# A poor person lighting Chanukah Candles

This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.

This article pertains to a person who doesn’t have enough money for Chanukah candles.

## If One Doesn't Have Enough for All Nights

1. A person who only has only enough oil for one night, meaning, just enough oil to last a half hour, should light that amount of oil on the first night and not split it up for all the nights.[1]
2. On the second night, a person who only has two candles should light one that night and one the next, so that tomorrow he will also be able to light.[2]
3. On the eighth night, a person who doesn’t have enough for all eight candles should light the eighth one with the required amount and split up the rest of the oil between the other candles.[3]
4. One who only has two candles on the third night or any case where he doesn’t have the right number of candles should only light one candle.[4]
5. One who only has 9 candles should light two on the second night and one the rest of the nights. Similarly, if one has 10 candles, one should light two on the second night and one the rest of the nights and not light two on the third night.[5]

## If One Lit the Wrong Number of Candles

1. Someone who accidentally lit two candles on the third night thinking that it was the second night should light the other candles without a bracha.[6]
2. On the second night, a person who only had 1 candle and lit it later got another candle should light the that candle without a bracha. Similarly, a person who lit one only one candle by mistake should light the other candles without a bracha. However, if by the time one gets more candles or remembers the candle(s) went out one can’t just light the extra candles, but rather should go back and light the right number of candles simultaneously without a bracha.[7]

## Giving to Someone Less Fortunate

1. If someone has enough oil to light the correct number of candles every night and his friend doesn’t have anything, he should give his friend enough so that he can fulfill his basic requirement. However, if your friend lives in a house that already is lighting one set of candles, one doesn't need to give up one's added candles in order for your friend to light extra candles.[8]

## Chanuka in Conflict with Other Mitzvot

1. Someone who doesn’t have money for both Shabbat candles (the minimum is one candle) and Chanukah candles (the minimum is one candle) should buy Shabbat Candles. Some say that nowadays one can fulfill Shabbat candles with electric lights and so one who has electric lights should buy Canuka candles.[9]
2. Someone who doesn’t have money for both Chanukah candles and wine for kiddish should buy Chanukah candles and make kiddish on bread.[10]
3. Someone who doesn’t have money for both Chanukah candles and wine for Havdalah should buy Chanukah candles and make Havdalah in Shmoneh Esrei.[11]

## Sources

1. Sh”t Sadeh HaAretz O”C 3:34, Sh”t Lechem Shlomo O”C 117(5), Moadei Hashem pg 111c s.v. Kavaum, Sh”t Imrei Shefer O”C 5, and Sh”t Sheilat Yitzchak 3:58(2) hold one should use the required amount for the first night even at the expense of other nights. Netah Surak 73b says based on the Bet Yosef’s answer that the Chashmonaim split up the oil for the 8 days, that one is allowed to do the same since the minimum amount of a half hour isn’t Me’akev. Divrei Tzvi 671 agrees. However, Chazon Ovadiah (Mitzvah Hadlaka 4, pg 28) argues the Bet Yosef’s answer was only for the Bet Hamikdash where miracles are regular and that his answer wasn’t meant in a halachic sense. See Rav Ovadya’s Meor Yisrael (vol 3, pg 312).