Beit Midrash

  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • Laws of Hanukkah
To dedicate this lesson

Who Lights the Chanukiya - When, Where & How?

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Rabbi Stewart Weiss

Kislev 17 5781
Chanuka begins next Thursday night. Men, women & children of educable age should light their own Chanukiya (a wife may fulfill her obligation with her husband's Bracha if she so desires). Our custom is to add a new candle each successive night, though even 1 candle lit each night for the entire family fulfills the basic Mitzva. Lights are placed from right to left but lit from left to right (that is, the newest light is lit first, to indicate that the miracle of the oil was renewed each successive day). We light anytime after nightfall; lights must burn for at least 30 minutes. On Friday night, as the Chanuka lights are lit prior to our Shabbat candles, they must burn for at least 80 minutes; so we must use enough oil or large candles. Electric lights may NOT be used. All lights should be on 1 level, not in a semi-circle. Ideally, one should light in the place where he/she sleeps that night. The brachot - L'hadlik ner shel Chanuka; Sheh-asa Nisim, & Shehecheyanu (the latter blessing said 1st lighting only) - are recited before lighting any lights. Al Hanisim & full Hallel are said each day of Chanuka; the Torah is read daily from Naso. It's a custom to eat dairy/fried foods, but it's not absolutely required!
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