Lighting Chanukah Candles
- 1 The Brachot of Chanukah Candles
- 2 Order of lighting
- 3 Number of candles to light
- 4 How long should the candles last?
- 5 Getting benefit from the light of the candles
- 6 Who’s Obligated?
- 7 Who fulfills his/her obligation with the household’s lighting?
- 8 Birkat HaRoeh
- 9 Related Pages
- 10 Sources
The Brachot of Chanukah Candles
- On the first night of Chanukah, before lighting the candles one should recite three blessings. On all other nights, only the first two are said (and not Shehecheyanu).  Here is the text in Hebrew and below it is the transliterated text:
- ברוך אתה ה' אלוקינו מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו להדליק נר (של) חנוכה 
- ברוך אתה ה' אלוקינו מלך העולם, שעשה נסים לאבותינו בימים ההם בזמן הזה
- ברוך אתה ה' אלוקינו מלך העולם, שהחינו וקימנו והגענו לזמן הזה
- Baruch Atta Hashem Elokenu Melech HaOlam Asher Kidishanu BeMitzvotav VeTzivanu Lehadlik Ner (Ashkenazim add: Shel) Chanukah.
- Baruch Atta Hashem Elokenu Melech HaOlam SheAssa Nissim LeAvotenu Bayamim Hahem Bazman Hazeh. 
- Baruch Atta Hashem Elokenu Melech HaOlam SheHechiyanu Vekiyemanu Vehiygianu Lazman Hazeh.
- Many poskim say that one should say all of the Brachot before lighting the candles, while others say that after the first night one should say LeHadlik, light one candle, then say She’asa Nissim and light the rest. 
- If one forgot to say the Brachot and remembers after he finished lighting before a half hour passed, one should recite “SheAssa Nissim” and "Shehecheyanu", on the first night, but not “Lehadlik Ner”. If one remembers before one finishes lighting the candles (on the 2nd day and on) one can make all the Brachot then and finish the lighting. 
- If one forgot to say Shehecheyanu before lighting one can say it in the half hour after lighting. If one didn’t say it the first night one should say it the second night and so on. So too, if on the eighth night one forgot one can say it in the half hour after lighting. 
- After the half hour of lighting one can’t say the Brachot. 
- If someone had his wife or anyone else light for him the first night he fulfill his obligation of saying Shehecheyanu and shouldn’t say it the next night. 
Order of lighting
- The common practice is that on the first night one lights the rightmost candle. On the second night, one lights the candle that is second to the right (i.e. the new one) followed by the candle all the way to the right. One continues to add candles to the left each night, lighting the new candle first and moving from left to right. 
- Ideally one should stand near the candles on the left side of the chanukia so that one need not pass over the candles on the right when lighting.
- Some say one should say HaNeirot Halalu after lighting the first candle, while others suggest saying it after lighting all the candles.
- Some say that one shouldn't blow out a candle but should extinguish it another way. Others say that there's no concern nowadays.
Number of candles to light
- The mitzvah of lighting Chanukah candles is a very special and dear mitzvah. Even a poor person should rent or sell his clothing or hire himself out in order to get enough money to purchase at least one candle for every night. The Gabbai Tzedaka (local charity distributor) needs to make sure that the poor have enough money to purchase at least one candle every night. 
- The minimum requirement of Chanukah candles is that each household should have one candle lit every night. The next best method (Mehadrin) to fulfill this mitzvah is by lighting one candle for every person in the house every night. The best (Mehadrin Min HaMehadrin) way to fulfill this mitzvah is: according to Sephardim, for one person per house to light one candle on the first night and to add another candle each night and according to Ashkenazim, for every person to light for themselves one candle on the first night and to add another candle each night. 
- If one missed lighting one day it can’t be made up and the next night one should light the number everyone else is lighting. 
- If one lit two candles on the first night, he fulfills his obligation and doesn’t have to relight the right number of candles. 
How long should the candles last?
For background, see the How Long Do Chanukah Candles Have To Be Lit? page.
- The candles only need fuel to burn for a half hour. 
- If one doesn’t have enough for the each Hidur candle, the Hidur candles don’t need to burn for a half hour. 
- A person who is in doubt if his candles will last a half hour can nonetheless light with a bracha. 
Getting benefit from the light of the candles
- It’s forbidden to get benefit from the light of the candles for the first half hour, even on minimal tasks like checking the value of a coin. 
- However a minimal task that’s for a mitzvah is permitted, but learning by the light of the candles isn’t considered a minimal task. 
- Therefore it’s the Minhag to light a Shamash so that if one does use the light of the candles it’ll be permitted because of the Shamash. 
- The Shamash should be placed slightly higher than the other candles or recognizable distant from the others. 
- Nowadays when we have electric lights if the lights are on some say one doesn’t need a Shamash and some say it’s still part of the Minhag. 
- Women are obligated in Chanukah candles since they too were part of the miracle of Chanukah. Thus, a man who is away traveling he should have his wife light at home for him to fulfill his obligation. Even if he will come that night later than Tzet HaKochavim (the night to light Chanukah candles), he should still have his wife light. Ashkenazim who have the Minhag that everyone in the household lights and they are able to light where they are should light without a bracha. 
- A deaf and mute, insane, or child not bar/bat-mitzvah isn’t obligated to light and so can’t fulfill the obligation of someone who is obligated. However a deaf who can speak is obligated and can fulfill the obligation of others. 
- A blind person is obligated in lighting. If he’s married, his wife should light for him, if he lives alone he should light. 
- A child, even if he is the age of chinuch but not bar/bat mitzvah, may not fulfill the obligation of others. However, the one making the bracha can light the first candle and then let the child light the other candles. However a child who isn’t at the age of chinuch, shouldn’t light any of the candles except for the Shamash. 
- A mourner in the first 7 days can light and make Brachot [however he shouldn’t light in shul on the first night because of the Shechianu, even in the 30 days of mourning or 12 months for a parent.] 
- A mourner on the first day is exempt as he is exempt from all mitzvoth and so he should have a household member who isn’t a mourner light with a bracha, if that’s not possible, he should have another person light without a bracha. 
