Countdown to Chanukah 2
One should begin reciting the prayer of “ Haneirot Halalu” immediately after lighting the first candle. He should finish lighting the candles as he finishes reciting the prayer. However, it is permissible to recite the prayer after he has finished lighting all the candles. There should be 36 words in the prayer besides the words, “Haneirot Halalu,” ‘these candles,’ as if to say, “these candles are 36.” (Kaf Hachaim, 671:28)
We pay careful attention to every detail of the Mitzvah making sure that everything corresponds and fits together. This is because we are attempting to recreate the light of the Upper Worlds, in our homes. When we go out of our way to have a perfect balance, even in the number of words, we are expressing our desire to have our earthly light meet the Divine light and combine together.