Chanukah- Should A Wife Light The Menorah At The Proper Time by forrests

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									Halachot on Chanukah

Compiled on Dec. 23, 2006/ 22 Kislev 5766 www.dailyhalacha.com

By Rabbi Eli Mansour

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Halachot on Chanukah: Table of Contents
Should A Wife Light The Menorah At The Proper Time Rather Than Waiting For The Husband Who Will Come Home Later ...................................................................4 Starting A Melacaha, Beginning A Meal, and Sitting To Learn Are All Forbidden Within A Half Hour Of Lighting ...................................................................................5 Menorah Lighting When The Family Travels To A Hotel or Relative's House ...............5 The Shamosh Candle and The Extra Candle Some Sephardim Have A Custom To Light ...........................................................................................................................6 Lighting the Menorah on Friday Night ........................................................................7 Is It Permissible To Answer To Other Berachot During Hallel .....................................8 If The Light Of The Menorah Goes Out After Lighting .................................................9 Some Laws Regarding Avelut (Mourning) and Chanukah .........................................10 2 Halachot: Eating Dairy Products on Chanukah, and The Proper Procedure of Lighting Before and After Shabbat ...........................................................................10 Is It Permissible To Allow A Child to Light Chanukah Candles ..................................11 Fasting, Eulogies and Mourning on Chanukah...........................................................12 Menorah Lighting in Shul ..........................................................................................13 The Traveler At Time of Menorah Lighting ................................................................13 The Proper Time for Lighting Chanukah Candles ......................................................14 Should One Skip Al HaNissim To Catch Up for Nakdishach........................................15 Hallel for Men and Women On Chanukah ..................................................................16 Is Al Ha’nisim Required In Arbit On The First Day Of Chanukah, Or In Musaf Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh ......................................................................................17 Is It Permissible To Rekindle or Light The Menorah After Lighting Shabbat Candles on Erev Shabbat ..........................................................................................18 When Your Neighbor Does Not Have Enough Money To Buy Oil To Light The Menorah ...................................................................................................................19 If A Person Missed A Night of Lighting The Menorah ................................................20 Is It Permissible For Mourners To Attend A Seudat Mitzvah or Chanukah Gathering .................................................................................................................20 Ladies Should Avoid Certain Types of Work Within 30 Minutes of Lighting ...............21 Should One Recite Again Shehechiyanu at Menorah Lighting In Shul After Doing So At Home...............................................................................................................22 Can We Reuse The Candle Wick Or Do We Need To Use New Wicks Each Night ........23 Should One Recite Again SheAsa Nissim at Menorah Lighting In Shul After Doing So At Home...............................................................................................................24 Is It A Torah Holiday, And If So Then Why Don’t We Add An Extra Day In Exile Like Pesach ..............................................................................................................25 Should One Continue To Light If He Missed Lighting The Night Before .....................26 Are Ladies Required To Say The Hallel on Chanukah ................................................27 Is It Permissible To Use An Electric Menorah ...........................................................28

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Where Should The Menorah Be Placed......................................................................29 The Issue of Floating Wicks ......................................................................................30 Can Mourners Say Hallel on Chanukah or Rosh Chodesh, and Is It Permissible To Have An Arayat on Chanukah ...................................................................................31 Why Do We Not Insert A Prayer Of Chanukah In Me’en Shalosh ..............................31 Lighting An Extra Candle On Rosh Chodesh Tevet ....................................................32 The Requirement of Lighting Falls Upon The House ..................................................33 If One Forgets Al Hanisim in Birkat Hamazon ...........................................................34 Is A Student Required To Light The Menorah If Dorming Away At School ................34 Should We Light The Menorah Before or After The Berachot and Is It Permissible To Light The Menorah At A Chanukah Party ..............................................................35 Should One Say Mezonot On A Fried Jelly Donut That Is Eaten For Dessert ..............36 Is It Permissible To Store Menorah Oil Under A Bed or Eat Foods From Under A Bed ...........................................................................................................................37 Is It Necessary To Have 10 People At The Synagogue To Light The Menorah ...........38

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Should A Wife Light The Menorah At The Proper Time Rather Than Waiting For The Husband Who Will Come Home Later
According to Maran in siman 672, the proper time to light the Menorah on the nights of Chanukah is at Tzet HaKochavim (twilight). So the question is asked when exactly is Tzet HaKochavim? So according to our Minhag, Tzet HaKochavim begins at 13.5 minutes after sunset. So if a person wants to find out the best time to light the Menorah, he needs to find out what time sunset is in his city and then add 13.5 minutes. I should point out that 13.5 minutes after sunset is the general rule, but we need to adjust that because we are in the winter where the days are a little shorter. So the calculation in the winter time brings Tzet HaKochavim to be at about 1212.5 minutes after sunset. So therefore one should begin to light his Menorah actually 12 minutes after sunset. That would be the preferred time to light the Menorah. The light on the Menorah should last at least for 30 minutes. So when using candles, one should use candles that have enough wax to last a half hour. And when using oil, one should make sure to draw on enough oil to last a half hour. Chacham Ovadia Yoseph asks a very important question in his book Yichave Da‟at, in Helek 33, siman 51. His question is about a head of household who is not at home at this preferred time. The head of household typically means the husband, and it is quite common for the husband to be at work way past Tzet HaKochavim until 7:00 PM at night or later. So Chacham Ovadia Yoseph asks in such a case, if the husband should designate his wife to light the Menorah for the family at the preferred time of Tzet HaKochavim, or should the family wait until he arrives home later that night? Chacham Ovadia Yoseph answers and comes out with a big Hidush, and he says it is better in this case for the husband to appoint his wife to light the Menorah at the preferred time. According to some opinions, it‟s questionable if you fulfill the Mitzvah when lighting beyond 30 minutes after Tzet HaKochavim. Now that‟s not the opinion of Maran, who says that one fulfills the Mitzvah no matter what time he lights as long as it is before dawn. But it seems from Rambam that the opportunity to fulfill the Mitzvah is gone once 30 minutes after Tzet HaKochavim passes. So in order not to put ourselves in a dilemma, Chacham Ovadia Yoseph therefore says it would be better to appoint one‟s wife to light the Menorah at the preferred time. Now one should be reminded to be conscious of the preferred lighting time especially on Sunday evening. Many people fall into the habit of lighting late when they arrive home from work. So on Sunday night, one should be watchful and take advantage that he is home, and light the Menorah at the preferred time. To review, the preferred lighting time is Tzet HaKochavim, which in the winter months is about 12-12.5 minutes after sunset. According to Chacham Ovadia Yoseph, Lechatchila it is best for the head of household to be home at that time and light the Menorah for the family. However, if the head of household is the husband and he can not be home until later, it would then be better for his wife to light on behalf of the family at the preferred time.

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Starting A Melacaha, Beginning A Meal, and Sitting To Learn Are All Forbidden Within A Half Hour Of Lighting
There is an interesting Halacha which says that from a half hour before the lighting of the Menorah, it would be forbidden to start certain things that might come to take your concentration and cause you to miss lighting at the proper time. We said that the best time to light is at Tzet HaKochavim which is about 12-12.5 minutes after sunset. (See the Daily Halacha entitled “ChanukahShould A Wife Light The Menorah At The Proper Time Rather Than Waiting For The Husband Who Will Come Home Later.”) So one must be careful not to get involved in certain things before Tzet HaKochavim that might lead him to miss the proper lighting. First, one should not sit down to a meal within a half hour before the time for lighting. A meal (Seuda) would mean having more than a Kabetza of a bread, which would be about 2 ounces. A person may have a late afternoon snack if he wants, but he should not sit down to eat an official meal. He might get caught up in the meal and miss the proper time to light. If he asks from his friend to remind him to light, he may even a Seuda of Kebetza of bread, because his friend will remind him. (Torat HaMoadim page 139.) Second, Halacha brings down in the Machatzit HaShekel written by Rav Shmuel ben Natan Neta HaLevi (1738-1827) that one should not sit down to learn within a half hour before the time of the lighting. Now of course it is permissible to check a Halacha or seek a quick reference, but to sit down and begin a Shiur would not be acceptable. This is because people become enamored in their study once they sit down and begin a lesson in Torah. However the opinion of Chacham Ovadia Yoseph in Hazon Obadya Helek 2, page 25, is that one may learn up until the lighting, but once the time of the lighting comes he should not sit down to learn. He does not forbid learning from ½ hour before. That is the Halacha. See Torat HaMoadim page 139.) Third, it is also forbidden to begin a Melacha in the house within the 30 minutes of Menorah Lighting. Here too are we concerned that a person may become involved in his task and miss the opportunity to make the Mitzvah of lighting at the proper time. So again, within a half hour before Menorah lighting, one should not sit down to eat 2 ounces or more of bread, or do a Melacha in and around the house. And at the time of lighting one should not sit down to learn.

Menorah Lighting When The Family Travels To A Hotel or Relative's House
The question was asked about how the Mitzvah of Menorah Lighting should be fulfilled if traveling. We will answer this question by analyzing the different type of scenarios that normally takes place.

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First, let‟s discuss the case where the head of household (normally the husband) is out of town traveling on a business trip. Halacha tells us that if the head of household is away and his wife and family are at home, his wife then lights the Menorah and she fulfills the Mitzvah for the family on behalf of her husband. Additionally, the wife is fulfilling the obligation for her husband and therefore he does not light where he is. Now he may light where he is, but he would do so without a Beracha for his wife is performing the actual Menorah lighting on the family‟s behalf. Second, let‟s discuss the case where an entire family is traveling to a hotel. In such a case, the head of household should light for his family in the hotel room. Now of course one should first ask permission from the hotel if he is allowed to light candles in the hotel room. If not permitted to light in the room, then one should light in an area as designated by the hotel. No matter where one lights, it should be with a Beracha because there is no one at home lighting on their behalf. Third, let‟s discuss the case where an entire family is staying over by a friend‟s house, and no one remained at home. In this case, Halacha says that the visitor should go partners with the host. This means that the visitor should give over a few coins to the host in order to purchase (so to speak) part of the oil or candle that is being used for the Menorah lighting. Therefore, when the head of household (host) lights the candles, it will also cover the obligation of the visitor and his family. As a matter of fact, Chacham Ovadia Yoseph says that the guest may even light the Menorah if asked to by the host. Since they are now partners, so really either of them can light, and both families will have fulfilled their obligation. Lastly, let‟s discuss the case where a married couple and their family are staying over by the parents and no one remained at home. In such a case the children do not have to give over any coins to the father or father in-law. The children should become partners in the Mitzvah as in the case by the friend‟s house, but here it is proper for the father or father in-law to specifically in mind give over some of the oil or candle as a gift to his son or son in law. Once part of the oil or candle is gifted over, then they are partners and the Menorah lighting would cover the obligation of both the father and children. Let‟s now summarize the Halachot above. The wife lights on behalf of the family and her husband, if the husband is normally the head of household but is away out of town. If an entire family is traveling to a hotel, the head of household then lights at the hotel. If an entire family is staying by friends, then it is proper to give over some coins to the host in order to buy part of the oil or candle and become partners in the Mitzvah. If an entire family is staying by the parents, then Halacha says the parent should gift over some of the oil or candle to the children in order they become partners and are included in the Mitzvah of Menorah lighting. See Torat HaMoadim, page 53-55.

The Shamosh Candle and The Extra Candle Some Sephardim Have A Custom To Light

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Halacha says that after one lights all the obligatory candles/oil wicks for each night, the custom is to light an additional candle. That candle is called the Shamosh. For example, on the fourth night one would light four candles and then an additional Shamosh candle. Now the Halacha says that the Shamosh candle may be placed on the Menorah, but it must be positioned either higher or lower than the other candles. This is to show that this additional candle is not part of the obligatory candles. This is done every night of the holiday, and it is done no matter where in the house one lights the Menorah. One would light a Shamosh if the Menorah is placed by the door, or by the window, etc. The custom for Sephardim is not to use the Shamosh to light the other candles. Sephardim should use another candle to light the obligatory candles, and then afterwards continue to use that additional candle to light the Shamosh. The Ashkenazim however, follow a different Minhag. They in fact do light the Shamosh first and then use Shamosh to light all the obligatory candles. Again, Sephardim light the Shamosh after the obligatory candles, and the Ashkenazim light the Shamosh before the obligatory candles. There is a specific custom that some Syrian Jews have to light yet another additional candle. This candle is in addition to the obligatory candles and in addition to the Shamosh. This extra candle is to commemorate a miracle that took place in Syria during the time of Chanukah. It should be pointed out that lighting this extra candle is permissible if carried out, but it should not be placed on the Menorah. It should be placed next to or along side the Menorah. This extra candle should be lit after all the obligatory candles and after the Shamosh. And, it should also be after all the Berachot and all the prayers (like HaNerot Halalu) are recited.

