Hanukkah Candles Tip: The Talmud is replete with arguments over legal interpretations of Torah law. One the most famous disagreements is between the students of Rabbi Shammai and the students of Rabbi Hillel as to what is the correct way to light Chanuka lights.
Shammai said to start with full compliment of 8 candles and everyday of Chanukah take one away. Hillel said to start with one candle thwe first day and add one everyday until we have the full compliment of eight on the eighth day.
The argument isn’t just legalistic mumbo-jumbo but rather reflectrs a difference in philosophy. Shammai is looking at how each day the num ber of days left to the holiday and Hillel is concentrating on how each day the miracle is growing.
We are told to light like Hillel and put the first candle on the right and each night add another one to the left and light that one first before we light all the others to the right.
On the first night we say three brachot: 1) l’hadlik ner shel Chanukah ; 2) Sheh asa nissim l’avoteinu ; 3) sheheyanu v’kiyimanu v’higiyanu. After the first night we don’t say shehehiyanu.