Happy Chanukah, everyone! May I be one of many to wish you and yours a wondrous and joyous Hanukkah. I hope you are feeling prepared for your Chanukah and Thanksgiving celebrations and that Chai & Home played a small part in your inspiration for entertaining or giving this year.
A lot of you are wondering what blessings to say at Thanksgivukkah tomorrow. This is the order we are going to follow. Our dinner is in the evening, so the Hanukkah candles will be lit before the Thanksgiving dinner will be eaten. That way, we can enjoy viewing the menorah while we eat. If your Thanksgiving is a lunch, you will light the menorah only after dark.
Don’t forget to load the candles from right to left and light them from left to right!
Chanukah Blessing 1 (said when using the Shamash to light the other candles).
Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, asher kiddeshanu b’mitzvotav, vitzivanu, lehadlik ner shel Hanukkah.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah.
Chanukah Blessing 2
Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, she-asah nissim la-avotaynu bayamim ha-hem bazman hazeh.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season.
Shehecheyanu (on the first night and Thanksgivukkah)
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has kept us alive, and has preserved us, and enabled us to reach this time.
Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, she-hekheyanu v-kiyamanu v-higgianu lazman hazeh.
Then, let’s eat! During the dinner you can say the blessing over the wine or create your own Thanksgivukkah blessing. The Huffington Post has published some interesting blessings rabbis around the country have created for Thanksgivukkah. I’m not sure I’m crazy about any of them, but you can get the flavor in order to create your own.
Blessing over wine. Lift the cup, but don’t drink yet and say:
Baruch atah Adonai Elohaynu melech ha’olam boray pri hagafen.
Blessed are You Adonai our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.
Then to finish, I’m kind of liking a shortened version of Rabbi Jason Miller’s Thanksgivukkah blessing:
Let us embrace our Jewish heritage as well as our American freedom. And let the messages of Hanukkah and the traditions of Thanksgiving blend into a spirit of joy for us all.