Lighting the Menorah on Friday Night
Halacha says that the lighting of the Menorah precedes the lighting of Nerot Shabbat. So on Friday night, we first light the Menorah and then the ladies light the Shabbat candles. The normal time for Shabbat candle lighting is eighteen minutes before sunset. Menorah lighting on Friday night would then be about 20-23 minutes before sunset. In Brooklyn, New York, Shabbat candle lighting time is at 4:10 PM. Therefore, Menorah lighting time on Friday night is at about 4:05 PM. Halacha says that one must be careful not to light the Menorah on any given day (including Friday) before a time that is called Plag Mincha. In Brooklyn, New York, Plag Mincha during Chanukah is at about 4:00 PM. So on Friday night, one must light after 4:00 PM and before Shabbat candle lighting time which is at 4:10 PM. If one lit before 4:00 PM (Plag Mincha), he would have to put it out and relight again. Now we also should mention that one should put enough oil into his Menorah, or have long enough Menorah candles, to last until half hour after sunset. On week nights, the Menorah preferably is lit about 12 minutes after sunset, and it is supposed to last at least 30 minutes. That means the light should normally last

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at least past a total of 42 minutes after sunset. On Friday night we said above that we light the Menorah about 23 minutes before sunset. So when you add 42 minutes plus 23 minutes, it means that on Friday night the Menorah needs to last for at least about 65 minutes. (Torat HaMoadim page 92) On Motzae Shabbat (Saturday night) the custom in the synagogue is to light the Menorah first and then make Havdalah. The custom at home however, is to make Havdalah first and then light the Menorah. Why the disparity? We light the Menorah in the synagogue before making Havdalah for primarily 2 reasons. First, we want to be Pirsum HaNes and glorify the miracle of Chanukah with the lighting of the Menorah in the synagogue. But since many congregants leave immediately after Havdalah and would miss Menorah lighting, we therefore light the Menorah first. The second reason is in order to prolong the Shabbat. So for these 2 reasons we light the Menorah before making Havdalah when in shul. But when at home, these reasons do not apply and therefore in the house one would light the Menorah only after making Havdalah. (Torat HaMoadim page 202-209.)

Is It Permissible To Answer To Other Berachot During Hallel
We say a full Hallel with a Beracha all 8 days of Chanukah. So the question was asked if it is permissible to answer Amen to Berachot or answer Kadish, while one is in the middle of saying Hallel. This could be as a fellow is saying Hallel and another Minyan is nearby. This can also occur when someone is behind in the Tefilah and the Chazan is saying the Kadish. So can a fellow answer Amen, or for that matter reply with Modim DeRabanan of Chazara while he is in the middle of saying Hallel on Chanukah? Maran writes in siman 488 in the laws of Pesach, that a full Hallel with a Beracha has the status of Kriat Shema and follows the same rules as Kriat Shema. Whatever would be permissible while one is saying Kriat Shema would be permissible while one is saying Hallel. So let‟s review those Halachot. 1) Halacha says if one hears Kadish while he is saying Kriat Shema, he may answer the Kadish with the first 5 Amens so long as he completed already saying the Pasuk of „Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokenu Hashem Echad‟ and „Baruch Shem Kivod Malchuto LiOlam Vaed‟. Now there is a Machloket how and if one should answer with „Yihe Shime Raba Mivarach etc.‟ while in the middle of Kriat Shema. Chacham Ovadia Yoseph says that you answer only until the word „YitBarach‟. The Kaf Hachayim however, holds that according to the Mekubalim one should answer all 28 words until „Da‟Amiran BiAlma.‟ Chacham Ben Tzion concurs with the later, and therefore, if one is in the middle of Kriat Shema, he would answer the full 28 words until „Da‟Amiran BiAlma‟, but again so long as he already completed the first Pasuk of „Shema‟ and „Baruch Shem‟. So based on Maran, if in the middle of Hallel, one may answer the 5 Amens, and additionally one may answer all 28 words until „Da‟Amiran BiAlma‟. 2) If a fellow is in the middle of Shema or for that matter a full Hallel, and he hears the Chazan say „Barechu‟, that fellow may respond with „Baruch HaShem Ha‟Mevorach LiOlam Vaed.‟

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3) If a fellow is in the middle of Shema or a full Hallel, and he heard the Chazan say the „Nakdishach‟ of Chazarah, that fellow would be able to answer but only the 2 pesukim of, „Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh…‟ and „Baruch Kivod Hashem MiMikomo.‟ The fellow can not answer all the pesukim of Nakdishach. He may not say the beginning of Nakdishach, nor the Pasuk „Yimloch Hashem Liolam…‟ 4) Next we deal with answering Amen to an arbitrary Beracha. Here the Halacha is different for Hallel than it is for Kriat Shema. While in Kriat Shema you are not allowed to answer Amen when hearing somebody saying a Beracha. Saying Amen to a Beracha is considered an interruption of Kirat Shema. But, according to Chacham Ovadia Yoseph as written in his sefer Yabia Omer, even though the rules of Hallel normally follows the rules of Kriat Shema, yet nevertheless we are lenient and permit a person to answer Amen to Berachot while he is in the middle of Hallel. Certainly the person does not answer „Baruch Hu Baruch Shimo‟, but he can answer Amen. Chacham Ovadia Yoseph explains that one can answer Amen during Hallel because Hallel and the answering of Amen to a Beracha are both considered a praise to Hashem, and as such are considered the same. See Torat HaMoadim, page 246.

If The Light Of The Menorah Goes Out After Lighting
What is the ruling if a person lights the Menorah and then a flame goes out within the first half hour of the lighting? Is a person obligated to relight the wicks or candles that went out? First let‟s address when a flame goes out before finishing the lighting of all the candles. Second we will discuss if a flame goes out after finishing lighting all the candles. If it is after the first night and a previously lit candle goes out while a person is still lighting the other candles, that person must return to the extinguished candle/wick and ignite it again. The Chafetz Chayim writes clearly in his sefer Bi‟ur Halacha in Orach Hayim siman 673, that one does not fulfill his obligation of Hidur Ner Chanukah unless all the lights are lit. So one must be careful and remember to relight a candle if it becomes extinguished before completing all the lighting. Now once the lighting is complete, and a flame becomes extinguished within 30 minutes, according to the Halacha as brought down by Maran in Shulchan Aruch siman 673, Halacha 2, based on „Kafta En Zakuk Lah‟, one does not have to relight them again so long as the proper conditions were satisfied at the time of lighting. One must be careful when lighting to: 1) Use a candle or amount of oil that would last under normal circumstances for at least 30 minutes. 2) Light in a still, non windy location which would prevent the flame from becoming extinguished. This Halacha applies during the week and it also applies Erev Shabbat. On Friday night we light the Menorah early before the Shabbat candles. We would not relight extinguished flames on Friday night even if the Menorah goes out before Tzet HaKochavim comes, and even if Shabbat has not arrived yet.

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It should be pointed out though, that it is a Mitzvah Min HaMuvchar (preferred) to relight the Menorah if the flame extinguishes within the first 30 minutes. Now as per above, one is not obligated to do this once lighting is complete, but it would be the best way and most praiseworthy. Of course one does not recite the Beracha again if choosing to relight. See Torat HaMoadim, pages 157-159.

Some Laws Regarding Avelut (Mourning) and Chanukah
The Gemara Shabbat on page 21 says that we celebrate the holiday of Chanukah beginning on the 25th of Kislev, continuing for 8 days until the 3rd day of Tevet. And during this holiday it is forbidden to fast or to eulogize. So if Chas VeShalom a person passes away during the holiday of Chanukah, we should make a funeral and burial, but we should not say a eulogy for it is time for Simha and Hallel. The only exception would be is if, Chas VsShalom, a Talmid Chacham should pass away as he may be eulogized at the funeral. Although we do not eulogize during Chanukah, the family of the deceased nevertheless still must follow the rules of Avelut. Even though it is Chanukah, they still would tear their clothes, sit on the floor, etc. It is still a full fledged Avelut and the Miztvah of Nihum Avelim still applies. Meaning on Chanukah, we should still visit and consol the mourners even though it is a time of happiness and joy. Some people follow a respectful custom to fast on the day of the Yartzeit of a parent. But during the holiday of Chanukah, one would not fast in the event the Yartzeit date coincides with the holiday. Some people have the custom to visit the cemetery at the end of 7 days, or at the end of 30 days, or even after a year since their relative passed away. If any of these days comes out during Chanukah, one should try to visit the cemetery before and not during the holiday because we don‟t want it to lead to crying or sadness. But it would be permissible to visit the graves of Tzadikim on Chanukah. Visiting and praying by the gravesite of a Tzadik is not distressing, but rather consoling and encouraging.

2 Halachot: Eating Dairy Products on Chanukah, and The Proper Procedure of Lighting Before and After Shabbat
The Ben Ish Chai (Rabbi Yosef Chaim of Baghdad, 1835-1909) records the practice to eat cheese products during Chanukah. This custom serves to commemorate the heroism of a Jewish woman named Yehudit, who killed one of the Greek kings by feeding him cheese so that he would become thirsty, at which point she gave him wine and he fell asleep. Yehudit then killed the king as he slept. Although this incident did not occur during the time of the Chanukah story, it is nevertheless appropriate to bring this event to mind during Chanukah, which celebrates the Jews' triumph over the Greek empire.

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The Ben Ish Chai points to a different possible basis for this practice. The Greeks attempted to disrupt Jewish life by issuing a ban against the three institutions of Kiddush Ha'chodesh (maintaining the Jewish calendar, based on the monthly lunar cycle), Shabbat, and Berit Mila. Now the first letter of the word "Chodesh" ("month") is Chet; the second letter of "Shabbat" is Bet; and the third letter of "Mila" is "Lamed." These three letters spell the word "Chalav," milk, and the custom therefore developed to eat dairy products on Chanukah. On Friday afternoon of Chanukah, the Shabbat candles are lit after the Chanukah candles; women should therefore wait for their husbands to light Chanukah candles before lighting Shabbat candles. This sequence is required both for Halachic reasons, and in accordance with the teachings of Kabalah. As for the proper sequence on Motza'ei Shabbat, the practice in the synagogue differs from the procedure to be followed in one's home. In the synagogue, Chanukah candles are lit prior to Havdala. Since people generally leave the synagogue immediately following Havdala, very few people would be present for the lighting of the Chanukah candles if it were held after Havdala, thus undermining the element of Pirsuma Nes – publicizing the miracle. At home, however, one should first recite Havdala and then light the Chanukah candles. Summary: 1) It is proper to partake of dairy and cheese products on Chanukah. 2) On Friday afternoon, women should wait for their husbands to light the Chanukah candles before lighting the Shabbat candles. 3) On Motza'ei Shabbat, Havdala is recited in the synagogue only after the congregational lighting of the Chanukah candles, whereas at home, one first recites Havdala and only then lights the Chanukah candles.

Is It Permissible To Allow A Child to Light Chanukah Candles
Is it permitted to allow one's child, who has yet to reach the age of Mitzvah obligation but is old enough to be trained in Mitzvah performance (generally around age 5 or 6, depending on the child's development) to light the Chanukah candles? The Ben Ish Chai (Rabbi Yosef Chaim of Baghdad, 1835-1909; listen to audio for precise citation) encourages one to allow his child to light the additional candle placed alongside the Chanukah candles – which we generally call the "Shamash" – in order to train him in the performance of Mitzvot. The clear implication, of course, is that one may not allow a child to light any of the actual Chanukah candles. Others, however, disagree. Rabbi Chayim Palachi (rabbi of Izmir, Turkey, 19th century), in his work "Mo'ed Le'kol Chai," writes that one may allow a minor that has reached the age of training in Mitzvot to light the "Nerot Hiddur," meaning, the candles lit in addition to the single candle strictly required each night. These candles are added for the purpose of "Hiddur," beautifying the Mitzvah, and are not included in the essential obligation, which requires lighting just one candle each night. Therefore, Rabbi Chayim Palachi rules that one may allow a child that has reached the age of Mitzvah training to light these candles. This is also the position taken by Chacham Ovadia Yoseph, in Halichot Olam.

