Temple Beth El

Additional Hanukkah Resources


Listen to students from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology sing a version of Maoz Tzur for 2013., 
Watch students from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology "light" a Hanukkiyah on the moon for 2014.
Technion students invent a "Rube Goldberg" way to light the Hanukkiyah. 

First Night: She-he-he-yanu – The First Step

Keva: On the second through the eighth nights of Hanukkah, we recite only two blessing, l’hadlik ner shel Hanukkah and she’asah nisim. Only on the first night of Hanukkah do we recite a third blessing, She-he-he-yanu: “Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, for granting us life, for sustaining us, and for helping us to reach this day.”

Why is it only on the first night that we recite the blessing for having reached this moment? Shouldn’t we feel grateful for having arrived at the second through eighth nights of Hanukkah? Aren’t those nights every bit as special? Making the decision to begin a journey is uniquely challenging. Taking the first steps on a new path is often the time we need the most support. Our tradition teaches:Mitzvah goreret mitzvah. With each mitzvah we perform, with each inspired choice to transform our lives, the next one becomes easier.

Kavannah: Hanukkah offers us the opportunity to become in touch with our gratitude to God, the Ultimate Source of support, love, and inspiration. From that inspired place, we can direct our gratitude to those people we turn to for support when we seek to begin a new way in life. As we light the first candle tonight, let us think about and express our gratitude to people who enable us to take the plunge, the crucial first step.

Read the rest of the Kavanot for each night