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Beit Midrash Shabbat and Holidays Laws of Hanukkah

Who Lights the Chanukiya - When, Where & How?

Rabbi Stewart WeissKislev 17 5781
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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!
Rabbi Stewart Weiss
Was ordained at the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois, and led congregations in Chicago and Dallas prior to making Aliyah in 1992. He directs the Jewish Outreach Center in Ra'anana, helping to facilitate the spiritual absorption of new olim.
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