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BDJ Chanukah Events

Halacha How-Tos ๐Ÿ•Ž Chanukah 2023

Candle Lighting: 

The first night of Chanukah this year is Thursday night. Women and men are equally included in the obligation to light. Ideally, we light our Chanukah lights around 25 minutes after sundown, but later in the evening is also alright. The only place where we can fulfill the mitzvah of lighting is in our own home (or if we are out of town, in the place that we will be sleeping that night. (More on traveling during Chanukah, below). It is preferable to light at a time and in a place where others will see the lights, whether those others are outside our home or inside. In the end, even if by the time you arrive at home your neighbors are all asleep and there is no one besides you in the house, you should nonetheless light. (Shulchan Aruch 672, Shaโ€™ar Hatziyun 17)

Many have the practice that wife and husband do not each light, rather one lights with the other in mind. This practice seems rooted in the original Talmudic articulation of the mitzvah as โ€œone light, a man and his householdโ€.  Indeed it is this concept that allows a spouse who is travelling to fulfill the mitzvah through the lighting that the other spouse will do at home. At the same time, our common Ashkenazic practice of each member of the household lighting their own lights, points to a preference for each spouse lighting. The Mishna Brurah nonetheless maintains that spouses constitute one unit when it comes to Chanukah lights, while Rav Lichtenstein ztโ€l wrote that the tradition in both the Soloveitchik household (in which his wife grew up) as well as in his own household was for both spouses to light.

On most nights of Chanukah we make sure to light a light that has enough fuel (oil or wax) to enable it to remain burning for 30 minutes.  On the Friday night of Chanukah, when we need to light before sundown, we should light lights that will last until an hour after sundown.

If you are travelling out of town over Chanukah you have several options for lighting. First, as already mentioned above, if there is an adult member of the household who is lighting, that person can discharge the obligation for all of the members of the household, presuming that the lighter as well as the travelers all have this intention. Nonetheless, whenever it is possible to do so, it is preferable for the traveler(s) to light his or her own anyway, both because personal participation is always preferable, and because part of the Mitzva is to see the lights and to think about the miracle. (โ€œSeeingโ€ is so significant in fact, that if a person is simply unable to light his own lights, but sees the lights that another has lit, she should recite the bracha ืฉืขืฉื” ื ื™ืกื™ื.) If you (and your family) are staying with relatives out-of-town, then you have the option of making a financial contribution to the cost of the candles or oil and participating in the lighting that your hosts are doing, though once again, if you can light your own lights, thatโ€™s always the first choice.


Brachot: 

ื‘ืจื•ื“ ืืชื” ื”' ืืœืงื™ื ื• ืžืœืš ื”ืขื•ืœื ืืฉืจ ืงื“ืฉื ื• ื‘ืžืฆื•ืชื™ื• ื•ืฆื•ื ื• ืœื”ื“ืœื™ืง ื ืจ ืฉืœ ื—ื ื•ื›ื”

 Blessed are You, Hashem, Sovereign of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to light candle/light of Chanukah.

ื‘ืจื•ืš ืืชื” ื”' ืืœืงื™ื ื• ืžืœืš ื”ืขื•ืœื ืฉืขืฉื” ื ืกื™ื ืœืื‘ื•ืชื™ื ื• ื‘ื™ืžื™ื ื”ื”ื ื‘ื–ืžืŸ ื”ื–ื”

Blessed are You, Hashem, Sovereign of the universe, Who has wrought miracles for our forefathers, in those days at this season.

(On the first night, add)

ื‘ืจื•ืš ืืชื” ื”' ืืœืงื™ื ื• ืžืœืš ื”ืขื•ืœื ืฉื”ื—ื™ื™ื ื• ื•ืงื™ื™ืžื ื• ื•ื”ื’ืขื™ืขื ื• ืœื–ืžืŸ ื”ื–ื”

Blessed are You Lord our God, sovereign of the world, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.


In Tefillah:

Throughout Chanukah, we add Al HaNisim into the Amidah and into bentching. At Shacharit each morning (minyan is at 6:40 AM) we include the full Hallel and we read from the Torah. We also have the custom to add Mizmor Shir Chanukat Habayit (Psalm 30) at the end of Shacharit. 

Thu, May 30 2024 22 Iyyar 5784