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It should be noted that women's obligation with regard to Chanukah candles is the same as men's, and therefore one may allow his wife to light any of the Chanukah candles, including the first candle lit in fulfillment of the essential obligation. Summary: One may not allow a child under the age of Mitzvah obligation to light the first Chanukah candle, through which one fulfills the essential obligation. He may, however, after reciting the Berachot and lighting the first candle, allow a child that has reached the age of Mitzvah training to light the additional candles, which are lit for the purpose of "Hiddur" – beautifying the Mitzvah.

Fasting, Eulogies and Mourning on Chanukah
Halacha forbids observing a fast on any of the eight days of Chanukah, with the exception of a Ta'anit Halom, meaning, a fast observed in response to a inauspicious dream. If one feels very disturbed by a bad dream, he may fast that day (that is, from the morning after experiencing this dream), even if it is Chanukah. However, given the impropriety of fasting during Chanukah, he must then observe another fast after Chanukah to atone for having fasted on Chanukah. This applies to Shabbat, as well: one who dreams a frightening dream on Friday night and is disturbed by it may fast that Shabbat, but he must then observe another fast to atone for having fasted on Shabbat. People who follow the laudable practice – which is recorded by Rav Pinchasi, in his work "Chayim Va'chesed" – to fast on the Yartzheit of a parent may not do so if the Yartzheit falls during Chanukah. They must instead observe the fast either before or after Chanukah. One may not deliver a eulogy during Chanukah, except at the funeral of a Torah scholar. The eulogies customarily delivered at the conclusion of the seven-day and thirty-day mourning periods, or on the Yartzheit, are forbidden during Chanukah. If these ceremonies are held on Chanukah, the rabbis and other speakers should limit themselves to words of Torah, and must not eulogize the deceased individual. Visits to relatives' gravesites are also forbidden during Chanukah. All these prohibitions apply only on the actual eight days of Chanukah. On the day prior to Chanukah and on the day immediately following Chanukah, one may observe a fast, deliver a eulogy and visit a cemetery. There is no concept of "Isru Chag" (a quasi festival observed on the day following a festival) with respect to Chanukah as there is regarding other festivals. All laws of mourning apply on Chanukah. Unlike most festivals, which suspend or cancel the observance of mourning, Chanukah does not interfere at all with any of the traditional mourning practices. Keri'a (rending garments) and all other observances related to mourning, including the recitation of Kadish, apply on Chanukah just as on any other day.

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Menorah Lighting in Shul
The custom is to light Chanukah candles in the synagogue with the recitation of all the Berachot for the purpose of Pirsumei Nisa – publicizing the miracle of Chanukah. The candles in the synagogue are lit in between Mincha and Arbit, even though the proper time for lighting has not yet arrived, because if we wait until after Arbit the congregation will disperse, thus undermining the desired effect of Pirsumei Nisa. As mentioned, the one who lights the Chanukah candles in the synagogue recites all the Berachot, including the Beracha of Shehechiynau on the first night. One does not fulfill his personal obligation of lighting Chanukah candles with the lighting in the synagogue. Even if one is present at the synagogue lighting, listens to the Berachot and answers, "Amen," he must still light when he returns home. Moreover, even the person who lights the candles in the synagogue must light again at home with the Berachot. The only exception is that on the first night of Chanukah, the one who lights in the synagogue does not repeat the Beracha of Shehechiynau at home if he lights only for himself. If he lights for his family, then he must repeat even this Beracha. For this reason, it has become customary to choose somebody who will not be lighting for his family, such as a single person or a traveler away from home, to light the Chanukah candles in the synagogue. According to some authorities, even a Katan (child under the age of thirteen) who has reached the age of Chinuch (training in Mitzvot), such as an eleven or twelve-year old child, may be invited to conduct the synagogue candle lighting on Chanukah. How much oil must be placed in the lamps for the synagogue lighting? When lighting at home, one must add enough oil to sustain the candles for a half-hour. Different opinions exist as to whether the same applies to the candle lighting in the synagogue. Chacham Ovadia Yoseph maintains that preferably, this amount should, indeed, be used for the synagogue lighting, as well, and the candles in the synagogue should burn for at least a half-hour. If, however, there is concern for the risk of a fire if the candles continue burning after the congregation disperses, it is permissible to extinguish them once the people leave the synagogue. The candles in the synagogue are lit only if a minimum of ten people are present. Both women and men count towards this minimum quorum. If – as occasionally happens on Erev Shabbat – ten people are not yet present but this number will undoubtedly be reached a bit later in the service, the candles may be lit, but without the Berachot. Therefore, whenever possible, the people present should wait for ten people to arrive before conducting the synagogue candle lighting.

The Traveler At Time of Menorah Lighting
If a person is away from home at the time when Chanukah candles are to be lit, his obligation is fulfilled through his wife's lighting back at home. If a person will spend the night as a guest in somebody else's home where he receives full hospitality, such as with his parents or in-laws, then he fulfills his obligation through the host's lighting. Since he depends on the host for all his needs, he is considered part of the household and thus included in the host's lighting; he

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therefore does not have to give the host money to purchase a share in the Chanukah candles. What does one do if he visits somebody's home in the evening, but will return home to sleep? Say, for example, a couple spends Shabbat with one set of parents, remains with them after Shabbat for Melaveh Malka (the traditional meal eaten on Motza'ei Shabbat), and will then return home to sleep? Do they fulfill their obligation of Chanukah candles through the lighting of the parents, or should they light when they return home? Chacham Ben Tziyon Abba Shaul (1924-1998), as cited in the work "Or Le'tzara," ruled that in such a case, the visitors should have in mind not to fulfill their obligation with the host's lighting, and should light when they return home. Even though they will be with their hosts during the proper time for lighting and will return home late at night, they should nevertheless light the candles themselves upon arriving home. Summary: A man who travels alone fulfills his obligation of Chanukah candles with his wife's lighting at home. If he spends the night as a guest and receives complete hospitality, he fulfills the obligation through his host's lighting. If one goes away for the evening and returns home to sleep, he should have in mind not to fulfill his obligation through the host's lighting, and should light at home.

The Proper Time for Lighting Chanukah Candles
When is the preferred time for lighting Chanukah candles, and what does one do if he cannot come home at this preferred time? Chanukah candles should be lit fifteen minutes after sunset. During this time of year, the sun sets in the New York City area at around 4:30 PM or so, and therefore one should preferably light Chanukah candles at 4:45 PM. One must ensure to place enough oil for the candles to remain lit for at least a half-hour. Therefore, on days when one is home, such as Sunday, it is improper to unnecessarily delay the lighting of the Chanukah candles until later in the evening, as some people mistakenly do. One should go to the Mincha and Arbit service and then immediately return home to light the candles. If one must be at work and cannot come home to light Chanukah candles at the proper time, he should, according to some views, have his wife light on his behalf at the proper time, fifteen minutes past sunset. According to others, however, it is preferable for the family to light all together, and therefore the wife should wait for the husband to return home, at which point he lights for the family. Both opinions are equally valid. One should recite Arbit before lighting Chanukah candles, because of the principle of "Tadir Ve'she'eno Tadir, Tadir Kodem" – we give precedence to the more frequent Mitzva. Since the obligation of Arbit applies far more frequently than Chanukah candles, one should recite Arbit before he lights the Chanukah candles. Summary: Chanukah candles should be lit fifteen minutes after sundown, and one must not delay the lighting unnecessarily. One who cannot be home at this

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hour has the option of either having his wife light on his behalf at the proper time, or waiting until he returns home. In all cases, one should recite Arbit before lighting Chanukah candles.

Should One Skip Al HaNissim To Catch Up for Nakdishach
A question arises in the case of one who has reached somewhere around the point of "Modim" in his Shemona Esre prayer on Chanukah when the Chazan begins the repetition of the Shemona Esre. Should a person in this situation skip the recitation of Al Ha'nisim and Bi'mei Matityahu, which we add during Chanukah, in order to be able to recite Nakdishach with the congregation? Since one may not recite Nakdishach while he is still in the middle of Shemona Esre, we should perhaps advise such a person to skip the section added during Chanukah so that he can complete the Shemona Esre prayer by the time the Chazan reaches Nakdishach. This possibility becomes more compelling in light of the position of Rav Chayim Vital (famous disciple of the Arizal, late 16th century, Tzefat) that the recitation of Nakdishach constitutes a Torah obligation. Since the recitation of Al Ha'nisim on Chanukah is clearly a rabbinic obligation, perhaps one should forego on this recitation in favor of Nakdishach. In truth, however, Halacha says that one should not skip Al Ha'nissim for the sake of reciting Nakdishach. For one thing, Rabbi Chayim Vital's position does not represent the mainstream view. Many Rishonim (Medieval Halakhic authorities), including the Ran, the Meiri, the Rosh and others, maintain that the obligation to recite Nakdishach is of rabbinic, rather than Biblical, origin. And although the Talmud does cite Biblical verses as the source for Nakdishach, these verses should be seen as but an "Asmachta" (an allusion in the Biblical text to a law enacted by the Sages, rather than the actual source of the Halacha). In addition, the principle of "Osek Be'mitzva Patur Min Ha'mitzva" mandates that while a person is involved in a Mitzva, he need not concern himself with another Mitzva that comes his way or looms on the horizon. A person busy fulfilling one Mitzva should focus his attention on completing that Mitzva, and need not disrupt his performance for the sake of other Mitzvot. Therefore, when a person recites Shemona Esre on Chanukah and reaches Al Ha'nissim, how his recitation will affect the possible future obligation regarding Nakdishach need not concern him. Since right now he is faced with the obligation to recite Al Ha'nissim, he should proceed with this recitation, even at the expense of Nakdishach. Precedent for this concept may be found in a ruling of the Ramban concerning a case of a Berit Mila performed on Shabbat. Halacha requires that the hot water needed for treating a baby after a Mila must be prepared before Shabbat. The Ba'al Ha'ma'or and the Ramban debate the question of what one should do if the hot water prepared before Shabbat spills. According to the Ba'al Ha'ma'or, since performing the Mila will give rise to a situation of Pikua'ch Nefesh (risk to life) requiring one to violate Shabbat by heating water for the baby, the Mila should be delayed until after Shabbat. The Ramban, however, maintains that the Mila should be performed, despite the fact that this will necessitate violating Shabbat to treat the infant. Since at this moment the obligation of Mila requires circumcising the baby, and only at that point will it become necessary to violate

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Shabbat to heat the water, we should proceed with the circumcision without concern for how this may affect a different Mitzva later on. Similarly, in our case, the individual should recite Al Ha'nissim without looking ahead to the repercussions of this recitation with respect to Nakdishach. Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg issued a similar ruling concerning the recitation of U‟Be'sefer Hayim towards the end of Shemona Esre during the Aseret Yemei Teshuva (the period from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur). Even though this insertion does not appear in the Talmud, and was instituted later, by the Geonim, nevertheless, Rabbi Scheinberg rules that one should not skip U‟Be'sefer Hayim in order to complete Shemona Esre in time to recite Nakdishach. Since at this moment he is required to recite U‟Be'sefer Hayim, he should fulfill this requirement without concerning himself with the future obligation of Nakdishach. It should be noted that whenever an individual is in the middle of Shemona Esre when the congregation reaches Nakdishach, he should stand silently and listen to the Chazan's recitation of Nakdishach. After the Chazan recites the verse, "Yimloch Hashem Le'olam," the individual then proceeds with Shemona Esre. Summary: One should not skip Al Ha'nissim and Bi'mei Matityahu in order to complete Shemona Esre in time to recite Nakdishach with the congregation. If he does not complete his Shemona Esre in time for Nakdishach, he should remain silent, listen to the Chazan's recitation of Nakdishach, and then continue his Shemona Esre.

