Light Up at Home

780. Light Up at Home

Ner Chanukah (the Chanukah lights) should be lit in the home where the head of the household and the family eat on a regular basis, rather than in the home where one sleeps or works. The same applies if there is a choice of two rooms in the home: one should light in the doorway of the room used for eating.

The Taz (17th century commentary on the Shulchan Aruch) states that someone who goes to eat in a friend’s home should nevertheless light the menorah in his own home.

He explains that it is obvious that the mitzvah is to light at home, and not in a location where an hour or two is spent for a one-time meal. This is comparable to someone standing in the street when it is time for lighting ner Chanukah—it is clearly inappropriate for him to light in the street! The Taz continues, “Although some people who are eating at the home of others send someone to fetch their menoros for them to light, this is a mistake…”

If someone is spending an extended period of time at another’s home during the evening hours, they may appoint a shliach (representative) to light the menorah in their home, and are not obligated to leave in the middle of the meal and go home to light at the appropriate time.

Practical Halacha: One minute a day. By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, shlita, Mara D'asra and member of the Badatz of Crown Heights.