Monday, December 8, 2008

Lighting the menorah on Friday night


On Friday night we light the Menorah before we light Shabbat candles, since once we have lit Shabbat candles we have accepted Shabbat and we cannot light the Menorah.

We make sure that the candles will last until at least thirty minutes into true night (after the stars have emerged) - so that we need candles that will last at least 93 minutes (18 minutes between candle lighting and sunset, 45 minutes between sunset and when the stars emerge, and then another 30 minutes). People tend to use thick Shabbat candles, which last longer than the usual Chanukah candles.

This is a special concern in years when the last night of Chanukah is a Friday night, so that we light eight candles and need them to last for a long time. With that many candles so close together, the candles tend to melt down very quickly. If one can use oil, that helps. Alternatively, tea lights work well.

(Code of Jewish Law Orach Chaim 679)

Have a great day,

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