Chapter: 13 – When and Where to Light Ĥanuka Candles

01. Where to Light

The Sages state: “Ĥanuka candles should be placed at the doorway, outside the home. One who lives on an upper floor places them in the window facing the street. In times of danger, it is sufficient to place them on … Continue reading

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02. Private Homes

The Sages’ enactment seems to indicate that in the past there was no concern that the wind would blow out the Ĥanuka candles that were lit at the entrance to the home. Homes were built close together, many cities and … Continue reading

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03. Apartment Buildings

Nowadays, many people live in apartment buildings. The best place for them to light is in a window facing the street or on a porch facing the street, as this is the most effective way of publicizing the miracle. Those … Continue reading

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04. The Proper Time and Duration of Lighting

The Sages ordained that one must light the Ĥanuka candles when the miracle will be publicized most effectively. In the past, when there were no street lights, at nightfall the streets would fill with people returning home from their daily … Continue reading

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05. Friday Evening and Saturday Night

As we have seen, the Sages ordained that one must light the Ĥanuka candles after sunset. If people were to light earlier, the sunlight would render the candles less visible. However, on Friday evening, obviously one may not light candles … Continue reading

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06. Delaying Candle-Lighting When Necessary

As we have seen, in the time of the Sages people generally returned home at nightfall. Therefore, the Sages stated that the mitzva to light Ĥanuka candles extends “from sunset until the marketplace empties out.” The expression “until the marketplace … Continue reading

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07. Waiting for a Family Member

In many families, the question arises as to the appropriate procedure when one’s spouse cannot make it home from work by tzeit. Is it better to light at tzeit or to wait for his or her return? Technically, it is … Continue reading

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08. Lighting Before Shki’a or Late at Night in Pressing Circumstances

One who was unable to light Ĥanuka candles by 9 pm may light all night until dawn. However, he should recite the berakhot only if it is very likely that someone on the street will see his candles, or if … Continue reading

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09. Guests

When a family is visiting friends or relatives at candle-lighting time, then even though they are eating dinner at their hosts’ home, it is not considered their home for the purpose of candle-lighting, so they cannot fulfill their obligation to … Continue reading

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10. Guests on Shabbat Ĥanuka

When a family goes away for Shabbat, the hosts’ home is considered their home on that Shabbat. Thus, the guests should buy a share in the host’s candles for a pruta, which allows them to fulfill their obligation through the … Continue reading

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11. A Married Person Who Is Away from Home

If a married man goes alone on Ĥanuka to visit friends or family while his wife remains at home, his wife must light the candles, and this exempts him from lighting. Nevertheless, even though he fulfills his obligation to light, … Continue reading

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12. Unmarried People who Live Alone

As a rule, the laws of candle-lighting for independent, unmarried people are the same as those for a family unit (section 9 above). Therefore, if an unmarried person has his own home, regardless of whether it is owned or rented, … Continue reading

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13. Yeshiva Students, Soldiers, and College Students

A yeshiva student who sleeps in his dormitory room and eats in a cafeteria must light in his room, because he resides there for an extended period and the room is set aside for him. If the dormitory room has … Continue reading

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14. Hotels

People staying in a hotel must light Ĥanuka candles. Let us briefly review what we explained in the previous sections. Whole families and independent unmarried people must light with the berakhot. If one’s spouse is lighting at home, or if … Continue reading

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15. Hospital Patients

A patient in a hospital is still obligated to light Ĥanuka candles. However, if he is married, he fulfills his obligation through his spouse’s lighting at home. Likewise, if he is young and lives with his parents, he fulfills his … Continue reading

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16. Fields and Vehicles

The poskim disagree about whether the obligation to light Ĥanuka candles is limited to the home. Some argue that the Sages ordained that only one who has a home must light candles. Therefore, one who lives on the street cannot … Continue reading

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