web analytics
April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



A Summary of Chanukah Laws


Menorah 2

Share Button

Therefore, the OTHER opinion is that Chanuka candles go first and then havdala. Remember: Shabbat must be over – both with time and havdala words – before one may light Chanuka candles. And this procedure comes with the additional reminder not to use the Chanuka candles for havdala (or even to light the havdala candle from one of the Chanuka candle), since one may not benefit from the Chanuka lights, and the bracha in havdala is specifically upon using the light (hence the examining of fingernails, etc.). Chanuka candles first is the opinion of the Vilna Gaon and many others, and is Minhag Yerushalayim. (Remember that not everyone in Yerushalayim follows the practices known as Minhag Yerushalayim and some people elsewhere do.)

So which is it? This dispute is one of the few in halacha that is resolved: “Whichever opinion you follow, you have performed correctly”. Either procedure may be followed. Family and community custom should play a deciding role in this issue. Again, a Rav should be consulted, especially if one is considering a change of his/her practice.

Some add that those who light outdoors should follow the custom of lighting before havdala. Those who light indoors can take their pick. Remember: Shabbat is paramount. In case of doubt as to whether Shabbat is being encroached upon, one should NOT light Chanuka candles yet. It must be DEFINITELY after Shabbat before lighting. But one should not unnecessarily delay the fulfillment of the mitzva of Chanuka candles. A note for Rabeinu Tam people: Those who end Shabbat throughout the year 72 minutes after sunset and consider it to be the correct halachic time, must keep it on Motza’ei Shabbat Chanuka, even though it means losing “prime time” for Chanuka candles. Those who hold Rabeinu Tam as a CHUMRA (a strict measure, but consider the earlier time as halachic), may end Shabbat earlier on Motza’Sh Chanuka, in order to fulfill the mitzva of Chanuka candles at their better time.

In shul, by the way, it is the universal practice to light Chanuka candles before saying havdala, this to maximize Pirsumei Nisa in a situation where everyone present will be leaving for home shortly. At home, people will still be there for the Chanuka candles, so there is no need to light before havdala (according to those who follow the first opinion).

A nice touch!

Those who say havdala first can light the Shamash for the Chanuka candles with the havdala candle before extinguishing it, thus dovetailing the two mitzvot.Those who follow the second opinion can light the havdala candle from the Shamash (not one of the Chanuka candles), thereby dovetailing one mitzva into another.

On Motza’ei Shabbat, when we light after Stars-Out, it is sufficient for the candles to burn for half an hour. Still, it is preferable that they last longer. This has to do with the fact that in our time, people are out in the streets later than in times past and Pirsumei Nisa (publicizing the miracle) applies later than the original “half-hour after stars-out”.

More on timing…

If, because of one’s work or travel schedule, one has to choose between lighting early or late, or between lighting early or appointing someone to light for you at the proper time, or between lighting late and appointing someone to light for you at the proper time – one should consult a Rav for a p’sak based on how early and how late, and any other relevant factors.

Sometimes a less-than-perfect performance of a mitzva is a fine, acceptable “second best”. Sometimes, not. Lighting Chanuka candles early or late is a poor second, at best (except when Shabbat insists on early or late, depending upon which end of Shabbat is at issue). Lighting early lacks an element of Pirsumei Nisa at the time of lighting – which is when the mitzva is performed – because a candle flame is not eye-catching during full daylight. Lighting late is not so good because of the time-period for Pirsumei Nisa from the days of the Gemara remains the optimum time (and some say the ONLY time) for the fulfillment of the mitzva. Although we follow other opinions, and basically allow lighting any time of the night, it is far less than ideal to light late. A “good” excuse makes it okay, but not great.

One should consult a Rav especially for recurring situations, such as coming home late from work or school, and the like. Remember that having someone light for you is a valid alternative to your lighting for yourself, and sometimes it is even the preferred alternative. Ask your Rav.

Other matters…

Many shuls sing L’CHA DODI to the tune of MA’OZ TZUR on Leil Shabbat Chanuka. And, of course, at the table, there are many Chanuka songs to add to your usual Friday night repertoire of Z’mirot and songs. Remember, although Chanuka does not require a SEUDAT MITZVA, any meal (especially, but not only, on Shabbat) with songs, stories, and relevant Divrei Torah becomes a special Chanuka Seuda.

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “A Summary of Chanukah Laws”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Putin-Obama Meme 1
Egypt Signing Unprecedented $3 Billion MiG-35 Deal with Russia
Latest Judaism Stories
Reiss-041814-King

Amazingly, each and every blade was green and moist as if it was just freshly cut.

PTI-041814

All the commentaries ask why Hashem focuses on the Exodus as opposed to saying, “I am Hashem who created the entire world.”

Leff-041814

Someone who focuses only on the bones of the Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

“Who is wise? One who learns from each person” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

In Judaism, to be without questions is a sign not of faith, but of lack of depth.

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

Reckoning Time
‘Three Festivals, Even Out Of Order’
(Beizah 19b)

Two husbands were there to instruct us in Texas hold ‘em – and we needed them.

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

According to the Rambam, the k’nas applies to any chametz on Pesach with which one could, in theory, transgress the aveirah – even if no transgression actually occurred.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

More Articles from OU Israel
Menorah 2

The following general overview of Chanukah laws – Chag Sameach!

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/judaism-101/a-summary-of-chanukah-laws/2011/12/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: