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Laws regarding lighting Chanukah candles

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The whole point of lighting the Chanukah candles is to publicize the miracle of Chanukah.

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									Laws regarding lighting Chanukah candles

Ideally, the Chanukah candles should be lit as soon as the stars appear. If one cannot do so,
the candles can be lit throughout the night as long as there are still household members
awake or if there are people passing by in the street- walking or in cars. The whole point of
lighting the Chanukah candles is to publicize the miracle of Chanukah. Therefore, if no-one is
around to see the lights and household members are asleep, one lights the Chanukah
candles without a blessing. In the event that the night passes by and one has failed to light
Chanukah candles, they cannot be kindled during the day and one simply must continue
lighting according to the appropriate night when the sun sets the following day.

It is prohibited to eat or drink intoxicating liquids for the half an hour before kindling the
Chanukah lights. Once the prescribed time arrives, even the study of Torah is prohibited
until the Chanukah lights are lit! Once the stars appear, the evening prayers are recited and
the Chanukah lights are lit immediately after.

The Chanukah candles should last for at least half an hour after stars appear in the sky. For
those who light at sunset, one should ensure that the candles are large enough to last for a
minimum of fifty minutes, so as to ensure that the candles last the prescribed thirty minutes
after the stars come out.

If one realizes after the Chanukah lights that there is insufficient oil to last a half hour, one
may not add oil; rather one must extinguish the lights, then add more oil, re-recite the
blessing and re-kindle the lights.

In the case of putting excess oil in the Chanukiya lamps, one may extinguish the lamps after
the prescribed half-hour if one wishes to use the excess oil for the following night. If one had
in mind when lighting the lights that he would use the remaining oil for another purpose, he
may do after the prescribed half-hour.

If one of the lights goes out within the prescribed half-hour period, one should rekindle it
without reciting a blessing. If one fails to rekindle it, one has still fulfilled one's obligation of
lighting the Chanukah lights.

As long as the Chanukah lights burn- whether within or after the obligatory half-hour, one
may not use their light for personal benefit, nor move them. After the half-hour if one
wishes to make use of them, one must extinguish them and then one may reuse them.

								
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