Thursday, December 4, 2008

Placement of the shamash


The other day we noted that keeping a "shamash" lit is meant to provide an extra light with the Menorah, so that one doesn't use the sacred light of the Menorah for personal benefit.

We have also noted that one's Menorah should be clearly displayed, so that the onlooker can see how many lights are lit and know what night of Chanukah is being celebrated.

Therefore: If one's Menorah places the shamash close to the other lights, and without any real height demarcation between the shamash and the other lights, then one should be careful not to use that location for the shamash. Rather, one should light an extra candle in the room, or just keep an electric light on in the room, to prevent confusion about how many "official" lights are in the Menorah.

(Code of Jewish Law Orach Chaim 671:5; Mishneh Berurah 671:12)

Have a great day,

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