Peninei Halakha

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 one is dependent on one’s parents who are lighting at home, then according to Sephardic custom one should light without the berakhot, while according to Ashkenazic custom one should light with the berakhot.

It is best to light in one’s hotel room, as this room is set aside for personal use, as opposed to the dining room, which is for communal use. If the hotel room has a window facing the street, one should light there. Someone should remain in the room for at least half an hour after one lights, so the candles are not left unattended and a fire is not caused as a result. If, after half an hour, one wants to leave the room, one should put out any candles that are still lit. If the hotel management does not permit guests to light candles in their rooms, then since there is no alternative one should light in the dining room.[24]

[24]. The preference for lighting in one’s hotel room is recorded in sa 677:1. While Rema maintains that it is generally preferable to light where one eats, in this case the hotel room is much more of a personal space than the dining room, as explained above in n. 21. Nevertheless, some maintain that the dining room is the preferred option.

For those lighting in the dining room, it would seem that even for those who follow Sephardic custom, each family should light separately, as the families are not sharing their food with one another. According to Pri Ĥadash, the families may not join together in the same lighting. This opinion notwithstanding, it would seem that if they do join together in the same lighting, they fulfill their obligation, in accordance with Levush (see bhl 677:1, s.v. “imo”).

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The Laws of Shabbat (1+2) - Yocheved Cohen
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