- A convert can make all the Brachot and say “She’assa Nissim Le’avotenu” but if he wants can change it to say “She’assa Nissim LeYisrael”. 
Who fulfills his/her obligation with the household’s lighting?
- The Ashkenazic minhag is that each individual lights for oneself, however, the Sephardic minhag is that one person lights for the whole household.  According to the Sephardic minhag who fulfills his/her obligation with the lighting of the household?
- Household members who are “dependant on the household” fulfill their obligation with the lighting of the household. 
- A married woman should rely on her husband’s lighting. Unmarried girls who in still live at in their father’s home can rely on their father’s lighting even according to the Ashkenazic custom. If they want to light, Ashkenazim can light with a Bracha. 
- According to Sephardim, members of the household that are dependent on their parents fulfill their obligation with the one lighting of the household even if they aren’t home such as children in yeshiva or in the army that don’t sleep at home don’t light where they sleep. However, Ashkenazi Minhag is for single children to light themselves even at home and certainly when not sleeping at home. 
A wedding on Chanukah
- If the wedding takes place at night then the groom fulfills his obligation with the lighting in his father's house which took place before the wedding. 
- If the wedding takes place during the day before sunset, the groom fulfills doesn't fulfill his obligation with the lighting in his father's house but rather he must light at his new house. Some say he should light after the wedding, some say he should appoint a messenger to light there, and some say he should leave the wedding between the Chuppah and meal to light at his new house. A minority opinion is that one may light at the wedding hall.
- A married man traveling should have his wife light for him at home and not make the Bracha of Sh’asa Nisim nor Sh’chianu even when he returns home. 
A Yeshiva Student
- There is a dispute whether a Yeshiva student who eats and sleeps at the Yeshiva but is financially supported by his parents is considered dependent on the table of the household or not. Most Sephardic authorities rule that he is considered dependent and fulfills his obligation with the lighting of his household, however, many Ashkenazic authorities rule that he is considered independent and doesn’t fulfill his obligation. 
- A Sephardic Yeshiva whose parents live outside Israel in a different time zone some say that he may light with a Bracha at Yeshiva, while others say that he can fulfill his obligation with the lighting of his parents. 
- Someone traveling all night in a car, train, plane, or boat and has no one lighting for him at home should preferably light there without a Bracha and make Brachot HaRoeh. 
- Placement of the Chanukah Candles
- Earliest and Latest time to light Chanukah Candles
- Lighting Chanukah Candles on Friday afternoon
- Lighting Chanukah Candles in Shul
- Doing an activity before lighting Chanukah Candles
- Leftover oil and wicks
- Having a kosher Chanukia
- Kosher oil, wicks, and candles for Chanukah Candles
- A poor person lighting Chanukah Candles
- Where Does a Guest Light Chanuka Candles?
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 676:1-2
- S”A 676:1 writes the first bracha without the word shel. So is the opinion of the Arizal (Shaar Kavanot pg 108d), Pri Chadash, and Gra (Maaseh Rav 231). However Ashkenazim add the word Shel based on our girsa of the Gemara, Rif and Rambam. Mishna Brurah 676:1, based on early sources quoted in Shaar Hatziyun 1. Orchos Rabbeinu 3:17 says that the practice of the Chazon Ish was to say lehadlik ner shelachanukah (one word with a patach under the lamed). Clearly, if a Sephardi said it with the word Shel he fulfills his obligation (Chazon Ovadyah pg 125). Although the Shibolei HaLeket (Siman 185) argues that the text of first bracha should be Al Mitzvat Hadlakat Ner Chanukah, the Rosh (Pesachim 1:10) cites Rabbeinu Tam and Riva, who justify the text of LeHadlik Ner Shel Chanuka. S”A 676:1 rules that the text is LeHadlik.
- Aruch hashulchan 676:3, Orchos Rabbeinu 3:17, and Koveitz Halachos 6:3 actually recommend saying bizman hazeh as opposed to bazman hazeh.
- The Gemara (Shabbat 23a) says that on the first night, one should say three Brachot: LeHadlik, She’asa Nissim, and Shehechiyanu. On the remaining nights, one says only two Brachot, leaving out Shehechiyanu. The Rambam (Chanukah 3:4), Tur, and S”A 676:1 codify this as halacha.
- The Maharil (Responsa 145) writes that one should recite all of the Brachot before lighting, in accordance with the principle of Over LeAsiyatan. The Rama 676:2, Kitzur S”A 139:12, Mishna Brurah 676:4, and Kaf HaChaim 676:21 concur with the Maharil. Rav Mordechai Willig (Hilchos Chanukah and Purim #1, 35-6) commented that the minhag is like the Rama.
- On the other hand, the Maharam (cited by Hagahot Maimoniyot 3:2), based on the Masechet Sofrim, said LeHadlik before lighting, leaving She’asa Nissim and Shehechiyanu for afterwards. Rav Soloveitchik (quoted in Nefesh HaRav p. 224 and Mesorah vol 4, p. 8) explained that the Masechet Sofrim holds that the Bracha of She’asa Nissim functions as a Birkat HaRoeh and should be made after seeing the candles lit. He notes that in order to satisfy both views, Rav Chaim’s practice was that on all nights besides the first, he would say LeHadlik, light the first candle, say She’asa Nissim, and then light the rest of the candles. On the first night, when this is impossible, he made all three Brachot before lighting. Rabbeinu Yerucham (9:1) quotes a similar idea in the name of Rabbeinu Yonah.
