The Chanukah Lights: An Important Detail


An important detail of kindling the chanukah menorah occurs when Shabbat and Chanukah coincide. Since Chanukah is an eight day celebration there is always at least one Shabbat during Chanukah.

While on the other days of this festival the chanukiah is lit at the beginning of halachic “night”,  Shabbat is an exception to this rule. The Shabbat candles must be lit already before sunset, and after having them lit it is no longer permitted to kindle a fire. This implies that the chanukiah must be lit before the Shabbat lights. If one has lit the Shabbat candles first it is no longer possible to fulfil the mitzvah of kindling the chanukah menorah, because it is too late for that and one has accepted the Shabbat.

To not transgress the Shabbat it is thus very important to keep the right order in doing things. First one kindles the chanukakiah and says the blessings belonging to it. After that one kindles the Shabbat candles and says the blessings over them. One should thus be ready for Shabbat at an earlier time than customary, to have enough time left to kindle the chanukiah.

Happy Chanukah!


1 Response to “The Chanukah Lights: An Important Detail”

  1. 1 Dan Benzvi December 13, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    A vey good reminder. Thanks.



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