Candle Lighting Times
||Before lighting Shabat candles|
11. The Prohibition on Women Doing Work
Jewish women have preserved a special custom to refrain from working while the Ĥanuka candles are burning. Some women do not work the entire holiday, especially on the first and eighth days
2. The Number of Candles and the Mehadrin min Ha-mehadrin Practice
There are two levels of mitzva observance: fulfillment of the basic obligation and mehadrin, going beyond the basics to beautify the mitzva.
3. The Sephardic Custom
According to Sephardic tradition, the main way of beautifying the mitzva is to light the number of candles that corresponds to the current day of Ĥanuka.
4. The Ashkenazic Custom: Men, Women, and Children
According to Ashkenazic custom, each member of a household must light his own candles in order to fulfill the custom of mehadrin min ha-mehadrin.
1. The Mitzva to Light Hanuka Candles
The Sages ordained lighting candles all eight days of Ĥanuka, which correspond to the days on which the Jewish people celebrated and praised God for helping them defeat the Greeks.
7. The Candles
One may use any type of oil or wick for the Ĥanuka candles, including those that are unusable for Shabbat candles.The more beautifully the candle burns, the more beautiful the mitzva is, because the miracle is publicized more effectively.
8. Electric Bulbs
Does one fulfill the mitzva of lighting Ĥanuka candles with electric bulbs?
10. Festive Meals on Hanuka
Even though one is not obligated to prepare festive meals on Ĥanuka, many poskim maintain that one fulfills a mitzva by partaking in festive meals, in order to rejoice over the salvation that God performed for the Jews “in those days, at this time.”
9. The Prohibitions against Fasting, Delivering Eulogies, and Visiting Cemetery
The holiday of Ĥanuka is a time of joy, praise, and thanksgiving. Therefore, one may not fast or eulogize on Ĥanuka, even on the yahrtzeit of a parent.
8. Al Ha-nisim, Hallel, and Torah Reading
The Sages instituted the holiday of Ĥanuka in order to thank and praise God for delivering Israel. For this purpose, they formulated the Al Ha-nisim prayer. It is a mitzva to recite the full Hallel, with a berakha, on all eight days of Ĥanuka. The Sages also instituted a special Torah reading for Ĥanuka.
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