Hallel for Men and Women On Chanukah
On each of the eight days of Chanukah, men are obligated to recite the complete Hallel service, with the introductory Beracha, "Baruch Ata…Asher Kideshanu…Ligmor Et Ha'hallel." Women have the option of reciting Hallel as part of the prayer service during Chanukah. However, as Chacham Ovadya Yoseph writes in his work "Yabia Omer" (vol. 6), women reciting Hallel on Chanukah must not recite the Beracha. Since it is questionable whether this Beracha is sanctioned, we apply the rule of Safek Berachot Le'hakel – meaning, that we refrain from reciting a Beracha when uncertainty exists concerning its obligation. Thus, while it is certainly appropriate for women to recite Hallel on Chanukah, they must ensure to omit the introductory Beracha. The Ben Ish Chai (Rabbi Yosef Chaim of Baghdad, 1835-1909) emphasizes that one should recite Hallel on Chanukah with particular concentration and joy. He notes that even on Pesach we do not recite the complete Hallel service throughout the festival, and it is thus a rare opportunity we have on Chanukah to recite the full Hallel, and we should therefore do so with sincere emotion. On Rosh Chodesh Tevet, which occurs during Chanukah, there is a custom to light an extra candle in memory of Rabbi Meir Ba'al Ha'ness. Additionally, the Ben Ish Chai writes that the double festivity of Rosh Chodesh Tevet – as both Rosh Chodesh and a day of Chanukah – warrants an extra dimension of celebration, and one should therefore eat a festive meal on the day of Rosh Chodesh Tevet.

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Summary: One must recite the complete Hallel service on each of the eight days of Chanukah with its introductory blessing, and with particular joy and sincerity. Women certainly may recite Hallel, but they must omit the introductory blessing. On Rosh Chodesh Tevet, some have the practice to light an extra candle in memory of Rabbi Meir Ba'al Ha'ness; furthermore, it is appropriate to conduct a festive meal on Rosh Chodesh Tevet in honor of the double celebration of this day.

Is Al Ha’nisim Required In Arbit On The First Day Of Chanukah, Or In Musaf Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh
The Gemara in Masechet Shabbat establishes the obligation to add Al Ha'nisim – together with the paragraph of "Bi'mei Matityahu" – in the Amida prayer during Chanukah. We insert Al Ha'nisim in the section of Modim, which expresses our gratitude to the Almighty and is thus an appropriate context for the recitation of Al Ha'nisim, through which we give praise to G-d for the great miracle of Chanukah. The question is asked as to whether or not we should begin reciting Al Ha'nisim already during Arbit on the first night of Chanukah. Since we recite Arbit on Chanukah before lighting the candles, perhaps we should not yet mention the miracle of Chanukah in the Arbit service on the first night, before we have lit candles. Indeed, there are views among the Rishonim and Geonim that on Purim, which also requires the recitation of Al Ha'nisim, the Al Ha'nisim prayer is not recited during Arbit, since the Megila has not yet been read. Correspondingly, one might argue that we should not recite Al Ha'nisim in Arbit on the first night of Chanukah, before we have lit the candles to commemorate the miracle. In truth, however, Halacha requires reciting Al Ha'nisim in Arbit even on the first night of Chanukah, despite the fact that one has yet to light the Chanukah candles. And although Rav Amram Gaon maintains that Al Ha'nisim is not recited on the first night of Chanukah, Halacha does not follow his opinion. In fact, Chacham Ovadia Yoseph, in "Kol Sinai," argues that even those who hold that Al Ha'nisim is not recited on the night of Purim, as mentioned above, would agree that one does recite Al Ha'nisim on the first night of Chanukah. Chanukah, he explains, commemorates two miracles: the miracle of the oil, and the miracle of the Jews' military victory over the Greeks. Therefore, even before we light the Chanukah candles on the first night, which begins our commemoration of the miracle of the oil, we must still celebrate and give praise for the other miracle – the military triumph – which occurred immediately. Hence, even according to the view that on Purim we should begin reciting Al Ha'nisim only in the morning, on Chanukah we begin immediately at Arbit. It should be noted that even if one recites Arbit before sundown, after the point of Pelag Ha'mincha (the earliest time one may recite the Arbit service), he includes Al Ha'nisim in the Amida prayer. (Of course, it is not very common in the wintertime to recite Arbit before sundown.) Another question that was addressed concerning the recitation of Al Ha'nisim on Chanukah is whether one recites it in the Musaf prayer on Shabbat of Chanukah, and on Rosh Chodesh Tevet (which always occurs during Chanukah). Since

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Musaf is required not due to the festival of Chanukah, but rather because of the occasion of Shabbat or Rosh Chodesh, one might have argued against including Al Ha'nissim in the Musaf prayer. The Gemara addresses this issue and concludes that one does, in fact, insert Al Ha'nisim in the Musaf prayer during Chanukah. Since that day obligates one in the recitation of Musaf, and that day is Chanukah, all the prayers of that day – including Musaf – require the inclusion of Al Ha'nissim. Summary: One adds Al Ha'nissim in the Modim section of every Amida prayer recited on Chanukah, including the Arbit service on the first night, and including the Musaf prayer on Shabbat and on Rosh Chodesh Tevet.

Is It Permissible To Rekindle or Light The Menorah After Lighting Shabbat Candles on Erev Shabbat
On Friday night of Chanukah, Halacha mandates that the Chanukah candles should be lit before the Shabbat candles. But what is the Halacha if the Shabbat candles were mistakenly lit first, such as if the wife forgot to wait for the husband to light Chanukah candles? If the sun has yet to set, may the Chanukah candles be lit even after the Shabbat candles were lit? The answer is that one may light the Chanukah candles in such a case. The husband may certainly light the candles, since he did not light the Shabbat candles and thus has clearly yet to accept Shabbat. And even the wife, who lit the Shabbat candles, may be involved in lighting the Chanukah candles, according to the practice of the Sephardim that women do not accept Shabbat with the lighting of the Shabbat candles. Thus, so long as the sun has yet to set, one may light the Chanukah candles even after the Shabbat candles have been lit, since in practice the lighting of the Shabbat candles does not constitute an acceptance of Shabbat. Another question that occasionally arises on Friday night of Chanukah is whether one should relight the Chanukah candles if they blow out soon after they are lit, assuming, once again, that the sun has not set. Strictly speaking, a Halachic principle dictates, "Kavta, Ein Zakuk La" – if the Chanukah candles are extinguished, one need not relight them. However, it is nevertheless commendable for one to relight them. On Friday night, therefore, if one has ample time before sundown, he should preferably relight the Chanukah candles, without a Beracha. If, however, the candles blew out just several minutes before sundown, one should not rekindle them. Since he bears no obligation to relight according to the strict Halacha, it is preferable to refrain from doing so rather than run the risk of lighting candles after Shabbat has begun. Finally, the question was asked whether one may make personal use of the Chanukah candles on Friday night until sundown. Generally, Halacha forbids deriving any kind of personal benefit from the Chanukah candles, such as reading by their light. One might have argued that on Friday night, when we must light early, before the actual Mitzva takes effect, this prohibition against personal use from the candles perhaps does not apply until sundown. The Peri Megadim (Rabbi Yosef Ben Meir Teomim, 1727-1792), however, rules that the prohibition applies even before sundown on Friday night. The fact that we recite the

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Berachot when lighting the Chanukah candles on Friday night proves that we do, indeed, consider the time for the Mitzva to have arrived, even though we light before sundown. Therefore, the prohibition against deriving benefit from the Chanukah candles takes effect immediately with the lighting. Summary: On Friday night of Chanukah, the Chanukah candles must be lit before the Shabbat candles. If, however, the Shabbat candles were mistakenly lit first, the husband may still light the Chanukah candles until sundown, and even the wife may participate in the lighting, according to the Sephardic practice that women do not accept Shabbat with lighting the Shabbat candles. If the Chanukah candles blow out before sundown on Friday night, it is proper to relight them – without a Beracha –unless only several minutes remain until sundown. One may not derive benefit from the light of the Chanukah candles, even on Friday night, when they are lit early.

When Your Neighbor Does Not Have Enough Money To Buy Oil To Light The Menorah
The question was asked concerning two people with limited income, one of whom cannot afford even a single candle for the Mitzvah of Chanukah candles, whereas the second has just enough money for all the candles. The basic obligation of Chanukah candles is to light but a single candle each night; the additional candles that we light are for the purpose of Hidur – enhancing the performance of the Mitzvah. The question thus arises in our case, should the second person give money to the first to allow him to purchase a single candle for the basic Mitzvah, if he himself will then not have enough money for all the Chanukah candles? In other words, should a person sacrifice his performance of the Mitzvah at the highest standard in order to allow his friend to fulfill the Mitzvah at the minimum level of performance? The Magen Avraham (Rav Avraham Avli ben Chaim HaLevi Gombiner 1633-1683) writes that indeed, one should help his fellow Jew fulfill the essential obligation even if this necessitates sacrificing his own higher standard of the Mitzvahh's performance. Although this Halacha may not have direct, practical relevance nowadays, the underlying principle is an important one: a person should be prepared to help others perform Mitzvot at the minimum level, even at the expense of his own performance at the highest standard. Another issue addressed by Halacha concerns a person who can afford either Shabbat candles or Chanukah candles, but not both. In such a case, Shabbat candles take precedence over Chanukah candles, because the purpose of Shabbat candles is to provide light in the home to enhance Shalom Bayit – a sense of domestic peace and serenity – which overrides the obligation of Chanukah candles. If, however, a person already has light in his home – even a single light bulb – then this light suffices for the obligation of Shabbat candles. Therefore, if a person has a light in his home but cannot afford candles for Chanukah and Shabbat candles, he should light Chanukah candles, since he already fulfills the obligation of Shabbat candles with the light in his home. Summary: One should give money to a poor person to buy a single candle for Chanukah, even if as a result he will not have enough money to light all the Chanukah candles. If one cannot afford both Shabbat and Chanukah candles,

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Shabbat candles take precedence; if he already has a light in his home, even just a single light bulb, then Chanukah candles take precedence, since he can fulfill the Mitzvah of Shabbat candles with the light in his home.

If A Person Missed A Night of Lighting The Menorah
If a person did not – for whatever reason – light Chanukah candles one night, does he have the opportunity to make up the lighting? Maran (Rabbi Yosef Karo, author of Shulchan Aruch) writes explicitly (672:2) that one who misses a night of candle lighting during Chanukah does not have the possibility of making up the missed lighting. (Listen to audio for direct citation.) Therefore, one who cannot light on one of the nights of Chanukah does not light extra candles on the following night. One of the Rishonim (Medieval Halachic authorities), however, the Ravaya, held that one who did not light the Chanukah candles at night should light them during the following day. Although Chanukah candles are to be lit specifically at nighttime, in situations where a person could not light them at night, he may, according to the Ravaya, light them during the following day. There is a book of responsa entitled "Hit'orerut Teshuva" which accepts this position of the Ravaya, and indeed rules that one who missed candle lighting one night of Chanukah should light on the following day with the Berachot. Chacham Ovadia Yosef, however, disagrees, and maintains that one should not recite the Berachot when lighting candles during the day in such a case. In his opinion, one who missed candle lighting should light candles during the day to satisfy the position of the Ravaya – even though Maran did not follow this view – but should not recite the Berachot. Thus, if a person missed candle lighting on one of the nights of Chanukah, he should light the candles during the following day, but without reciting the Berachot.

Is It Permissible For Mourners To Attend A Seudat Mitzvah or Chanukah Gathering
A question is asked in Halacha regarding a person who is in mourning who wants to attend a Chanukah party. Can he attend even though he is still within his mourning period? He may be within the 12 month mourning period of his parents, or with the 30 day mourning period of his other relatives. Can he attend a gathering or party that is specifically made to celebrate the holiday of Chanukah, or do we say that it‟s going against the rules of mourning? Generally speaking, there is Machloket between Sephardim and Ashkenazim if mourners may attend a Seudat Mitzvah. The Ashkenazim are very stringent on this not to allow mourners to attend even a Seudat Mitzvah for the year or for the 30 days respectively. That includes for example, a Seudat Brit Milah or a Pidyon Haben.

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However the Minhag of Sephardim as brought down by the Chida and others, states that Sephardim customarily do go to a Seudat Mitzvah during the mourning period. So our question then is whether or not Seudat Chanukah is considered a Seudat Mitzvah? Maran holds that the Seudot that we eat on Chanukah are really voluntary, and thus it would not fall under the category of Seudat Mitzvah. And therefore, seemingly a mourner would not be allowed to attend. But that is not the case. Halacha writes that if at a Seudat Chanukah there is Divre Torah being said, then such can qualify the Seuda as a Seudat Mitzvah. And therefore the Halacha- so long as there is no music accompaniment, a mourner of his mother and father in his first 12 months may attend Seudat Chanukah so long as there is Divre Torah. This is the Halacha for Sephardim. If one wants to be Machmir and prefers not to attend, of course he may stay home. But the Halacha, it is permissible to attend a feast of Chanukah. (Hayim VeHesed Perek 18:14) For that matter, we also consider a Seudat Siyum Masechet (meal gathering celebrating the completion of a volume of Talmud), as a Seudat Mitzvah, and therefore it would be permissible for a mourner during the 12 months or 30 days respectively, to attend that Siyum where there is no music.

Ladies Should Avoid Certain Types of Work Within 30 Minutes of Lighting
There‟s a Minhag that‟s brought down that ladies should not perform Melachot (work) for the first half hour after lighting the Chanukah Menorah (Orach Hayim 670:1). This is a proper Minhag. What does it mean not to perform Melachot? Does it mean they should refrain from the same type of work as restricted on Shabbat, or does it mean they should refrain from work that is restricted during Chol Hamoed? Halacha Lema‟ase (the bottom line), for the first half hour from when the Chanukah candles are lit, the ladies should refrain from performing tasks that are restricted on Chol Hamoed. This would include turning on the washing machine to do laundry, ironing, pressing, sewing, needle pointing, and things like that. (See The Ben Ish Chai in Parashat VaYesehv, Halacha 27.) These would be forbidden. If the washing machine is turned on from before the candle lighting, it‟s permissible to have it running throughout the candle lighting, but she shouldn‟t turn it on at the time of the candle lighting itself. It is permissible to cook a meal for dinner since it‟s supper time. However ladies should refrain from all other types of work during this half hour. There‟s another Minhag where the ladies avoid working the whole duration Chanukah, however the Chafetz Chayim (ibid: Mishna Berura: 5)brings down in the Mishna Berura from Chacham Tzevi that this is not the custom, for it brings about boredom and idleness which may inevitably lead to sin.

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Should One Recite Again Shehechiyanu at Menorah Lighting In Shul After Doing So At Home
There is an interesting question regarding Menorah lightning. Normally, it is our custom to light the Menorah at home first, and then come to synagogue and light again in shul. So the question is asked in Halacha, can you make all three Berachot on the first night of Chanukah in the synagogue? This question specifically addresses the Beracha of Shehechiynau. Since everybody already lit at home, and everyone made Shehechiynau already, can somebody get up and light the Menorah in the synagogue and make Shehechiynau again? It‟s a big dilemma in Halacha. It seems clear from the Ben Ish Chai in Parashat VaYeshev, Halacha 11, that you do not make the Beracha of Shehechiynau again if you made it at home, unless there‟s somebody that didn‟t light and recite it at home. In such a case, that individual could make the Shehechiynau in the synagogue. But he holds that if everybody lit at home and they all heard the Shehechiynau, so then in that situation there would be no Shehechiynau made in the synagogue. He says actually on such a case, „Safek Berachot Lihakhel‟. And that‟s exactly the way the Kaf Hachayim also rules. I just want to point out, that in Kaf Hachayim, siman 670:74-75 where it rules like the Ben Ish Chai, there is also another ruling from the Chida which is brought down from the Zera Emet. The Chida brings down clearly that if a person made Shehechiynau at home and then comes to the synagogue, he could make Shehechiynau again. So The Kaf Hachayim contradicts himself in back to back paragraphs. In one paragraph he holds like the Ben Ish Chai that if everybody made Shehechiynau at home so you don‟t make it again in the synagogue. And then he says from the Zera Emet that if you lit at home and said Shehechiynau, and you come to the synagogue so you again make the Shehechiynau. How can this be, unless we understand there is a difference between the Ben Ish Chai‟s case and the Zera Emet‟s case. Maybe the Zera Emet was talking about a guy who lit at home but he‟s going to the synagogue where other people did not light yet. And therefore, he could make a Shehechiynau because there are people in the synagogue that did not hear the Shehechiynau yet. Although that is a difficult assumption to make, we nevertheless have to answer something on the Kaf Hachayim in order to make him not contradicting himself. In any event the Tzitz Eliezer in Helek 13, Teshuba 69 wants to say that Shehechiynau is part of the Berachot, and is part of the tribute to, and commemoration of the Miracle of Chanukah, and therefore even if everybody made the Shehechiynau at home, it would be a new Mitzvah to light the Menorah in public when they come to shul. Therefore, he holds that we recite Shehechiynau, and he holds that there is no Safek Berachot by the rule of Shehechiynau anyway, because if the guy has happiness it doesn‟t matter. So it comes out we have a Machloket between the Tzitz Eliezer and the Ben Ish Chai. The Halacha- we will follow the Ben Ish Chai in this case, and the Kaf Hachayim, since we are loyal to those Poskim, even though there is what to question on this Ben Ish Chai, especially since we have Zera Emet and Chida that do not hold like that. But the Ben Ish Chai tells us „Safek Berachot Lihakel‟, and

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Chacham Ovadia does not argue on this in his Sefer Halichot Olam. So it‟s fair to assume that he agrees with the Ben Ish Chai on this case. Therefore the Halacha- if there is somebody that was not around for the candle lighting at home, he then should make the Shehechiynau. But if everybody in the synagogue lit the Menorah at home and said Shehechiynau, then the Beracha of Shehechiynau is omitted. It should be pointed out though, that only the Beracha of „Lihadlik Ner Chanukah‟ is said in the synagogue in this situation on Friday night where everyone lit at home. (See the Daily Halacha entitled “Chanukah- Should One Recite Again SheAsa Nissim at Menorah Lighting in Shul After Doing So At Home.”)

Can We Reuse The Candle Wick Or Do We Need To Use New Wicks Each Night
There‟s an interesting question asked in the laws of Nerot (the candles) Chanukah. Is it preferable to re-use the wicks on the nights of Chanukah or is it better to use a new wick every night? Now, in the modern era, this question obviously doesn‟t apply since we buy everything pre-made and we have already the jugs filled with oil and with the wicks, and they are disposable, and every night you use a different one. But the real way is to do the Mitzvah as in the Bet Mikdash where they didn‟t use disposables. In the Bet Hamikdash, every day they would make their own wicks and fill their own oils. So we are talking about the hardliners who do the Mitzvah by themselves, who make their wicks, and put it in the wick holders, and they fill up the jugs with oil. For them, is it more proper to reuse the wicks or not? There is an interesting Teshuvah (explanation) from the Chatan Sofer in siman 68. The Chatan Sofer brings down that in Gemara Shabbat on page 74 there was a question on the Melacha of tying. The Gemara asked, where was tying in the Mishkan? So the Gemara answers that there might have been tying when they were weaving the curtains where a string or piece of thread snapped. The Gemara rejects this by saying would they do this in a mortal king‟s house? All the more so they wouldn‟t reuse torn strings in the house of Hashem. The Gemara then later on asks about the Melacha of tearing and ripping. The Gemara asks where was ripping in the Mishkan. So the Gemara stated that when a curtain had a hole in it, they would rip it a little more in order to make it easy to sew it. Over there, the Gemara does not ask, „Do they do that in a King‟s house?‟ So how come the Gemara does not ask that question by tearing? So he answers by the case of tying the strings, those strings were never used yet for Kedusha. So therefore, if they ripped then of course you would throw them away. However the curtains that were already woven and they were used for Kedusha, then to the contrary, it‟s a Mitzvah to re-weave the same curtains that got torn and tear them a little more to make the weave a little easier. Because since they were used for a Mitzvah already, so on the contrary, it‟s better and more preferable to re-use the same curtains over again, than to use new ones. The Kedusha already was invested in it. From here you see something that has Kedusha in it already is better than something that‟s new that does not have Kedusha. From this the Chatan Sofer wants to draw out that it would be more proper to use the same wicks if they are

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still viable of Chanukah. Save the wicks from the first night, and relight them for the 2nd night and subsequently the 3rd night, and so on. Specifically in this case, not only are you recycling the Mitzvah, and using something that already had a Mitzvah in it, but you are using it for the same Mitzvah, which he also says is preferable. Furthermore we learn from the Shaare Teshuva in Orach Hayim 664:1 that the custom was to light candles on Erev Kippur in the Bet Keneset. And he brings down that they would also light candles on Hoshana Rabba. So he says that you should use from the left over wicks of Rosh Hashana and Kippur, and you should use them to light for Hashana Raba. And the Mefarshim further explain that Kippur and Hoshana Raba have similar aspects, meaning they are both days of judgment. You are not only using the same wicks to relight, but you are relighting on a similar day. And therefore the Halacha- Yes in deed it would be preferable to re-use wicks for Chanukah from night to night, so long as they are still usable. Since the Mitzvah was done already, they would have an extra level of Kedusha than using new wicks. See Shut Beer Sarim Helek 4:60.

Should One Recite Again SheAsa Nissim at Menorah Lighting In Shul After Doing So At Home
We know that it is proper to light both at home and in the synagogue. We also know that we make the Berachot of „SheAsas Nissim‟ and „LiHadlik Ner Chanukah‟ when we light at home and when we light in Shul. We learned in another Daily Halacha that on the first night of Chanukah, we only say the Beracha of Shehchiynau‟ at home unless there is someone in the shul who did not light at home. (See the Daily Halacha entitled „Chanukah- Should One Recite Shehechiynau at Menorah Lighting In Shul Even After Saying It At Home.‟) But the question is asked about Friday nights. I recently received a Teshuva (answer) from Israel that was written by the Gaon, Rabbi Shemuel Pinchasi, which discusses the „SheAsa Nissim LaAvotenu‟ in the synagogue. Can you say „SheAsa Nissim LaAvotenu‟ in the synagogue on Friday night? What‟s the question? Is SheAsa Nissim LaAvotenu considered part of the lighting or is it considered for the holiday? If you consider it part of the lighting so then already you are lighting the Menorah again, so just like you say Ner Chanukah, you would say SheAsa Nissim LaAvotenu. But if it is for the Holiday, you must then omit the second time in the synagogue. So let‟s understand Rabbi Pinchasi‟s analysis. The Chida has an interesting question by Purim. On the Megilah on Purim, we make Berachot before we read the Megilah. Let‟s say you don‟t have a Megilah, and you are not going to read the Megilah. So he says that you just make the Beracha of Shehechiynau for the holiday, and you don‟t say SheAsa Nissim LaAvotenu, because SheAsa Nissim LaAvotenu is for the Megialh. So too would be for Chanukah. If you don‟t have candles on Chanukah, and you are not going to see it and you are not going to be involved with it, so you would just say Shehechiynau for the holiday, but you would not say SheAsa Nissim LaAvotenu,

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because SheAsa Nissim LaAvotenu is actually for the lighting. So if it is for the lighting then you should make it in the synagogue. However, Rav Zvi Pesah Frank brings down other opinions from the Me‟eri and others that want to say NO. They say that „SheAsa Nissim LaAvotenu‟ is also for the holiday. They say it‟s not specifically for the lighting and therefore, if you made „SheAsa Nissim LaAvotenu‟ at home, it is considered done. It‟s like Shehechiynau. It‟s a Beracha of praise to Bore Olam. You praised him already. It‟s not considered a Beracha of the actual Mitzvah, and so you would not repeat it in shul. So we have a Machloket. Rabbi Pinchasi concludes, „Safek Berachot Lihakhel‟, meaning when it comes to making Berachot, we are always concerned, and take the opinion not to make the Beracha. This means that in we should not repeat „SheAsa Nissim LaAvotenu‟ in the synagogue. Halacha Lema'ase, according to Chacham Ovadia Yoseph in his Sefer Kol Sinai, we do not repeat „SheAsa Nissim LaAvotenu‟ in the synagogue, but rather only say it once at home. However, this is limited to Friday night only because we lit at home already. So on Friday nights, we say all the Berachot at home, but in the synagogue we only say the one Beracha of „Lehadlik Ner Chanukah‟. It should be pointed out that on the other nights of Chanukah that we light in the synagogue first, and so all the Berachot are made there. Our Halacha above only applies to Friday nights.

Is It A Torah Holiday, And If So Then Why Don’t We Add An Extra Day In Exile Like Pesach
There is a very interesting and important Ramban (Rav Moshe the son of Nachman 1194-1270) in his Sefer HaMitzvot Shoresh 2, about the way he looks at Holidays like Chanukah and Purim. Ramban quotes a Gemara Megila in the name of Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Korha who says [listen to the audio clip for the exact quote,] that when we left Egypt we left slavery, and we made a holiday with songs and Hallel, and so Kal Vachomer (learning more obvious lessons from less obvious lessons) since we were in mortal danger and we were saved from death and were brought to life, so all the more so, Kal Vachomer, we would have to celebrate it. So the Ramban is learning that there is a Kal Vachomer here. Now a Kal Vachomer has a status of Torah law. And the Torah Law thereby is saying that when Jews are saved from a life and death situation, there is an obligation from the Torah to celebrate. And it comes out according to the Ramban, for example like the holiday of Purim where we were in mortal danger, that the concept to celebrate Purim is a De‟Oraita (from the Torah.) The laws surrounding it and how to celebrate it are Rabbinical, but the concept is a De‟Oraita concept. The Chatam Sofer (Rav Moshe Sofer Schreiber 1763-1840) in Yore De‟ah siman 233 carries this over to apply also when it comes to Chanukah. Over there the danger was a spiritual danger, where there was a chance that the whole nation of Israel was going to be Hellenized (assimilated). Spiritual danger is even worse

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than a physical danger. So the Chatam Sofer says something amazing in that Chanukah in principal is from De‟Oraita. What is the practical Halachic difference here if a person does not make any commemoration of Chanukah whatsoever, and he doesn‟t do anything? If the week and the eight days passed and he didn‟t recognize it at all, then according to the Chatam Sofer on the Ramban, he went against the Torah. The lighting of the candles and saying the Al HaNissim are Rabbinical. Neglecting those are not a vioalation from the Torah, but if you do nothing, then you are going against the Torah. We were in mortal danger and were saved, and thus according to the Torah, one must praise and commemorate the event. This is an amazing concept. With this we discuss a famous question. Why then don‟t we celebrate nine days of Chanukah? Seemingly, we have a concept of „Sefeka Diyoma‟. On all the holidays we always added an extra day in exile just in case we are off with the exact dates. We add an extra day of Pesach, and we add an extra day of Succot, etc. So why don‟t we in exile, add an extra day and celebrate nine days of Chanukah? Especially since we understand based on Chatam Sofer, that Chanukah has a status of a Torah law, so therefore all the more so the question is strengthened. So then what‟s the difference between Chanukah and Pesach or Succot? The answer according to the Chatam Sofer is that the Torah concept of Chanukah can be fulfilled even on just one day. The eight days of Chanukah, the amount of days that you commemorate is Rabbinical. According to Chatam Sofer, so long as you did one thing once a year to commemorate such a miracle, you then fulfilled the Torah requirement. So since the amount of days that we are celebrating is Rabbinical, so therefore we don‟t say Sefeka DiYoma. We don‟t add an extra day on something that is from Rabbinical inception. But that should give us a little extra motivation when we are celebrating this holiday. It‟s not strictly from the Rabbis, but there is a Torah aspect on Chanukah and Purim. See Shut Beer Sarim Helek 3:20.

Should One Continue To Light If He Missed Lighting The Night Before
The question was asked in Halacha about a person who misses lighting one of the nights of Chanukah? Does he continue to light on the subsequent nights, or is he out for the remainder of the holiday since he broke the continuity? It‟s a funny question, but there‟s actually an opinion brought down by one of the Rishonim, Rabeinu Shelomo who holds that in deed if for whatever reason you didn‟t light and they didn‟t light for you, you are then out. He holds it has to be like Sefirat HaOmer where you must have continuity. The Halacha however, we do not hold like Rabeinu Shelomo. There‟s a big difference between Sefirat HaOmer and the candles of Chanukah. By Sefirat HaOmer, the Torah says „Temimot‟. The Torah says that it should be complete, and therefore if you miss a night in between so you are lacking the concept of „Temimot‟, of the completeness of the Mitzvah. By the Candles of

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Chanukah however, each night is a separate Mitzvah on its own. The proof is that we say „SheAssa Nissim La‟Avotenu BaYamim Hahem BaZeman HaZeh‟ every single night. Which means that each night was a separate miracle. Therefore the Halacha, according to the Rama in siman 673:2 (written by Rabbi Moses ben Israel Isserles), if a person misses a night of lighting for whatever reason, he does pick up on the following night, not making up. You can‟t make it up, but you just continue where you are up to. Now there‟s an interesting story told by one of the Rabbis. Before leaving the synagogue he used to ask the Shamosh (caretaker) what night of Chanukah are we up to? The Shamosh it seems was an Am Ha‟Aretz (an un-intelligent person), and would always state what the previous night was. For example last night was 3. . So the Rabbi was asked why he had always asked the Shamosh. He answered that he wanted to be „Melamed Zechut‟ (find a merit) for Am Yisrael (Jewish nation) by showing G-d how careful people were in the Mitzvot. The Rabbi said that the Shamosh figured that Ner (candles) Chanukah had an equal status of Sefirat Haomer, so therefore he would not mention which night it was because he thought it was a problem. We read the story and we think the Shamosh is not intelligent, but the Rabbi looks at it as a Zechut, that the people are so concerned that they want to do the Mitzvot the right way. The Shamosh was scared and each time said what the previous night was so that he wouldn‟t run into a problem. So the Halacha, you can answer a person, if one asks what night are we up to. There‟s no connection between Sefirat Haomer and Ner Chanukah.

Are Ladies Required To Say The Hallel on Chanukah
We are all aware that on the eight days of Chanukah we recite full Hallel with a Beracha. The question is asked, are ladies obligated in this Mitzvah of reciting Hallel, and if they are, do they say it with a Beracha? Well, there is a great dilemma on this Halacha, because Rambam (Rav Moshe ben Maimon 1135-1204) writes clearly that ladies are not obligated in the Hallel of Chanukah. The dilemma is why not? Ladies are obligated in the lighting of the candles of Chanukah, as the Gemara says that they were also involved in the miracle. So if they are obligated in the lighting so why wouldn‟t they be obligated in the recitation of the Hallel? What‟s the difference? The S‟de Chemed says that we know ladies are obligated to pray once a day from the Torah. Rambam however says a lady fulfills her obligation if she just says a personal prayer without actually reading the official Amidah. She can say a prayer of gratitude to Bore Olam, and state a simple request of her needs to Bore Olam. Of course our ladies pray the official Amidah, but from the Torah they fulfill the obligation by just stating a personal request. So too, says the S‟de Chemed when it comes to Hallel. If the Ladies would read a mizmor (song) of Tehilim, or if they would say a praise to Bore Olam in just one line, so according to Ramban they would have already fulfilled their obligation. And therefore, it‟s different from candles of Chanukah. By the candles the only way to fulfill is by lighting. But by Hallel, once the ladies say a Beracha already, that‟s considered as if they praised Bore Olam on that day. And therefore, for the ladies, we are lenient and they are not obligated to say the Hallel.

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Some Rabbis want to say that because the Hallel was established to commemorate the war effort, and since ladies are not involved in war effort, so therefore they are exempt from saying the Hallel. Halacha Lema‟ase (the bottom line), and Chacham Ovadia rules like this- Ladies can recite the Hallel but without the Beracha. (Yechave Da‟at, Helek 1:78.) Last but no least the Chatam Sofer (Rav Moshe Sofer Schreiber 1763-1840) writes that ladies in general do not even light the candles of Chanukah. They really rely on their husbands. He says that originally the Takana (decree) for lighting candles of Chanukah was not set for the ladies. The custom is that the men do the lighting. Why? He says because originally they used to light outside, and it wouldn‟t be modest for a lady to go outside and light the Menorah in front of the public domain. So therefore, the custom is that the husband does the lighting. Even by the Asheknazim where each one lights their own Menorah, the custom is that the wife does not light. (See Orach Hayim, siman 675: Mishna Berura Seif 9.) So again, while ladies are required in the lighting, they fulfill their obligation through their husband‟s lighting. They are not obligated in the Hallel, but can say it if they want but without a Beracha.

Is It Permissible To Use An Electric Menorah
Just one Halacha on the candles of Chanukah. The question was asked, whether it is permissible or not to use an electric Menorah. We see many times in windows that people put an electric Menorah. The Halacha writes that certainly not, one would not be allowed, and one would not have fulfilled his obligation by using such a Menorah. Actually, the Halacha is in doubt as to whether it‟s Kosher or not. So therefore, if a person does not have wicks and he does not have oil and he does not have candles or any of the other various things necessary to light, so then we tell him that he can light the electric Menorah without a Beracha. But this electric device has to be placed in an area that is uncommon, so it will be known that it is for Chanukah. Just turning on a light bulb would not accomplish that. You would have to take a lamp or other light fixture, and as example put it next to the window and plug it in. This can be your candles of Chanukah in such a case where you do not have any of the proper lighting items. But, you may NOT make the Beracha when lighting such an electric device. In the event you come to find some candles or oil wicks after lighting the electrical fixture, you would then light the candles or oil wicks with a Beracha. So really it should not be done at home nor in the synagogue. The Halacha says that the level of Kashrut in the synagogue should be the same as it is in the home. The last question asked today, is whether or not a person can light a gas burner as Ner (candle) of Chanukah. The Halacha says that this does not count, and it is invalid because you need a wick. A gas burner does not have a wick, and it is just keeping the flame alive.

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So again, if a person is in a place where he doesn‟t have anything, we tell him to light the electric device without a Beracha in a place where it is not normally placed, so that it would be clear and evident that it is for Chanukah. And if he would find candles or oil later, he would light them with a Beracha. (See Torat HaMoadim, siman 5:5)

Where Should The Menorah Be Placed
A seemingly basic question in the laws of Chanukah is where are you supposed to put the Menorah? Well, it‟s clear that in the olden days, and even some people today would place the Menorah on the outside of the home, either by the door or by the opening of the courtyard. There‟s a Machloket between Maran and The Rama as to exactly where you are supposed to put the Menorah when it‟s outside. (Orach Hayim, siman 671:5.) The question today is about the fact that the majority are lighting inside. When lighting inside, is there a preference to put the Menorah by the window or by the door? Now what is the concept of the door? The Gemara does mention that there was a concept to put the Menorah on the left side of the door post across from the Mezuza. The reason was in order that when you entered you would then be surrounded by Mitzvot. You have the Mezuza on one side and you have the Menorah on the other side. So the question is whether it would be better to put it by the door on the inside, or to put it by the window? Rabbi Feinstein has an interesting Teshuva (answer) on this (Orach Hayim, Helek 4, Teshuba 125.) And he bases it on what the Magen Avraham actually says, that this concept of putting by the door next to the Mezuza was really said when you were putting it outside. The main thing for Ner Chanukah is „Pirsum Hanes‟, which is the publicizing of the miracle so that people should see it. That‟s the main item. So when putting the Menorah outside for people to see, the question in that regard is whether to put the Menorah on the left or right of the door post. But once you put the Menorah inside, it would be best to put it by the window. Pirsum Hanes, the publicizing of the miracle, would override putting it by the door. Because if you are going to put it by the door, then only the people in the home would see it, and those outside would not see it. So the more Pirsum Hanes you are able to have, the better. Therefore the Halacha, if one is lighting inside, it would be more proper to put it by a window that is facing the public, than to put it by the door across from the Mezuza. It‟s another story if you were to place the Menorah outside. Pirsum Hanes is from the laws of Chanukah. The putting it by the Mezuza is a technicality only after you have Pirsum Hanes. And therefore the Rabbi himself writes in the Teshuvah that he himself had a window and he put it in front of the window in order that the public would see it. And that would be Halacha Lema‟ase. If you have a window in front of the house where the public domain could see, that would be better than putting it by the door opposite the Mezuza.

