Saturday, November 30, 2013

Lighting the menorah while in mourning


Does a mourner light Chanukah candles?

An onein [one whose immediate relative has passed away, and has not been buried] is not obligated in lighting Chanukah candles. However, halachic authorities are concerned that people passing the onein's home may not know he is an onein, and they might think that he is flouting the mitzvah of lighting Chanukah candles. Further, lighting Chankah candles does fulfill our mission of publicizing the miracles of Chanukah. Therefore, an onein should make sure that someone lights in his home; there are conflicting views on whether he should respond Amen to their berachah. If no one else can light, then the onein should light, albeit without a berachah.

An avel sitting shivah does light Chanukah candles, and does recite all of the berachot, including Shehechiyanu. However, he should not light Chanukah candles in shul on the first night of Chanukah.

(Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 341:1; Pri Megadim Orach Chaim 670:MZ 5; Mishneh Berurah 670:12, 671:44; Piskei Teshuvot 676:1)

חג אורים שמח,

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