- Sh”t Rabbenu Avraham Ben HaRambam 83 writes that it is forbidden to say the bracha of LeHadlik Neirot Chanukah after one finished lighting Chanukah candles. Shulchan Gavoha 676:3 writes that if one remembers any time the candles are lit one may still say “SheAssa Nissim” and "Shehecheyanu", on the first night because he should be no worse that a person who isn't lighting and just saw the candles so is allowed to say these brachot (Birchat HaRoeh). Sh”t Demeshk Eliezer Y”D 47 agrees. However, see also the Sefer Pardes (Rabbenu Asher Ben Chaim pg 66) who says one can say it as long as the candles are burning. Sh”t Halachot Ketanot 1:3 and Yad Aharon (Hagahot Tur 676) say that one can make all the Brachot as long as one didn’t finish lighting all the candles of Hidur. Sh”t Rabbi Akiva Eiger (Mehudra Tanina 13) writes that if one remembers before one finishes one can make all the Brachot but if one only remembers after he finishes lighting he can’t make Lehadlik Ner just like Brachot HaRoeh(S”A 676:3). Mishna Brurah 676:4, Ben Ish Chaim Vayeshev 10, and Sh”t Chatav Sofer O”C 135 agree.Torat HaMoadim 6:9 adds that since we learn the after lighting one can still make the bracha of SheAssa Nisim from Brachot HaRoeh it only applies to the first half hour after one sees the candles as by Brachot HaRoeh.
- Shibolei HaLeket 186 and Orchot Chaim (Chanukah 10) quote a Teshuvat Hagoanim to which Rabbenu Yishaya says that one can say Shehecheyanu any day after the first when he remembers; BI"H, Chanukah, 3 concurs . Piskei Rid (Shabbat 23a) explains it means one can only make the bracha at the time of the lighting. However, Bach 676 in name of the Maharash says not to say Shehecheyanu the second night. Nonetheless, Meiri (Shabbat 23a) and Riaz (23a), also write that one lights Shehecheyanu the first night one lights. This is also the opinion of Sh”t Maharam (Prague Edition 57), Tur 676 in name of the Rosh and S”A 676:1.
- Levush 676, Pri Chadash 676:1, Sh”t Sadeh HaAretz O”C 38, Birkei Yosef 692:1, and Sh”t Igrot Moshe 1:190 hold that one can only make the Shehecheyanu at the time of the lighting. However, Yavetz in Mor Ukesiah 692, Sh”T Mahari Molcho 78, Sh”t Zera Emet 1:96, and Taharat Mayim (Shiurei Tahara 8:3) hold it can be said any time during Chanukah. Nonetheless, Mishna Brurah (676:2 and Shar Tzion 676:3), and Torat HaMoadim 6:12 say that because of a Safek Brachot one doesn’t make Brachot past the time of lighting. Taharat Mayim implies that by SheAssa Nissim one can say it anytime against the Mor Ukesiah who says that SheAssa Nissim can only be said over the candles. Sh”t Yechave Daat 2:77 says because of Safek Brachot one doesn’t say SheAssa Nissim not over candles.
- Bach 676 says that his wife’s lighting with Brachot doesn’t exempt him from Shehecheyanu. So says Eliyah Raba 676:5. Torat HaMoadim 6:13 explain that this is the Bach according to his opinion that one who has someone lighting for him at home makes Brachot HaRoah; however since we hold (S”A 676:3) that if one has someone lighting for home doesn’t make Brachot HaRoah here too, one fulfills Shehecheyanu with his wife’s lighting. This is also the opinion of Sharei Knesset Hagedolah 676:2, Magen Avraham 676:2, Pri Megadim A”A 676:2, Mishna Brurah 676:7, and Kaf HaChaim 676:26. Sh”t Yabia Omer O”C 4:50 (4-5), 6:42(3-4) holds that even by Shehecheyanu we apply Safek Brachot LeHakel.
- The picture of Shulchan Aruch's lighting is above by the summarized halacha. The pictures for the other opinions are below or see different drawings in Sefer Natai Gavriel (Chanukah pg 637).
- Maharik (Responsa 183, cited by Beit Yosef 676:5 s.v. Aval) writes that on the first night, one should light the rightmost candle and on subsequent nights should add a candle to the left and light the new one first such that one lights from left to right (the way English is written). He bases his argument on the Gemara (Sotah 15b) that a person always should turn to the right, which the Mordechai (Shabbat 2:268) applied to lighting chanuka candles. The Shulchan Aruch 676:5 codifies this as halacha. This is also the opinion of the Arizal (Shaar Kavanot pg 108c), Nagid VeMitzvah (26:72), Maharil (quoted by the Magen Avraham 676:5).
- [The Trumat Hadeshen 106 agrees that if one is lighting opposite the Mezuzah then one should light from left to right with the new candle is always the leftmost candle which is within a Tefach of the door. However, if there’s no mezuzah and one is lighting on the right side of the door as one enters then one should light right to left so that the new candle is always the rightmost candle and is within a Tefach of the door. The Sh”t Maharshal 85 agrees with the Trumat HaDeshen. However, the Bet Yosef 676:5 quotes the Trumat HaDeshen and argues that there shouldn’t be any difference whether one is lighting on the left or right of the door one should always light the new candle first and light from left to right.]
- However, the Levush (676:5) and Taz (676:6), however, argue that the Gemara means in one’s first decision between right and left one should go right, but afterwards one may continue to follow that path even if that means going left. Therefore, they rule that on the first night, the candle is placed in the leftmost position, and on the subsequent nights, the candles are put to the right of the previous candles and are lit from right to left. This is also the opinion of the Sh”t Panim Meirot 1:98 and Sh”t Semach Tzedek O”C 67.
- A third approach is that of the Gr”a (Bei’ur HaGra 676:5 and Maaseh Rav 240). He writes that one always should light the candle closest to the door first, even if it is not the newest candle and even if it means lighting from right to left. This is also recorded in Maaseh Rav (Siman 240).
- Halacha: Mishna Brurah 676:9 quotes the Bet Yosef and the Gra and concludes one can do like either one. The Pri HaChadash, Bear Sheva (Sotah 15b), Nezirut Shimshon (Sotah 15b), Sh”t Chatam Sofer O”C 187, Chazon Ovadiah (Chanukah pg 33) argue on the Levush and hold like S”A. Kovetz Hamoedim (Moriah pg 61), Evan Israel (9 pg 129a), Sadeh HaAretz O”C 3:33, and Nehar Mitzrayim Chanukah 7 argue on the Gra and hold like S”A. The Kitzur S”A 139:11, Kaf HaChaim 676:31, Aruch HaShulchan 676:11, Natai Gavriel (Chanukah 28:2, pg 177), and Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 229) write that the halacha and minhag follow Shulchan Aruch. Rav Mordechai Willig (Hilchos Chanukah and Purim #1, 37-8) observed that the minhag is like the S”A.
