In the Hanerot Halalu that we recite when lighting the Hanukkah candles, it says "anachnu madlikin." Why madlikin and not madlikim? Why is a final nun used and not a final mem? I have searched EVERYWHERE!

  • 1
    Cantor Kim, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks very much for bringing your question here! I look forward to seeing you around.
    – Isaac Moses
    May 9, 2012 at 20:21
  • 2
    related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/12517/759
    – Double AA
    May 9, 2012 at 20:35
  • can you elaborate on what the difference would be?
    – Menachem
    May 9, 2012 at 20:43
  • 1
    This difference is also seen between various nusachos in Shacharis by the first blessing before the Shema, where some have umvorchin umshabchin...umamlichin whereas some have umvorchim umshabchim...umamlichim.
    – yoel
    May 9, 2012 at 20:52
  • I happen to be working on this right now and my only source material is the siddur Rinat Yisrael which has "madlikim" but has the Masechet Sofrim source reference on the side.
    – rosends
    Nov 20, 2014 at 19:38

2 Answers 2


The source for this recitation is Tractate Soferim (20:4). Aramaic was a major lingustic influence on halachic literature in Babylonia during the Geonic period when that tractate was composed, and in Aramaic the plural form ends with a nun rather than a mem.

  • 1
    That's what I thought... I just haven't been able to find a "proof text"! Thank you, Fred!
    – Cantor Kim
    May 9, 2012 at 20:29
  • @CantorKim, sure thing.
    – Fred
    May 9, 2012 at 20:30

The ArtScroll Siddur indeed renders it as "אנחנו מדליקין", but I have two siddurim (both Nusach Sfard but I'd assume it would be the same in the Nusach Ashkenaz versions by the same publisher) which read "אנחנו מדליקים". Siddur Kol Yaakov HaChadash (Adir) and Siddur Tefillat Kol Peh (Eshkol) both have מדליקים instead of מדליקין.

Interestingly enough, the Chabad siddur has a different nusach altogether for הנרות הללו, and aside from the other changes and switches throughout the text, the beginning reads:

'הנרות הללו אנו מדליקין וגו

This beginning seems to be a bit more Aramaic to me, as אנו is used instead of אנחנו, so it matches the langer-nun in מדליקין a bit better.

  • אנו is (Mishnaic) Hebrew, the Aramaic word is אנן (though it differs by dialect)
    – b a
    Nov 15, 2017 at 10:58
  • @b a - Notice a bit more Aramaic to me. Mishnaic Hebrew will use the final nun instead of a final mem in many verbs. (Ex. מאימתי קורין את שמע)
    – ezra
    Nov 15, 2017 at 14:30
  • Right, but you said the word אנו was "a bit more Aramaic," while it isn't Aramaic at all
    – b a
    Nov 15, 2017 at 16:59

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .