Hanerot Halalu, an ancient chant mentioned in the Talmud (Soferim 20:6), reminds us of the sacred nature of the Hanukkah lights that are lit to commemorate and publicize the Hanukkah miracles. The song states that our sole intent in kindling Hanukkah lights is to publicize the miracle, and thus it is forbidden to use the lights in any other way.
After the reciting of the Hanukkah blessings and lighting the new light for that night, Hanerot Halalu is traditionally recited as additional lights are lit.
Hanerot halalu anachnu madlikin
Al hanissim ve'al haniflaot
Al hatshu-ot ve'al hamilchamot
Bayamim hahem, bazman hazeh
Al yedey kohanecha hakdoshim.
Vechol shmonat yemey Chanukah
Hanerot halalu kodesh hem,
Ve-ein lanu reshut lehishtamesh bahem
Ela lirotam bilvad
Kedai lehodot leshimcha
Al nissecha veal nifleotecha ve-al yeshuotecha.
We light these lights
For the miracles and the wonders,
For the redemption and the battles
That you made for our forefathers
In those days at this season,
Through your holy priests.
During all eight days of Chanukah
These lights are sacred
And we are not permitted to make
Ordinary use of them,
But only to look at them;
In order to express thanks
And praise to Your great Name
For your miracles, Your wonders
And your salvations.
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