- Rav Hershel Schachter (Halachipedia Article 5773 #10) said that common practice is to put the candles in from right to left. He explained that the idea is to start the candles within a tefach of the doorway.
- Mishna Brurah 676:11
- Masechet Sofrim 20:4 says that a person should say HaNeirot Halalu and implies that it is said in middle of the lighting. Magen Avraham 676:3 says that HaNeirot should be recited after lighting the first candle, while Pri Megadim M”Z 676:5 suggests that perhaps since the Bracha applies to all of the candles, one should say HaNeirot Halalu after lighting all of the candles. Mishna Brurah 676:8 cites both opinions.
- Kaf HaChaim YD 116:115
- Rivevot Efraim 8:103:6
- The above halacha is a quote from the Rambam Chanukah 4:12 and S”A 671:1. This is based on the Mishna (Pesachim 99b) which states that a poor person may take from the charity fund in order to purchase the 4 cups of wine on Pesach. The Gemara explains that the poor can take from charity for this because it has the very significant purpose of Pirsumeh Nisa, publicizing the miracle of our leaving Egypt. The Maggid Mishna (Chanukah 4:12) comments that this is the source of the Rambam's ruling that even a poor should should rent or sell his clothing in order to be able to light Chanukah candles because concept of publisizing the miracle applies even more to Chanukah than by the 4 cups of Pesach. The Lechem Mishna (Chanukah 4:12) argues the law of publicizing the miracle by Chanukah is equal to the 4 cups of wine. The Sh”t Kanaf Ranana O”C 84 defends the Miggid Mishna saying that the Chanukah candles are the only way in which we publicize the miracle of Chanukah, whereas regarding Pesach there are other actions we do to publicize the miracle besides the 4 cups of wine.
- The Britta on Gemara Shabbat 21b states that the minimum requirement of Chanukah candles is that each household should have one candle lit every night. The next best method (Mehadrin) to fulfill this mitzvah is by lighting one candle for every person in the house every night. The best (Mehadrin Min HaMehadrin) way to fulfill this mitzvah is to increase the number of candles light each night, one on the first night, two on the second, and so on. However, regarding the last method there is a dispute to it's precise explanation.
- The Rambam (Chanukah 4:1-2) rules that each night one should add one candle per person per night, meaning that for a family of 10, the first night there would 10 candles and 20 the second night. [He adds that the Minhag of Spain is to only light add one candle per household increasing according to the number of the night.] This is also the opinion of the Rabbenu Yehonatan in name of Ran (Shabbat 21b), Piskei Riaz (Shabbat 2, Chanukah 5), and Rif explained by Buir HaGra 671:4.
- However, Tosfot (Shabbat 21b s.v. VeHaMehadrin) in name of the Ri writes that one should only have one increasing per household so that it’s recognizable what night of the Chanukah it is. So writes Mordechai (Shabbat 270) in name of the Ri, Meiri (Shabbat 21b) that such is the Minhag, Ran (Shabbat 21b) in name of Raah, Tur(671). Ritva (Shabbat 21b) brings both explanations of the Gemara. S”A 671:2 holds like Tosfot and Rama 671:2 holds like Rambam.
- Interesting point: The Taz 671:1 writes that here is a case where Ashkenazim follow Rambam and Sephardim follow Tosfot. Chemed Moshe 671:4 argues that the Rambam concludes so is the Minhag not like the ruling, meaning it’s an old practice even before his time. The Torat HaMoadim (Chanukah pg 18) brings the Rama in Darkei Moshe 671:1 who says the Ashkenazi practice goes even according to Tosfot since the candles are indoors and separate. Tzeddai Chem (Chanukah 9:4) argues that the Ashkenazic practice for each member of the household to light isn’t like the Rambam who says that one person lights for everyone according to the number of people. For this reason many challenge the Rama who quotes his ruling in name of the Rambam including Maamar Mordechai 671:4, Bet Halevi on Torah (Chanukah pg 69). Yet, the Sh”t Maharil 145, Sh”t Trumat Hadeshen 101, and Sh”t Mahari Mebrona 50 hold like the explanation held by the Rama and could be sources for his opinion. Also, the Alfasi Zuta (Shabbat 2 beginning) says that the Rama is following the idea of the Rambam to light according to the number of household members but in order to satisfy Tosfot’s issue of being recognizable, every person lights instead of one person lighting.
- S”A 672:2. Siddur Rashi 316 pg 151 quotes Rabbenu Yitzchak Bar Yehuda who says that there’s no make up for a missed day, otherwise those who see will think you’re violating the words of the Rabbis. So writes the Tur 672. There’s a dispute whether this means that since it can’t be made up one doesn’t light the next night or one lights like the rest of the world. The Sh”t Maaseh Geonim (55 pg 43) quoting Rabbenu Yitzchak Bar Yehuda that the next night one lights like everyone else. (Thus, Rabbenu Yitzchak means not to light the amount of the night he missed with the amount of that night because that would look like he’s going against the Rabbis); So hold Mordechai 2:268 explained by Sh”t Maharil 28, Agudah (Shabbat 31), Roke’ach 226 pg 128, Shibolei Leket 186, and Pardes Hagadol 199. However, Sefer Minhagim in name of Meharar MeMerizberg writes that the next night one should light the number of candles you missed last night. [He understood Rabbenu Yitzchak quoted by the Tur that one can’t add 8 candles on the 9th night.] Darkei Moshe 672:3 holds like the Agudah and Rokeach against the Maharam.