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The Issue of Floating Wicks
Today we are discussing a thought in the laws of Menorah Lighting for those who are Medakdek BaMitzvot, for those that are careful and want to do the Mitzvot with precision. First as prerequisite to our thought, it is a preferable to light the Menorah using olive oil. The reason being is because that‟s the oil that was used in the Bet Hamikdash. So we are commemorating it, and performing it similar to the way it was done in the times of the Bet Hamikdash. Second, is that according to the Halacha, you fulfill the Mitzvah at the time of the lighting. Which means, so long as you have the right amount of oil, and you lit the wick and it caught properly, and it lasted even for a moment, Halacha says that you fulfilled the Mitzvah. That‟s the rule of Kafta En Zakuk Lah. If it lasted even for a small amount of time, even for a moment on its own, you would have then fulfilled the Mitzvah, so long as there was sufficient oil to last at least a half hour. The thought today would be regarding floating wicks. What are floating wicks? It‟s when you have a cork that is a floater with a hole in the middle, and you have wicks that are coated with wax. So it‟s a stiff wick which is coated with wax in order that you can get the wick through the hole. You float it and you light it. But what‟s happening here? If you do the study even by yourself, you will come to determine that for the first few seconds (meaning five or ten seconds), that the flame is being fueled by the wax. And therefore technically, although you lit the candles and in fact fulfilled the basic Mitzvah, however, you didn‟t fulfill the Mitzvah with olive oil. The olive oil doesn‟t kick in until after the wax melts. We did the studies and we analyzed exactly how these wicks work. Again, this is for those who are careful and want to do the Mitzvot the best way with oil. So the first solution would be to light these wicks first in order to melt the wax. Or the second option would be to scrape the wax off, which is not so easy on these wicks. Now dunking it in oil is not going to help the situation. Because when you light a saturated wick, it would be the oil upon the wick which becomes ignited, and not the wick itself. According to the Halacha you have to light a wick, and not the oil, and by soaking the wick you would have the same problem as lighting a wick with wax on it. I am not going to say this as Halacha, because this is already a big Chidush (something new). But it‟s brought down in some Sefarim (books) and we are concerned about it. So I say this as food for thought for those who are using floating wicks, and who want to be careful to do the Mitzvot in the best way. On the Holiday of Chanukah, we do the Mitzvot much more than we are obligated to do in the first place. This is known as „Mitzvot Mehadrin Min HaMehadrin‟. All you have to do is light one candle, but we go beyond the call of duty. So in the spirit of Mehadrin Min HaMehadrin, we are saying on the floating wicks, that maybe one should light it first to melt down the wax, or use a regular wick without any wax on it in order to have the first light from the oil itself.

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Can Mourners Say Hallel on Chanukah or Rosh Chodesh, and Is It Permissible To Have An Arayat on Chanukah
The question is asked in Halacha regarding the laws of Avelut, (the laws of mourning) on Chanukah. Do mourners say the Hallel while in the first seven days of mourning in the home? Well we know that when it comes to Rosh Chodesh, our custom is that mourners do not say Hallel. There are different reasons given. One reason is because the deceased is by the house during this time and it says in the Pasuk, “Lo Hametim Yehaliluya,” that the dead can not praise G-d. Therefore it would be considered as if you are teasing the deceased when you are saying the Hallel that he can‟t say. So on Rosh Chodesh it‟s clear that mourners do not say the Hallel. The question today is about Chanukah. The Mishna Berura written by the Chafetz Cahyim says that mourners also don‟t say it on Chanukah (Orach Hayim 131:20). However, Rav Chida (Rav Chaim Yoseif David Azulai 1724-1806) wants to say there‟s a difference between Chanukah and Rosh Chodesh. Since Hallel of Chanukah is by decree as opposed to Rosh Chodesh which is by custom, so the therefore the mourners would say Hallel on Chanukah in the home of a mourner with a Beracha. (Shut Mahazik Beracha, siman 683.) Our custom on Rosh Chodesh, is that mourners would not say Hallel, but the rest of the people in the Minyan do say the Hallel. The mourners would usually walk into a different room, and the congregants would stay in the same room. Sometimes the mourners can stay in the same room. The Rabbis can determine that based on where the deceased passed away. If the death occurred in the house, then they should walk out. But if he died outside the house, then the mourners can stay in the room while Hallel is being recited. So Halacha Lema‟ase- Hallel can be said by the mourners on Chanukah, even though they do not say it on Rosh Chodesh. (See Chayim VaHessed by Rabbi Shemuel Pinchasi, page 145.) Another question regarding mourners is whether or not you can make an Arayat (remembrance) on Chanukah? For example, the 30 days are up or let‟s say it‟s the anniversary and you want to make a Tehilim reading and the speeches. Can it be done on Chanukah? The Halacha says that it is permissible. Since the whole purpose of the Arayat is to bring people back to Teshuva, and to inspire them, and to motivate them, and to speak Divre Torah, so it‟s not considered mourning on the holiday. On the contrary, it‟s inspiration. Therefore the Halacha- if one wants to schedule a reading for the deceased on Chanukah itself, it would be permissible. (See Chayim VaHessed by Rabbi Shemuel Pinchasi, page 336.)

Why Do We Not Insert A Prayer Of Chanukah In Me’en Shalosh
Just one question that was asked in the subject of Chanukah. We know that in Birkat Hamazon we mention Al Hanisim and Bime Matitya. So the question was, how come there is no insert for Chanukah in the Berachot of Me‟en Shalosh

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(which is the Al Hamichya, and Al Hagefen etc.)? We do make an insertion for Pesach, for Succot, for Rosh Chodesh, and for Shabbat. So how come there is no insertion there for the holiday of Chanukah? So in the Shut Minchat Ani (written by Rabbi Yaakov Ettlinger 1798-1871) a very beautiful explanation is given why we don‟t insert in Me‟en Shalosh. There is a Gemara in Berachot that talks about an abridged version of the Amidah. That version is called „Havinenu‟. In that prayer it has the first three Berachot, the last three Berachot, and all the middle Berachot just have a one line mention. We don‟t say Havinenu today, yet it was mentioned in the Gemara. That Gemara concludes that we don‟t say Havinenu on Motzae Shabbat (Saturday nights), because we would have to insert „Ata Chonantanu‟. Rabeinu Yona explains that we don‟t want to insert Ata Chonantanu because people might then think that Ata Chonantanu deserves its own Beracha in the Amidah, and Ata Chonantanu is not its own Beracha. It‟s part of „Ata Chonen La‟adam Daat‟, and as such, we should not confuse people into thinking that it deserves its own Beracha. Each line in Havinenu is representing another Beracha of the Amidah, so therefore you would have to skip Ata Chonantanu. Rabenu Yona is very clear about why we don‟t say Havinenu on Motzae Shabbat. The Minchat Ani says that Al Hanisim and Bime Matitya, when said in the Birkat Hamazon, is considered an insert. It is not a special Beracha in the Birkat Hamazon. But, if we would add an insert in the Beracha Me‟en Shalosh, people might come to think that Al Hanisim and Bime Matitya deserve their own Beracha. This forces us to question our prayers during Pesach, Shavuot and Succot. The Ya‟ale Veyavo is said then and it is not considered a special blessing. Yet, we do insert for these holidays in the Me‟en Shalosh. Why then is there no insert in Me‟en Shalosh during Chanukah? The answer is that if you forget the Ya‟ale Veyavo in the Birkat Hamazon, then there is a Beracha that you make after the Beracha of Bone Yerushalayim, which would be „Baruch Ata Hashem…. Shenatan Shabbatot Veyamim Tovim etc‟. So since Pesach, Succot, and Shabbat do have a Beracha in the event that you missed it, it follows then that there is an insertion during these holidays. But, on Chanukah we read Al Hanisim which if forgotten has no Beracha in Birkat HaMazon at all, so we leave it out in the Me‟en Shalosh. This leads us to another question. The insert for Shabbat, and the insert for Yamim Tovim in Me‟en Shalosh is said after „Ubnei Yerushalyim Ir Hakodesh‟. However, if you look in Birkat HaMazon, the Ya‟ale Veyavo and Ritze V‟Chaliztenu are mentioned before Bone Yerushalayim. So the question is asked why do we insert after the Bone Yersuhalayim in Me‟en Shalosh, if we insert before in the Birkat Hamazon? The answer is because each insertion is corresponding to a Beracha. If you miss Ya‟ale VeYavo or Ritze V‟Chaliztenu, you insert the Beracha only after Bone Yerushalayim. Therefore in Me‟en Shalosh the insertion also comes after Bone Yerushalyim corresponding to where the Beracha would be in Birkat HaMazon.

Lighting An Extra Candle On Rosh Chodesh Tevet
There is an interesting custom that the Ben Ish Chai in Parashat VaYeshev (Hlacha 28) brings down for Rosh Chodesh Tevet. He said there is a custom in

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the Shul to light a special candle on Rosh Chodesh Tevet for the respect and remembrance of Rabbi Meir Ba‟al HaNes. It‟s brought down by the great Mikubal Rav Saliman Musafi, that when ever you give charity in memory of one of the Tzadikim, or when you light a candle in memory of one of the Tzadikim, you say „Hareni Noten Tzadaka‟ or „Hareni Madlik Ner Ze‟ continuing with „Lichvod Adonenu VeRabenu HaTzadik [name] Ben [name]‟ instead of “Lielu Nishmat”. So he is saying that you shouldn‟t say, Lielu Nishmat (for the soul of.) So on Rosh Chodesh Tevet, one should say that they are lighting the candle in honor of our esteemed Rabbi Meir Ba‟al Hanes. It is always a big Zechut (commemoration) to light candles in their honor for they represent and stand for us in Shamayim (heaven.) Therefore the custom again, on Rosh Chodesh Tevet is to light an extra candle. You should light on the night or day of Rosh Chodesh itself, which means you light on the night or day of the first of Tevet. (You do not light on the night of the 30th of Kislev, when Rosh Chodesh is two days.) You light it away from the Menorah, aside from the Menorah. You light an extra candle, out of respect for the Tzadik Rabbi Meir Ba‟al Hanes. Furthermore one does not have to light this memorial candle at the same time that he is lighting the Menorah. It may be done before or after.

The Requirement of Lighting Falls Upon The House
It‟s clear from Maran, that ladies are also obligated in the Mitzvah of Ner (lighting) Chanukah as well as the men. And therefore, they also are able to light. The Chafetz Chayim in his commentary Bi‟ur Halacha (Orach Hayim 675:1) writes that it would not be proper for the wife to light when the husband is home, based on the Gemara Berachot 20, that says „cursed is the man that lets his wife fulfill for him his Mitzvah.‟ The Gemara although says that Rabbi Zera would let his wife light for him, but that was because he was in the Yeshivah and not at home. Since the Mitzvah to light is on the house, and Rabbi Zera couldn‟t light since he was away, he therefore was allowed to let his wife light for him. The Pinei Yehoshua (written by Reb Yaakov Yehoshua Falk Katz, 1680-1755) learns this concept that the Mitzvah of Chanukah is on the house from the language of the Gemara. The Gemara says “Mitzvat Chanukah Ner Ish U‟Beto.” (The Mitzvah is the lightning by the people of the household.) I saw an explanation why Ner Chanukah is different, that the obligation „so to speak‟, is on the house? So the explanation is about one of the decrees of the Greeks which is not so well known. The Greeks made the Jewish people keep their doors open. Some even say that the Greeks actually knocked down their doors. The Greeks did this because they tried to affect and influence the Kidusha (holiness) and the modesty of the Jewish home. When the door is open, everyone could see right through negating modesty, and all the outside influences of the street are able to penetrate. That was the Greek plan. They wanted to compromise the Jewish home. And since it was one of the plans of the Greek to destroy the Bet (house) of Israel, so therefore the Mitzvah is to sanctify the Bet of Israel.

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So it‟s an obligation on the house. We are coming along and lighting the Menorah in order to try and fix exactly what the Greeks were trying to eradicate from us. The Halacha, if a man would find himself away out of town on the holiday, and his wife is home, he would appoint his wife, and his wife would light at the proper time, and he and the house would be fulfilling the obligation through his wife. And there is no problem of the curse. (See Torat HaMoadim siman 2:1.)

If One Forgets Al Hanisim in Birkat Hamazon
Halacha writes that one is supposed to say „Al Hanisim‟ and „Bime Matitya‟ on Chanukah in the Amidah. Halacha also writes that one should include these additions in Birkat Hamazon. The question is what if one forgot „Al Hanisim‟ and „Bime Matitya‟ in the Birkat Hamazon? How does he deal with it? So the Halacha writes that he goes back to „Al Hanisim‟ if he remembered before he said the Chatima of the Beracha of „Baruch Ata Hashem Al HaArtez VeAl Hamazon‟. If he said „Baruch Ata‟ already but remembers before saying Hashem‟s name, so he goes back to „Al Hanisim‟ and „Bime Matitya‟, and then he goes back to „V‟Al Hakol‟. However, if he remembers after saying „Baruch Ata Hashem‟, he should then finish „Al Ha‟Aretz VeAl Hamazon‟. Now there is a Pasuk, „Baruch Ata Adonai Lamedani Chukecha‟, which sometimes we are able to use in order to save us from the mistakes, but in this case you can not say this Pasuk, since Al Hanisim does not in any way cause you to repeat the Birkat Hamazon if you forgot it. But the Rama (Rabbi Moses ben Israel Isserles 1525-1572) in Orach Hayim 682:1 writes, that if you forget to say „Al Hanisim‟ and „Bime Matitya‟ it would then be proper after finishing the HaRachamans, to say, „HaRachamn Hu Ya'ase Lanu Nissim Niflaot Ka‟Asher Asita La‟Avotenu Bayamim Hahem Bezeman Hazeh Bime Matitya Kohen Gadol‟. So if you forget Al Hanisim‟ and „Bime Matitya‟ and you remember after you say „Baruch Ata Hashem Al HaArtez VeAl Hamazon‟, you would then add this line at the end of the HaRachamans. (See Torat HaMoadim by Rabbi David Yoseph in siman 9:12.)

