there are many souls in the room, there is only one life present. The candle has a shape, but the flame doesn’t have a shape you can call your own.
The body has a definite form, while the soul is formless. The flame is directed and moved by the wind.
Note: Wind in Hebrew is the same word as Spirit, Ruach, which directs and moves the soul.
The size of the candle does not determine the size of the flame, and the size of the body does not determine the “size” of the soul. Therefore, a person with a small body does not necessarily have a “small” soul.
All these comparisons are, however, linked with when to light Hanukkah candles.
Thus, if you don’t know what time to light Hanukkah candles, this guide will help you out but make sure you do all the rituals correctly.
Characteristics of Candles for Hanukkah:
No doubt, candles for Hanukkah have many characteristics or possible uses, such as sealing and lubricating, `but their primary purpose is to illuminate. The same applies to the body. Although it has many functions, its essential task is to house the soul to bring light to the world.
No matter the color and shape of the candle, the color of the flame does not change, and no matter the color or size of the body, the “color” of the soul is not affected. The hottest portion of the flame is the top. The soul is the higher aspect of man.
You can light thousands of candles from a single candle without losing its original light. Surrounded by other lit candles, it shows even lighter. The soul can also ignite other souls, making them aware of the purpose of life, and then it becomes even more enlightened because it was instrumental in the mission of spreading the light.
Candles and the human soul:
If you must know, it is easier to relight a fuse than to light it the first time. A soul that once knew but went astray, the one that forgot, is easier to rekindle, remember, and return to than the one that never knew.
In the end, after the flame has consumed the entire candle, it should disappear. So, it is with the soul. After your desires have been in the body for 70 or 80 years, the body is consumed, and the soul must also depart.
The flame always rises, reaching the sky. Yet, the soul also struggles to ascend, remember its true identity, and return to its source…these are the Hanukkah blessings!
When to light Hanukkah candles according to Jewish customs:
Below is a list of events to help you answer your questions about when to light Hanukkah candles
- Candles are lit before each Shabbat in Jewish homes or synagogues before sunset on Friday night.
- At the end of Shabbat, a unique braid Havdaláa candle is lit, in which the candle, or fire, represents the first work of the new week.
- During Hanukkah, candles are lit on Chanukah each night to commemorate the rededication of the Temple, when the oil that was supposed to last only one night lasted a miraculous eight nights.
- Candles are lit before main Jewish holidays such as Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Jewish Passover, Succoth, and Shavuot.
- Commemorative candles are lit by Jewish families yearly (anniversary of a death) of close loved ones.
- The eternal flame, or Ner Tamid, found in most synagogues ‘above the ark’ where the Torah scrolls are kept, is intended to represent the original flame of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. However, most synagogues today use electric rather than oil lamps for security reasons.
These were all the Hanukkah candle-lighting times!
When do you light Hanukkah candles?
Here is a list of exact timings to light Hanukkah candles for eight days:
- 1st candle | 12/12 | Tuesday 8:45 pm;
- 2nd candle | 12/13 | Wednesday 8:45 pm;
- 3rd candle | 12/14 | Thursday 8:45 pm;
- 4th candle | 12/15 | Friday 7:15 pm;
- 5th candle | 12/16 | Saturday 8:45 pm;
- 6th candle | 12/17 | Sunday 8:45 pm – Along with Capricorn‘s New Moon ;
- 7th candle | 12/18 | Monday 8:45 pm;
- 8th candle | 12/19 | Tuesday 20:45.
How do you light candles for Hanukkah?
Use the shamash ( guide candle in the center) to light the first candle at the far right of the Menorah. Then, on the second night, light an additional candle to the left of the candlelit the night before. Repeat the same process on the following nights, where the candle to be lit is always the new one, from left to right.
What time to light Hanukkah candles?
On the evening of the first day of Hanukkah, the Jews light the first of eight candles. On each subsequent night, a new candle is added to the left until the candlestick is fully lit after eight days.
What is the Chanukah candle today?
The main commandment of Chanukah today is the lighting of the Chanukah (Menorah – candelabrum – with 9 branches). Eight arms are to remember the miracle of the eight days when the Menorah was lit with oil that was supposed to last only one day.
How many candles for Hanukkah?
Hanukkah is, in Judaism, the Feast of Lights. For eight nights, the Jews light candles on the Chanukiah (an eight-candle candelabrum, plus a guiding candle for lighting the others). Each night an extra candle is lit up to the 8th candle on the 8th night.
How to light a party candle?
To Light: Place the candle on top of the cake and, with the help of a toothpick, set the top on fire. (In a moment, the ripple effect will begin.)
When to light Hanukkah candles?
The Menorah is a candlestick with 9 candles, one for each day of Hanukkah and one you use to light the other candles. Traditionally one candle is lit for each night of Hanukkah, so on the eighth day, all candles will be lit.
What time does Shabbat start today?
Shabbat begins at sunset on Friday and ends at sunset on Saturday. Shabbat is surrounded by rules and restrictions written in the Torah that dictate what they can do and what activities are prohibited during the holy day.
What to do on Hanukkah?
On Hanukkah, the festival of lights, it is time to use candles in decoration, especially in the Menorah, a 9-burner candlestick specifically for the celebration. The Feast of Lights of Jewish culture, Hanukkah, begins on the night of December 6th.
How to use a volcano candle step by step?
Stick the candle on top of the cake and, with the help of a toothpick, set the top on fire. (In a few moments, the ripple effect will start.) A lighter stick is NOT included.
How to light a star-shaped candle?
Use the incense which comes with the candle to light it, touching it, for a few seconds, to the white part at the top of the candle. A colored flame in the form of a Star effect will immediately appear.
To conclude, the Judaism ritual of lighting candles is considered very important. Hanukkah and other religious occasions are always incomplete without candles.
Being a Jew, you must be aware of all these things since childhood. However, if you weren’t, we hope this detailed guide has helped you understand when to light Hanukkah candles and the significance of these times.
Fun fact: You can always become the holiday Armadillo like Ross and teach your little ones more about Hanukkah. Happy Hanukkah!