- Sh”t HaElef Lecha Shlomo O”C 380 says adding to the number doesn’t ruin the mitzvah as the Rama 263 says by Shabbat candles. However, Sh”t Ohel Moshe 69 and Sh”t Mishna Sachir O”C 199 argue since he lit the wrong number someone seeing this will think he didn’t lit it for Chanukah candles just for light. Yet, the Pri Chadash 675 says one who extinguishes the candles fulfills the mitzvah since the candles are in a Chanukiya that’s only used for Chanukah it’s recognizable that he lit for Chanukah. Also, Eliya Raba 671:7 says the first night doesn’t need to illustrate the number of the nights. Sh”t Lehorot Natan 2:51, Sh”t Shraga HaMeir 4:73, 5:75(1), Sh”t Shevet Hakehati 1:202 hold like Sh”t HaElef Lecha Shlomo. Chazon Ovadiah (Mitzvah Hadlaka 6, pg 29) agrees and adds that one who repeats and makes a bracha is making a bracha levatala.
- Shulchan Aruch 672:2. Shabbat 21b says the time of Tichle Regel is when the Tarmodeans (merchants) leave, which the Rif says is about a half hour. The Rambam (Chanukah 4:5) and Orchot Chaim (Chanukah 15) write it’s a half hour or (a little) more. The Rosh (2:3), Rabben Yerucham 9:1, Meiri, S”A 672:2, Mishna Brurah 672:1 (who is strict to satisfy all opinions to light by Shekiah and have it last a half hour past Tzet), and Torat HaMoadim 4:5 agree that the candles need enough oil to be lit for a half hour. Some say that the practice of the Griz was that since the Gemara sets the ending time for candles as when people leave the marketplace, nowadays when many people stay at the marketplace late into the night one should have to light longer than a half hour. However, Chazon Ovadiah pg 66, Sh”t Mishna Halachot 4 pg 79, and Sh”t Or Letzion 44 argue that the measure set by Chazal (a half hour) hasn’t changed because of the practice of our time. However, Avodot VeHanagot LeBet Brisk says that the Griz himself challenged that idea when he heard it from another Rabbi in Brisk, yet he lit candles that lasted for very long only as a hiddur mitzvah. Also, Yomin DeChanukah and Leket Yoshar say there’s a hiddur mitzvah to light for longer than a half hour.
- Magen Avraham 671:1
- Smag in name of the Ri, Hagahot Maimon (Chanukah 4:2), Ravyah (843 pg 579) in name of Rabbenu Tam hold that no minimum measure is needed (the gemara’s two explanation of ‘Tichleh Regel Min HaShuk’ argue and we hold the first explanation). Similarly, Hilchot and Minhagei Maharash in name of Rimzei HaRosh (quoted by Darkei Moshe 672:1), Piskei Tosfot (Shabbat 89), Leket Yoshar pg 151, Shiltei Giborim(Shabbat 9a:5), Taharat Mayim Shuirei Tahara 8:9, Sh”t Chochavei Yitzchak 1:5(3), Sh”t Bear Tzvi 31 that nowadays when we don’t light for Parsumei Nisa of the public, we don’t need a minimum measure. Thus we have a Safek Safeka(double doubt) perhaps no minimum measure is needed and perhaps even if the measure is necessary, the candle will last the minimum measure. Chazon Ovadiah (Chanukah pg 67) says if one wants to make a bracha, he can make a bracha with this Safek Sefaka. For more about Safek Safaka BeBrachot see Sh”t Yachave Daat 5:21 (the footnote), Otzrot Yosef 4:3, and Sh”t Chazon Ovadiah 48 pg 866.
- Shabbat 22a brought by S”A 673:1 writes that it’s a disgrace to mitzvah to benefit from the candles. Sh”t Ginat Veradim (Began HaMelech 42) writes that the prohibition applies equally to the new candle of mitzvah and extra candles of Hidur. Bear Hetiev 673:2, Sh”t Ketav Sofer O”C 133, and Simchat Yehuda (Masechet Soferim 20:6) agree.
- Beiur Halacha 673:1, quoted by Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S”A 673).
- Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S”A 673)
- Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S”A 673)
- Rav Kanievsky (Sefer Yamei Hallel VeHodah 25 note 11) says that the Minhag applies even if there’s electric candles. Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach (Berchat Moshe; quoted by Halichot Yosef pg 319) says if there are electric lights one doesn’t need a Shamash.
- The Gemara Shabbat (23a) says that woman are obligated in lighting chanuka candles because they too were part of the miracle of chanuka. Rambam (Chanukah 4:9), Tur 665, and S”A 665:5 codify this as halacha. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:16 concurs.
- Piskei Maharam Riketani (154) holds women can fulfill a man’s obligation on his behalf. This is also the opinion of Rabbenu Yerucham 9:1, Rokeach Chanukah 226:3, Ritva and Meiri (Shabbat 23a, Megilah 4a), Maharil (Chanukah pg 407). Levush (675), Bach (675), Taz(675:4), Magen Avraham 675:4, Olot Shabbat 675:1, Pri Chadash 675:4, Eliyah Raba 675:6, Sh”t Shar Efraim 42, Shulchan Gavoha 675:6, Mor Ukesia 675:6, Machzik Bracha 675:4, Mishna Brurah 675:9. Sh”t Yechave Daat 3:51 writes that since some rishonim and achronim hold one can only light at Tzet HaKochavim one should let his wife light at the right time and fulfill his obligation according to all opinions. The Yechave Daat holds like the Chaye Adam 154:33. Kaf Hachiam 676:25. Chaye Adam adds that Ashkenazim can light without a bracha. Interesting point: S”A 689:2 says a women can read the megillah to fulfill for a man his obligation of megillah, and some hold otherwise. [Bahag (quoted by Tosfot Megilah 4a, Erchin 3a) and Morchedai 4a in name of Ravyah (Megilah 569,843) hold women can’t fulfill the obligation of a man, but Rashi Erchin 3a, Or Zaruh 2:324, Rambam(Megilah 1), Rif (quoted by Sefer Eshkol 2:30) hold a women can fulfill obligation of a man]. However Smag (brought by Magen Avraham 589:5), Itur (Megilah 113d), Eshkol 2 pg 30 differentiate between Megilah which is like Torah reading but by Chanukah women can fulfill the man’s obligation according to everyone. Also Torat Moadim Chanukah pg 40 says the Behag only held a women can fulfill megilah for a man since a women’s obligation is derebanan and a man’s is from divrei kabalah (Ketuvim). Similarly, Sh”t Maharash Halevi O”C 24 says Chanukah isn’t an obligation on each person but on the household and so a women can fulfill it for a man. Thus even those who say by Megilah a woman can’t fulfill a man’s obligation agree by Chanukah.
- Shabbat 23a says a deaf, insane person, and child isn’t obligated. This is also the opinion of Rambam (Chanukah 4:9), Tur and S”A 675:3. The Mishna Trumot 1:2 defines deaf in Talmud as deaf and mute, but someone just deaf is obligated like anyone else. So quotes Pri Megadim M”Z 670:5, Mishna Brurah 675:12, and Torat HaMoadim 2:19. There’s a dispute whether a child who is at the age of Chinuch can fulfill the obligation of an adult. Bet Yosef 675e quotes the Ran (Shabbat 23a) in name of the Itur (Chanukah pg 116a) that a child can fulfill the obligation of an adult. So writes the Shibolei HaLeket 185, Orchot Chaim (Chanukah 12). However Meiri writes that he disagrees with the Rabbis of Provincia who say a child at age of chinuch can fulfill the obligation of an adult. [Seemingly, this is the opinion of Tosfot (Megilah 19b concerning megilah) that a double derabanan (child only obligated on a chinuch level and it’s only a derabanan mitzvah) can’t fulfill the mitzvah of one obligated on level of rabanan (adult for a mitzvah derabanan). The Tur 689 writes that so is the opinion of the Bahag and Rosh. However Bet Yosef 53 in name of Sh”t HaRashba 1:239, and Raavad disagree with Tosfot.] S”A 675:3 says a child isn’t obligated to light but some permit “a child at age of chinuch to fulfill the obligation of others” Yet, it’s a dispute in the Achronim whether S”A meant it as “Setam and then Yesh Omerim” (anonymous and then a disagreeing opinion) in which case we hold like the anonymous opinion or that it’s not a dispute but the “some say” was just explaining the first line. Magen Avraham 689:4 (as understood by Pri Megadim A”A 689:4), Sh”t Zivchei Tzedek 3:41 say that S”A meant the “some say” is just explanatory. However, Yaavetz in Mor U’Kesia 689 understands S”A that we hold like the anonymous opinion. This is also the opinion of Sh”t Kol Gadol 100, Chelko Shel Yedid pg 58b, Sh”t Olat Shmuel 105e, Pri Chadash 675:3, Ben Ish Chai Veyeshev 19, Mishna Brurah 675:13, and Torat HaMoadim 2:19.
- Sh”t Maharshal 76, Magen Avraham 675:4, Eliyah Raba 675:7 write that a blind is obligated and preferably should fulfill it through joining with other house members or his wife, otherwise they can light own their own.
- Levush 671, Yaavetz in Mor U’Kesia 671, and Ben Ish Chai Vayeshev 18 hold the making the bracha should light all the candles. However, Sh”t Maharshal 85, Magen Avraham 671:11, Mishna Brurah 671:49, Ruach Chaim 671:3, and Torat HaMoadim 2:20 (he writes that his father Rav Ovadyah Yosef would hold his hands while lighting in order to satisfy all opinions).
- Sh”t Maharam Mintz 43, Sefer Mnhagim of Rav Yitzchak Tirna (Yom Kippur 155), Taz 671:8 write that a mourner shouldn’t light in shul the first night because of Shehecheyanu. The Nodea Benyehuda Tanina O”C 141 writes that at home one can light even the first night with shechiyanu. This is also the opinion of Machzik Bracha 671:10, Birkei Yosef Y”D 205:14m,Bet HaRoeh pg 59, Chatom Sofer on S”A 671, Chaye Adam 154:17, Sh”t Binyan Olan O”C 35, Sh”t Olat Shmuel 106, Sh”t Machane Chaim Y”D 2:61, Sh”t Rav Poalim O”C 4:36, Siddur Bet Ovad pf 160b:2, Kemach Solet 137d, Shulchan Lechem HaPanim 676e, Mishna Brurah 671:44, and Kaf HaChaim 671:73.
- Eliyah Raba 670:19 writes one should have someone else light and answer amen. However, Erech HaShulchan 670:3 writes one should light without a bracha. Kaf Hachaim 670:20 explains that this is only a dispute if the first-day mourner is alone, otherwise his wife or a household member can fulfill for him his obligation. Pri Megadim M”Z 670:5 agrees with Eliyah Raba but argues that one can’t answer amen as in S”A Y”D 341 where we follow the anonymous opinion that a first-day mourner doesn’t answer amen. Torat HaMoadim 2:24 agrees with Erech HaShulchan.
- Sh”t Rambam (Pasya edition 158, Kisei Nirdamim Mehuderet Fredman 42, Mehuderet Belav 293) writes that a convert can say all of the Brachot like every Jew because he converted he becomes a descendant of Avraham and part of the Jewish people for all their history, however if he wants to change the brachot that relate to the Jewish history such as Yetsiat Mitzrayim, and Chanukah. The Sh”t Rashba 7:54, Hagahot Mordechai Megilah 1:786, and Sh”t Ridvaz 5:520 agree. Torat HaMoadim 2:25 finds support for this opinion in the ruling of Shulchan Aruch (See S”A 53:19 and Shulchan Aruch 199:9).
- Shulchan Aruch and Rama 671:2. For the background see #Number of candles to light.
- Shulchan Aruch 671:2 writes that the Sephardic minhag is that one person lights for the entire house. Mishna Brurah 671:8 writes that the household members who fulfill their obligation with the household lighting includes older children and servants if they "dependent on the table of the household regularly" (סומך על שלוחנו). Torat HaMoadim 2:4 uses the same expression. Hopefully, this term will be clarified as we continue.
