Today I am grateful for the first night of Hanukkah, or Chanukah, or Hannukah. All these plus many more spellings are correct. The reason being that the name of the holiday celebrating the festival of lights written in Hebrew, is spelled, חנוכה. Because different scholars used different transliterations, English spellings are varied.
Jenni Fink “Unlike Christmas, which has one spelling in the English language, Hanukkah’s story is a bit more complicated because it has to do with transliteration. A transliteration gives a person an idea of how a word in a foreign language is pronounced. It changes the letters of the word’s original alphabet into similar-sounding letters of a different language’s alphabet.”
At sundown two blessings are recited. One person lights and holds the shamash (helper candle), the blessings are pronounced, and then the candles are lit. The shamash is used to light the others, and one candle is lit for each night. So tonight my husband prepared the menorah and I lit the shamash and the candle for the first night.
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tsivanu l’hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.
Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Ruler of all, who hallows us with mitzvot, commanding us to kindle the Hanukkah lights.
The first one is the prayer I was taught to use. Most add the second.
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha’olam, she-asah nisim la’avoteinu v’imoteinu bayamim hahaeim baz’man hazeh.
Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Sovereign of all, who performed wondrous acts for our ancestors in days of old at this season.
On the first night, we add the shehecheyanu which is the prayer used for the first time you do something each Jewish calendar year.
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha’olam, shehecheyanu v’kiy’manu v’higianu laz’man hazeh.
Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Sovereign of all, for giving us life, for sustaining us, and for enabling us to reach this season.
Each day we try to do something special for Hanukkah. I am grateful that I finished putting out all my decorations. I changed things multiple times until I felt I had a pleasurable arrangement. The final winner for my mantle is the handmade Chanukah sign made by my mother (of blessed memory). On one side is my Mensch on a bench. The other side has the wonderful handmade Chanukah girl purchased for me years ago by a co-worker.
I am grateful that years ago a rabbi gave us a paper to help us with our home celebration of Chanukkah. My husband and I were taking a class to try and learn Hebrew. Sadly we did not finish the course. We loved the cultural learning that came with the class but found the Hebrew reading and writing a bit overwhelming.
The first light tells of Him whose first commandment was “Let there be light.” Darkness of idol worship was scattered when Israel brought radiant knowledge of one G-d . “I am the first, and I am the last,” saith the Lord.
Last year I gifted one menorah to my aunt, one to a coworker’s friend who had lost her Judaic belongings, and one to my cousin. This year I am grateful to be gifting one to my chiropractor’s office and a second one to my aunt at her request. Years ago we had the great pleasure to gift each grandchild a menorah out of Legos that my hubby created. I am grateful that menorahs are such an important part of my holiday.
I am grateful that each year I try to learn something new about my holiday. I learned today that Chanukah was celebrated in space. Such a terrific piece of history. An astronaut’s holiday in space.
I am grateful for the internet because I can find new songs, books, and crafts to add to my holiday. Hasmonean
I am grateful that I added two copies of The Hanukkah Hop to my children’s book’s collection. I will keep one copy and gift one. There are many quality kid’s books to be found and adding them to my collection brings me joy.
I am grateful for my holiday and that I am part of a wonderful history.
Happy first night of Chanukah.