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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:01 PM
Original message
Menorah lighting etiquette
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 01:01 PM by huskerlaw
I work at a Catholic university, so we have all sorts of Christmas decorations, but we also have a significant Jewish population. Thinking it would be kind to include them in our decorating, we purchased a menorah. But now none of us knows how to use it properly.

We've figured out that, starting tonight at sunset we light the middle candle (the shamas) and also the candle to the far right. Then, at sunset each subsequent night we add the next candle, just to the left of the one we lit the night before.

Ok, here's the problem. The candle on whose right? Say the menorah is sitting on a counter. The person standing behind the counter will be lighting the candle. Is it that person's right? Or is it the right of the people who will be looking at the candle...the people in front of the counter?

This is what happens when a bunch o' non-Jews try to light a Menorah, by the way...yikes.

On edit: Happy Hanukkah!!
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Patiod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. That's a great gesture
One of my Jewish sorority sisters went to (very Catholic) Villanova for law school. In fact, now that I think of it, everyone I know that went to Villanove for grad school is Jewish...
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Yeah, our student population
is VERY diverse and a large percentage of our students are Jewish. We even offer Jewish Law, taught by our in-house Rabbi (whom, of course, is out of town so we can't ask him this question).
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seemunkee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
2. The person lighting the menorah.
And on the last night it is lit in the opposite direction.

Although re-reading what you said made me think that I had never seen it done from behind a counter like that. Usually I see the back of the person lighting the candles. I would still do it from the percpective of the person lighting it and then turn it around.
The person lighting the candles needs to say the prayer and have their head covered. Any hat would be sufficient.

Prayer
Ba-ruch ata, A-do-nai E-lo-hei-nu,
me-lech ha-o-lam, a-sher ki-de-sha-nu be-mits-vo tov,
ve-tsi-va-nu le-had-lik neir shel Chan-nu-kah.

I'm not Jewish but I married into it a long time ago.
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Ok, so we'll just go to the other side
of the counter to light it. That'll work!

Are we committing some horrible offense by having non-Jews light it?

And do you know what the prayer means?
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seemunkee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. translation
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe
Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us
to light the lights of Chanukkah

I don't see a problem in you doing it, but it might be nice if there was someone Jewish that could be invited up to do it. They would most likely know the prayer too.
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Thanks!
We thought about having someone help with it, but since the in-house Rabbi is out of town, we don't really know how to achieve that. Can't really walk up to the students and ask...and nobody that works in this building is Jewish.
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TimeChaser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. You don't switch on the last day. And there's a second prayer
It's always, if I recall correctly, the candles go in left to right, then you light them right to left.

And there's a second (and third on the first night only) prayer.

Second:
Ba-ruch ata Adonai Eloheinu melech ha-olam
sha-asa neeseem la'avotainu bayameem ha'hem
baazman haze

Third... uh... google it? I just tried to romanize it, and I don't think I could.
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TimeChaser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Wait, here's the third
:3

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/She...

Btw, that one's also a general prayer for any important event
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Thank you...
I have resorted to Googling, and am, of course, getting contradictory information. :eyes:

I have read that candles go in left to right and they're lit right to left. Although at least one website did say that you reverse that on night 8. Aaaaah! ;)
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seemunkee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. And thus you learn the lesson
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 02:20 PM by seemunkee
That Jews never agree on anything.

Old Borscht circuit joke:
A man is stranded on a deserted island. He is there for years and ends up building two synagogues. When he is finally rescued he is asked why did you build two?
Pointing to one he says, "That one I pray in, the other one I wouldn't set foot in"
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TimeChaser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Hmm, perhaps it's a Orthadox thing?
I was raised in Reform Judaism, so I'm not wholly sure about others' traditions
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
3. IMPORTANT- You need to sing the following song while you are lighting the candles...

Put on your yarmulke,
Here comes Hanukkah!
So much funukah,
To celebrate Hanukkah!
Hanukkah is the festival of lights.
Instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights.

When you feel like the only kid in town
Without a Christmas tree,
Here's a list of people who are Jewish just like you and me:

David Lee Roth lights the menorah.
So do James Caan, Kirk Douglas, and the late Dinah Shore-ah.

Guess who eats together at the Carnegie Deli?
Bowser from Sha Na Na and Arthur Fonzarelli!
Paul Newman's half Jewish, Goldie Hawn's half too.
Put them together, what a fine lookin' Jew.

You don't need "Deck The Halls" or "Jingle Bell Rock",
'Cause you can spin a dreidel with Captain Kirk
and Mr. Spock -- both Jewish.

Put on your yarmulke
It's time for Hanukkah
The owner of the Seattle Supersonicahs
Celebrates Hanukkah

O.J. Simpson - not a Jew.
But guess who is? Hall of famer Rod Carew -- he converted
We got Ann Landers and her sister Dear Abby.
Harrison Ford's a quarter Jewish -- not too shabby!

Some people think that Ebenezer Scrooge is
Well he's not, but guess who is -- All Three Stooges!
So many Jews are in showbiz,
Tom Cruise isn't - but I heard his agent is.

Tell your friend Veronica
It's time to celebrate Hanukkah.
I hope I get a harmonicah
Oh this lovely, lovely Hanukkah.
So drink your gin and tonicah
And smoke your marijuanikah.
If you really, really wannakah
Have a happy, happy, happy, happy Hanukkah!
Happy Hanukkah!"

;-)
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Hahahahahaha
I love that song!
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. God
Hebrew is such a beautiful language.
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