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I didn't light the Menorah on the first night. Where do I start now?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg


Library » Holidays » Chanukah » The Laws | Subscribe | What is RSS?


It's never too late to start; jump into the Chanukah spirit, and light the Menorah tonight. No matter which night you start kindling the Menorah, you still light the amount of candles corresponding to that night of Chanukah, e.g. if it is the fourth night, you should light four candles. If you don't tell anyone that you missed the first nights neither will we...

However, the first time you kindle the Menorah this year, you should recite the Shehecheyanu blessing which is normally recited only on the first night. This is a seasonal blessing which is only said the first time when a person fulfills a Mitzvah which is only done occasionally.

See here for the Menorah blessings.


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(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
A blessing recited on joyous occasions. The blessing thanks G-d for "sustaining us and enabling us to reach this occasion."
An eight day mid-winter holiday marking: 1) The miraculous defeat of the mighty Syrian-Greek armies by the undermanned Maccabis in the year 140 BCE. 2) Upon their victory, the oil in the Menorah, sufficient fuel for one night only, burned for eight days and nights.
Candelabra. Usually a reference to the nine-branched candelabra kindled on the holiday of Chanukah.