Chanukah is an 8-day period during which the spiritual energy of miracles, known as Or HaGanuz, is released into the universe. By lighting candles while using kabbalistic meditations and embracing the consciousness of sharing, we connect our souls to the Or HaGanuz and plant the seed for miracles – big and small – to fill our entire year to come.
The miracle of Chanukah refers to a single vial of oil that burned for the eight days of Chanukah during the time of the Second Temple. In a spiritual sense, oil represents Chochmah, or knowledge.
The act of physically lighting the candles helps us draw down the Light of Or HaGanuz, or ‘unlimited Light’. This great spiritual energy actually flows out of the physical flames of the candelabra. In order to absorb this awesome Light we stay near the flames for at least half an hour. When lighting, our consciousness should be one of certainty and happiness.
The Ari gives us the following instructions on how to light the Chanukiah (Chanukah menorah):
1. The Chanukiah should be placed on the right side of the house entrance, from within thehouse, while the Mezuzah is on our left.
2. The Chanukiah should be at least 30 centimeters above the floor and lower than the bottom of the hand of the person lighting it.
3. The Shamash’s (server) place is not significant, as long as it is separated from all the other candles, and it must be higher than them.
4. The Chanukiah should be lit after sunset, except on Friday night when it should be lit prior to sunset (see #7).
5. On the first night, we place the first candle at the furthest point from the opening of the house (to our right). During the following nights we add one candle each evening on the left side of the previous one. We first light the candle that we added that night, and then the candle to its right, meaning we add the candles from right to left, and we light them from left to right.
6. The candles should last for at least 30 minutes. It is good to sit near the Chanukiah during that time.
7. On Friday night, we light both the Chanukah and Shabbat candles. Light the Chanukiah first, then wait a minimum of 30 minutes before lighting the Shabbat candles.