- A married women is exempt by her husband because “Ishto Kegufo Dami”(a husband and wife are like one person). So writes the Maharshal 88, Knesset Hagedolah 671, Mateh Moshe 982, Eliya Raba 671:3, Machasit Hashekel 675:4. Mishna Brurah 675:9 quotes this in name of Sh”t Olot Shmeul 105 and says if women want they can light with a Bracha like any mitzvah for which one’s exempt according to the Ashkenazi Minhag. Mishmeret Shalom 48 says since a married woman doesn’t light and relies on her husband, her daughters also don’t light as derech eretz. Similarly, Chiddushei Chatom Sofer (Shabbat 21b D”H Vehamehadrin) writes since the practice used to be to light outside it wasn’t Derech Eretz for women to light if her husband is already lighting and since then the Minhag hasn’t changed. Ashel Avraham Mebustatesh 675:3 says according to kabbalah women don’t light (unless they have to). However it seems as the minhag is that Ashkenzic unmarried girls also light. Rav Moshe Feinstein is quoted in sefer Moadei Yeshurun 1:4 says if a woman wants to light and recite the beracha, she should light before her husband does.
- Rav Sheshet (Gemara Shabbat 23a) stated that a guest is obligated to light Chanukah candles. Rabbi Zeiri commented that his wife lit Chanukah candles for him at home, he fulfilled his mitzvah. This is codified by Rambam (Chanukah 4:11), Tur and Shulchan Aruch 677:1 that someone who has someone else lighting for him at home doesn't have to light Chanukah candles.
- While the Rambam, Tur, and S”A state that if one has his own room that leads to the outside one would have to light so people don’t suspect him of not observing Chanukah, many Rishonim including the Sh”t Rashba 1:541, Orchot Chaim Chanukah 13, Smak 280, Sefer Trumah 228, Hagahot Maimon Chanukah 4:30, Ritva (Shabbat 23a), Mordechai (Shabbat 2:226), Ohel Moed (Chanukah), and Shibolei HaLeket 185 say that there’s no suspicion of not lighting by a extra doorway nowadays when we light indoors.
- Sefer HaTrumah (229 Introduction) says clearly students that learn outside their home don’t light if they have someone lighting for them at home. Magen Avraham (Introduction to 677) quotes the Maharshal who says that a yeshiva student who is dependent on the owner of the house is considered like a family member and doesn't have to light. Rav Ovadyah Yosef (Sh”t Yechave Daat 6:43, Chazon Ovadyah Chanukah pg 144-151) writes clearly that a family member who is dependent on his parents fulfills his obligation with the lighting of his parents at home. Meiri Shabbat 23a and Orchot Chaim (Chanukah 14) say an older and married child should light for themselves.
- Similarly, Rav Mordechai Willig (Am Mordechai Moadim p. 104-5) writes that a man fulfills his primary obligation with his wife’s lighting at home even if he is a guest somewhere else. Similarly, a student can fulfill his primary obligation with his parent’s lighting at home. However, according to the minhag of the Rama, Ashkenazim still may light with a bracha even if someone is lighting for them at home.
- However, Rav Hershel Schachter (B’ikvei HaTzon p. 123-4) writes that a man does not fulfill his obligation with the lighting of his wife in another city unless he actually goes home later that night. Similarly, he stated in a shiur (“Where to light Neiros Chanukah in the dorm,” min 24) that a yeshiva student does not fulfill his obligation with his father’s lighting in another city unless he is at home that night.
- Rav Elyashiv (cited by Bet Chatanim 15:4, Yemeh Chanukah pg 156) rules that if the wedding takes place during the night, then the groom fulfills his obligation with the lighting at his father’s house. Rav Vosner (cited by Imrei Shefer Chanukah pg 172) and Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Halichot Shlomo 14:14, pg 275) agree. Yalkut Yosef 672:11 agrees that if the wedding takes place during the night then the groom fulfill his obligation with the lighting at his father’s house and adds that if he wants to be strict he may light again without a Bracha after the wedding at his new house.
- If the wedding takes place during the day before sunset, then there’s a dispute what the groom should do.
- (1) Rav Elyashiv (cited by Bet Chatanim 15:4, Yemeh Chanukah pg 156, Neimat HaChaim pg 244) rules that the groom should light in his new home after the wedding.
- (2) Chacham Ben Tzion Abba Shaul (cited by Bet Chatanim 15:4, Yemeh Chanukah pg 156) rules that if it’s difficult to leave the wedding the groom should appoint a messenger to light for him.
- (3) Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (cited by HaNesuin KeHilchatam 15:60, Yemeh Chanukah pg 156, Halichot Shlomo (pg 275, note 47)) rules that if the wedding takes place during the day then the groom must light at his new home and should leave the wedding after the chuppah before the meal, go to their new home, have a small meal, light chanuka candles, and return to the wedding.
- (4) Piskei Teshuvot 677:5 (pg 499) rules that if it’s difficult to leave the wedding the groom may light at the wedding hall because they’re renting the place. (Rabbi Mansour applies this Piskei Teshuvot even if the wedding takes place during the night but the parents didn’t have a chance to light beforehand. Additionally, Rabbi Mansour seems to say that Yalkut Yosef also agrees with this leniency but was unable to find any proof to this from the words of the Yalkut Yosef.)
