Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Shel Chanukah"?


Should the ending of the first blessing on the Chanukah candles be "l'hadlik ner shel Chanukah", "l'hadlik ner Chanukah", or "l'hadlik ner shelChanukah"?

There is considerable debate regarding the correct text for this berachah. Our edition of the gemara says "l'hadlik ner shel Chanukah", but some suggest that the original edition was just "ner Chanukah". Our edition of the Rambam says "shelChanukah" as one word, but other editions have it as "shel Chanukah", in two words.

For reasons both mystical and legal, many authorities say to recite "ner Chanukah", and this is the practice in much of the Sephardic world. However, some Ashkenazic communities customarily say "ner shel Chanukah". It is recommended that people retain their family customs, and contact the Rav if there is a need to institute a family custom.

(Shabbat 23a; Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Megilah v'Chanukah 3:4; Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 676:1; Sdei Chemed 8:Chanukah כ; Shoel v'Nishal 5:Orach Chaim 112; Ateret Paz I 2:Yoreh Deah 7; Yabia Omer 8:Orach Chaim 11)

Chanukah sameach,

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