Is A Student Required To Light The Menorah If Dorming Away At School
There is a Machloket between the Sephardim and the Ashkenazim as to exactly who lights the Menorah. According to the Sephardim, the Ba‟al Habayit (the head of the household) lights one Menorah. When he lights the Menorah he is representing all the inhabitants of the house, and he is fulfilling the Mitzvah for them. The rest of the family does not light once the head of the household lights. This is based on the opinion of how the Tosafot (various scholars of the 12th and 13th centuries) understood the Gemara.

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Ashkenazim hold differently. Every member in an Ashkenaz family lights his own Menorah. This is based on the opinion of how HaRambam (Rav Moshe ben Maimon 1135-1204) understood the Gemara. The Sha‟arei Teshuva written by Rav Chaim Mordechai Margoliyot (in the 1800s) brings down from the Taz (Rabbeinu David HaLevi 1586-1667) that we have here a rare situation whereby Sephardim follow the Tosafot and the Ashkenazim follow HaRambam. We do not find this in any another place. So there is an interesting question about a Sephardi who is away from home studying. For example, a young man who lives in New York may be in Israel studying for the year. Should this student light the Menorah on his own in the Yeshiva in Israel, or can he rely on the Menorah that is being lit by the head of his household back in New York? Chacham Ovadia Yoseph addresses this question in Yichave Da‟at, in Helek 6, siman 43. He comes out clearly that the Sephardic student who is away from home does in fact rely on the lighting made by the head of household even if he is 5000 miles away. This Sephardic young man does not light in the Yeshivah or in his dormitory. But if he wants to be Machmir, he may light without a Beracha, and that would be advisable. (See Torat HaMoadim, siman 2:7) The Halacha is different for an Ashkenazic student. The Ashkenazim each light for themselves, and so the Ashkenazi student will light when away from home and with a Beracha. This principal of relying on the head of household applies to Sephardim in all cases when they are away from home. The head of household or substitute, lights the Menorah, and that lighting would count for all the members of the house no matter where they are. (For additional details, see the Daily Halacha entitled “Chanukah- The Requirement of Lighting Falls Upon The House.”)

Should We Light The Menorah Before or After The Berachot and Is It Permissible To Light The Menorah At A Chanukah Party
Let‟s address 2 questions that were asked in the laws of Chanukah. The first question asked is when do we make the Berachot in the sequence of Menorah of Lighting? According to Halacha, on the first night of Chanukah we make 3 Berachot and one should not light the first candle until after he completes all the Berachot. One says, „Lihadlik Ner Chanukah‟, followed by „SheAsa Nisim L‟Avotenu…‟ which is then followed by the Beracha of „Shehechiynau‟. Only after one says the Beracha of Shehechiynau may he begin to light the candles. On the subsequent nights one makes the first two Berachot and then only after he completes them may he then start to light the candles. Now, according to the Siddur Kavanot HaRashash written by the great Mikubal, Rabbi Shalom Sharabi (1720-1777), one should light the Menorah after the Beracha of „Lihadlik Ner Chanukah‟. Meaning one lights after „Lihadlik Ner Chanukah‟ but prior to „SheAsa Nisim L‟Avotenu…‟. That is the opinion of the Rashash, but that is not how the majority follow. That procedure applies only to those people who are of Kabalistic mind set and have specific thoughts that are

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required after lighting and before making the subsequent Berachot. Most of us are not experienced and are not entrenched in the Kabalah, and therefore, we (the majority) follow the basic way as brought down by Maran in the Bet Yoseph, which says all the Berachot precede the lighting. (See Torat HaMoadim siman 6:8.) The second question asked is if whether or not it is permissible to light the Menorah at Chanukah parties. Many people get together at Chanukah parties, and they want to light „Lichvod Pirsum Hanes‟ (to glorify the miracle of the holiday.) Would this be permissible? Halacha says that they are allowed to light the Menorah but without a Beracha. The only time we light with a Beracha outside the home is in the synagogue. For that matter, there is great debate if it is even acceptable to make the Beracha in the synagogue. So, the Beracha should not be made anywhere outside the home except at the synagogue, but only where there was a Tikun enacted to light, which can only be where a Minyan gathers regularly for the purpose of Tefilah. So therefore, lighting at a party can only be without a Beracha even if it is in the synagogue, for it is not the appointed medium which was designated for lighting. However, praying Arbit at the party does constitute the venue as an authorized Bet Keneset even though it is temporary. This is the opinion of Chacham Ovadia Yoseph as indicated in Torat HaMoadim in siman 7:16. So again, the only place one may be permitted to light outside the home with a Beracha would be a synagogue where a Minyan gathers regularly, and not a Chanukah party. However they may make the Berachot at the party if they will pray Arbit after the lighting.

Should One Say Mezonot On A Fried Jelly Donut That Is Eaten For Dessert
The Minhag on Chanukah is to eat foods that were fried in oil. It seems that this is part of the remembrance of the miracle that took place with oil. There is also a custom to eat donuts, more specifically jelly donuts that are fried. So it is worthy to say one Halacha regarding the jelly donuts. Is the Beracha of Mezonot required before eating jelly donuts if it is the dessert of a meal for which you washed and made HaMotzih? We are familiar with the Halacha that says the HaMotzih covers most foods that are used for dessert. This includes normal Mezonot items like cakes and cookies. The HaMotzih covers these items because we are not sure if they are definitely considered “Pat Haba'a Be-Kisnin”, which is when we say Mezonot. Now there is a debate as to what constitutes “Pat Haba'a Be-Kisnin.” Some Rabbis say it is considered “Pat Haba'a Be-Kisnin” when it is kneaded with honey or sugar like a cookie. Others say it is when the food has the properties of a pocket type structure like a turnover. And yet others say it is when the food is crunchy like a pretzel. So since there is doubt as to which of these constitute a Mezonot, we therefore accept upon ourselves that the HaMotzih covers desserts such as cakes, cookies, turnovers, pretzels, etc. (For further understanding of this, please see the Daily Halacha entitled “When One Must Say Birkat Mezonot after saying Birkat HaMotzih.”)

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However, with regards to the fried jelly donut, there is no controversy among the Poskim. A jelly donut qualifies as a definite Mezonot. Firstly because it is fried and according to most Poskim, fried makes it a Mezonot. Furthermore it is sweet and the property of a pocket. Therefore it qualifies as a Mezonot even after one made HaMotzih in the seuda. Halacha Lema'ase, according to the Birkat Hashem in Helek 3, Page 375 (written by Rabbi Moshe HaLevi), if one is eating a fried jelly donut as a dessert to a meal for which he washed and made HaMotzih, he nonetheless must make a Mezonot because the HaMotzih does not cover the jelly donut.

Is It Permissible To Store Menorah Oil Under A Bed or Eat Foods From Under A Bed
The Ben Ish Chai has a Halacha that might not be so applicable by Chanukah but has applications outside of Chanukah. He discusses oil that is placed under a bed where somebody sleeps. It seems that was where some stored their oil. He holds that this oil is Pasul (not kosher), and it is not worthy to use this oil to light the Menorah of Chanukah. According to the Ben Ish Chai in Parashat VaYeshev, Halacha 12, when you leave food under a bed, there‟s a bad spirit on it, and it becomes possessed with that spirit and it becomes inedible. And since food is considered inedible so then it‟s also considered improper for the Mitzvah of candle lighting also. If you can‟t eat from there, so then you can‟t use oil from there for the Mitzvah. He quotes a Pasuk [listen to the audio clip for the exact quote,] that basically says that if you wouldn‟t bring food from under a bed to a human being, and as such you can‟t bring this oil to Bore Olam as a Mitzvah. So the Ben Ish Chai‟s opinion is quite clear. Not only does that food (including oil) left under a bed become unviable for a Mitzvah, but it becomes also not viable for eating purposes. Chacham Ovadia is also concerned about the bad spirits on foods left under a bed, and he holds Lechatchila, that one should not eat those foods. However, he writes that there are some opinions that say this only is talking about where you put the food on the actual ground itself which is where the bad spirit is able to posses the food. But our homes either have a rug or tile where you are not actually putting it on live ground. So he says if it‟s a situation of Hefsed Merubah, where if discarded you would suffer a great loss, then you would be allowed to eat it, and for that matter you would be allowed to use oil from there for candles of Chanukah. (Halichot Olam, Helek 1, Page 67.) Now for us, Hefsed Merubah is not so applicable. I am bringing this Halacha to your attention because it is quite common for children to sometimes take their snacks and put it underneath their bed. They put it there sometimes before they go to sleep, or sometimes because they want to hide their candies. Those snacks are not considered Hefsed Merubah, and therefore, one should not let their children eat those foods because they have a bad spirit on them. You should discard them. Chacham Ovadia was talking about where you have a whole carton of goods underneath the bed. That‟s considered Hefsed Merubah (a large loss), so there already he‟s lenient to use the oil and use it for candles of Chanukah.

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So the Halacha, if oil is left underneath a bed, it would still be Kasher for candle lighting of Chanukah. However, when it comes to eating, only when it is Hefsed Merubah (suffering a great loss), would it be permissible to use, but in all other cases eating this food would be forbidden.

Is It Necessary To Have 10 People At The Synagogue To Light The Menorah
There is a question asked in Halacha about the Minhag (custom) of lighting the Menorah in the synagogue. The question is whether or not we need to have ten people in the synagogue at the time of the lighting? Is it enough that eventually ten people will come and see the candles already lit? This custom of lighting candles in the synagogue is actually questionable itself. For example, the Maharal (Rabbi Judah Loew, 1525-1609) questioned the Minhag and he refrained from it altogether. However, others bring down that it‟s to commemorate that they used to light the candles in the Bet Hamkidash, so therefore we replicate it by lighting in the synagogue. In any event Maran in Orach Hayim 671:7 does bring down the Halacha, that it is our Minhag to light in synagogue with a Beracha. However, there‟s a Machloket between the Magen Avraham (Rav Avraham Avli ben Chaim HaLevi Gombiner 1633-1683) and the Mor U‟kitzea as to whether or not you need ten people there at the time of the lighting. The Magen Avraham says that ten people are not required so long as people will come after. The Mor U‟kitzea disagrees with this and says that you need ten people there at the time of menorah lighting. The Chafetz Chayim in his Bi'ur Halacha in Orach Hayim 671:7 brings support to the ruling of Magen Avraham. And he says that lighting of the candles of Chanukah is not the only Mitzvah, but it is a Mitzvah also to look at them. We have a law that says if a person doesn‟t light the Menorah, so in certain situations he can make a Beracha just by looking at the Menorah. Therefore, if it‟s Friday afternoon and you have to light before sunset and the congregation trickles in to synagogue in a little late because they are lighting their own Menorah, and you don‟t have 10 people in the synagogue yet, so the Bi‟ur Halacha says that you can rely on the Magen Avraham. However that is not the opinion of Kaf Hachayim and it‟s not the opinion of the Ben Ish Chai in Rav Paalim, Helek 2:62. They both say (ibid:72) that the Halacha follows the Mor U‟kitzea, specifically in a case where you have Safek Berachot (a doubt as to whether or not to make the Beracha). Therefore, we are going to say Safek Berachot Likahel. (That when it comes to making the Berachot, we are always concerned and take the opinion not to make the Beracha.) Halacha Lema‟ase (the bottom line): on a Friday afternoon, (which is just one practical case,) where it is almost Shabbat and there are only 6 or 7 people that came to the synagogue so far, and you don‟t have yet a Minyan, Halacha says you light the light Menorah in the synagogue, however without a Beracha. That‟s why we have to remind the people to come early before Shikea (sunset) in order

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to fulfill this Mitzvah of lighting the Menorah with a Beracha. But if there is no Minyan, then at the time of the lighting there will be no Beracha.

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