- S”A 676:3. There’s a dispute in the Rishonim whether one makes a bracha for seeing Chanukah candles if someone is lighting for him at home and he is thereby fulfilling his obligation with the lighting. The Rashba (Shabbat 23a), Sefer HaHashlamah (Shabbat 23a) in name of Rabbi Asher MeLunil, Smag (Chanukah 250d), Ran (10b s.v. Amar Rav Chiya), Tur 676:3, Magid Mishna (Chanukah 3:4) in name of Itur (2 pg 117c), and Rosh (Shabbat 8) hold that one doesn’t make a bracha if someone is lighting for him at home and he is thereby fulfilling his obligation. However, the Rambam (Chanukah 3:4), Magid Mishna in name of some Geonim, Ravyah 3:843, Riaz (Shabbat 23a), Meiri, Sefer HaMeorot (Shabbat 23a), and Orchot Chaim (Chanukah 9) hold that one can make a Bracha even if someone is lighting for him at home. S”A rules 676:3 that one doesn’t make Bracha HaRoeh if is fulfilling his obligation at home. Pri Chadash 676:3, however, argues that the halacha should follow those Rishonim who say that one should make the Brachot HaRoeh if one is personally not going to light that night even if someone is lighting for him at home. Sh”t Maharshal 85, Bach 676:3 (in name of Rif, Rambam, Smak, Rosh, and Aguda), Eliyah Raba, Biur HaGra, and Chaye Adam 154:33 agree. However, Shirei Knesset HaGedola 677:3, Taz 676:4, Magen Avraham 676:1, Shulchan Gavoha 676:5, Birkei Yosef 676:3, Mishna Brurah 676:6, and Torat HaMoadim 2:15 rule that one doesn’t make a bracha because of Safek Bracha.
- Rav Ovadyah Yosef in Sh”t Yachave Daat 6:43 rules that a Sephardic Yeshiva student fulfills his obligation with the lighting of his parents. He also quotes Rav Ezra Attiyah who ruled this way. Chacham Ben Tzion Abba Shaul (Kovetz Zichron Yehuda, Sefer Zikaron, vol 1, pg 104-8), Rav Shlomo Zalman (Halichot Shlomo 14:12), Aderet Tiferet 2:31, Yaskil Avdi (vol 7, pg 316), Yitzchak Yiranen 5:48, and Banim Chavivim (Siman 16) agree. See also Rav Mazuz in Or Torah (Kislev 5745).
- Torat HaMoadim (2:4 pg 45) explains that since the Yeshiva students return home during break and are still connected to their parent’s home they are considered dependant on their parent’s house. Torat HaMoadim (2:4 pg 48) continues that even if they don’t fulfill their obligation with the lighting at home they fulfill their obligation with the lighting of the Yeshiva. He explains that certainly the administration of the Yeshiva gives a portion of the oil and wicks to the students. He adds that the lighting of the Yeshiva isn’t similar to the lighting in a Shul where some say that one can’t fulfill one’s obligation because the students are in the Beit Midrash all the time and so it’s considered their house.
- However, Shevut Yitzchak (vol 5, pg 113-4) quotes Rav Elyashiv as saying that a Sephardic Yeshiva student doesn’t fulfill one’s obligation with the lighting of one’s parents. The Shevut Yitzchak explains that a married man fulfills his obligation with his wife’s lighting at home because that’s his primary house, however, a Yeshiva student doesn’t live at home and so his parents can’t fulfill his obligation. Peninei Chanukah (pg 81-2) quotes Rav Elyashiva as saying that this is true even if the parents pay for tuition at the Yeshiva. Sh”t Az Nidbaru 3:53, Shulchan Yosef (vol 2, pg 139-140), Yemeh Chanukah (pg 155) quoting Rav Nissim Karlitz agree. See Teshuvot VeHanhagot 3:215(17) who seems to agree. Listen to shiur by Rav Hershel Schachter (min 14-16) who seems to hold that a person in the Israeli army does not fulfill his obligation with the lighting in his home.
- Background: Sh”t Ginat Veradim says the rule that a guest must chip in for the Chanukah candle expenses to fulfill his obligation (S”A 677:1) only applies to a guest who pays for all his expenses like food and board, but a student in Yeshiva or College who can rely on them for all his needs and doesn’t account for every expense, doesn’t need to chip in for the Chanukah candles since they definitely allow him a portion of the candles. This is also the opinion of Yad Aharon, Shulchan Gavoha, Kiseh Eliayahu, Shulchan Aruch HaRav 263:9, Kaf Hachaim 677:3, Sh”t Yechave Daat 6:43, and Torat HaMoadim 2:8 (who says he personally asked his father, Rav Ovadyah Yosef). On the other hand, Pri Megadim A”A 677:3 and Mishna Brurah 677:4 disagree with the Ginat Veradim and hold any guest needs to chip in for the Chanukah candles. See Sh”t Bet David O”C 472, Sh”t Chesed LeAlafim Alkelai O”C 24, Sh”t Zivchai Tzedek 2:27, Sh”t Rav Poalim 2:50, Sh”t Mishnat Halachot 7:87.
- Chacham Ben Tzion Abba Shaul (Kovetz Zichron Yehuda, Sefer Zikaron, vol 1, pg 106-7) rules that a Yeshiva student whose parents live outside Israel in a different time zone can light with a Bracha at the Yeshiva. Chazon Ovadyah pg 150 and Pri HaAretz 1:9 pg 6d agree. See Sh”t Minchat Yitzchak 7:46 who agrees.
- Rav Shlomo Zalman (Halichot Shlomo, chapter 14, note 22) says that a Sephardic Yeshiva whose parents live outside Israel in a different time zone can fulfill his obligation with the lighting of his parents. Torat HaMoadim 2:7 and Sh”t Mishna Halachot 6:119 agree.
- Rashi 23a s.v. HaRoah says one only makes Brachot Haroah when on a boat. So quotes in name of Rashi, Machsor Vitri pg 201, Itur (Chanukah 2 pg 117c), Smag (Chanukah), Smak (280), Ravyah 3:843, Or Zaruah 2:325, Tosfot Rid (Shabbat 23a), and Rosh (Shabbat 2:8). This is also the opinion of Rav Moshe Feinstein in Igrot Moshe Y”D 3:14(5). However Sh”t Maharsham 5:144 writes only in an unroofed boat one can’t light but in a train one should light. This is also the opinion of Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank in Mikra’eh Kodesh (Chanukah 18e), Rav Ovadyah Yosef (Kol Sinai Kislev 5725), Aruch HaShulchan 677:5, Sh”t Mishna Halachot 7:86, and Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 15:29 (he says one should light even if he’s in an unroofed boat); Torat Hamoadim 2:18 says since there’s a safek for Rashi’s opinion one shouldn’t make the Bracha but can make Brachot HaRoeh.