Halacha for Thursday 24 Kislev 5781 December 10 2020

A Guest On Motza’ei Shabbat Chanukah

Question: If one is staying as a guest at one’s parents’ or in-laws’ home for Shabbat Chanukah, where should one light Chanukah candles on Motza’ei Shabbat?

Answer: Regarding a married individual who is staying as a guest at his father’s home, according to the Sephardic custom that only the head of the household lights Chanukah candles, the son (and his family) will have fulfilled his obligation with his father’s lighting, for the son is staying as a guest and eating at his father’s table. According to the Ashkenazi custom, every member of the household lights Chanukah candles regardless.

Our question is, on Motza’ei Shabbat, whether according to the Sephardic or Ashkenazi custom, where should the son light Chanukah candles? Should he light in his father’s home (or fulfill his obligation with his father’s lighting according to the Sephardic custom) where he has stayed and ate until Motza’ei Shabbat or should he light in his own home when he arrives later on during the night since he intends to sleep there?

The fundamental question here is: Is the determining factor regarding the place one must light Chanukah candles where one eats or where one sleeps?

Hagaon Harav Yaakov Kamenetzky zt”l writes in his Sefer Emet Le’Yaakov (Chapter 677): “One who stays as a guest in the home of one’s father-in-law or someone else during Shabbat Chanukah and plans on returning home on Motza’ei Shabbat must light Chanukah candles in the home where one was a guest on Shabbat, for this is considered one’s home until one leaves it.”

This means that since this individual lodges and eats in the home of his hosts, there house becomes his and one must therefore light Chanukah candles in their home as opposed to in one’s own home at a later hour. Hagaon Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l rules likewise in his Halichot Shlomo (page 279).

Nevertheless, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l (in his Chazon Ovadia-Chanukah, page 155) quotes the words of one of the great earlier Acharonim, Rabbeinu Yosef Katz (head of the rabbinical court in Cracow, brother-in-law of the Rama and close confidant of the Maharshal) in his Responsa She’erit Yosef (Chapter 73), as follows: “If one is eating a meal at a friend’s home and the time to light Chanukah candles arrives, it would seem that the primary obligation to light Chanukah candles is not determined by the place one is eating, even if one is eating a meal of a settled character. Rather, it is determined based on the place one sleeps.” Maran zt”l quotes several other Poskim who discuss this matter and continues to support this view. Maran therefore concludes that if one is staying at another’s home during Shabbat Chanukah, one must light Chanukah candles in one’s own home on Motza’ei Shabbat Chanukah, even if one returns home very late and one must not rely on the lighting being performed in the host’s home.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Megillah Reading- Coronavirus

Every member of the Jewish nation is obligated to read the Megillah on the day of Purim. One must read it during the night and once again the next day, as the verse states, “My G-d, I call out to you during the day and you do not answer; during the night I have no rest.” This verse is wr......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Hearing Parashat Zachor- Coronavirus

“Remember What Amalek Has Done to You” On the Shabbat preceding Purim, which is this coming Shabbat, after the opening of the Ark immediately following Shacharit prayers, two Sifrei Torah are removed; in the first one, we read the weekly Parasha (which is Parashat Vayikra this year, 577......

Read Halacha

Matanot La’Evyonim- Coronavirus

In the previous Halacha we briefly discussed the Mitzvah of “Matanot La’Evyonim” on Purim day which is the distribution of two monetary gifts, one to each pauper. What Must One Give? In order to fulfill this Mitzvah, one need not give actual gifts; rather, it is permissible to ......

Read Halacha

The Days of Purim and the Laws of Mishloach Manot- 5781

The Days of Purim Purim will be celebrated in approximately two weeks from today. This year, we must discuss several unique laws, first of all, because Purim day (the 14th of Adar) falls out on a Friday. Second of all, in Jerusalem, a “three-day Purim” will be celebrated since the 15th ......

Read Halacha


The Mitzvah of the Purim Feast This Year (5781)

Holding the Purim Feast at Night The holiday of Purim is different than all other holidays we celebrate in that whereas regarding other holidays the Mitzvah of partaking of a joyous holiday meal applies during the day and night, regarding the holiday of Purim, there is only a Mitzvah to hold a feas......

Read Halacha

 A Joint Mishloach Manot by Husband and Wife

Question: On Purim I stay home and I do not give out my own Mishloach Manot. May I fulfill my obligation by sending a joint Mishloach Manot along with my husband? Answer: First, let us discuss the obligation of women with regards to Mishloach Manot. A Woman’s Obligation in Mishloach Mano......

Read Halacha

The Mitzvah of Joy and Torah Learning on Purim Day

There is a Mitzvah eat heartily during the Purim Feast. One should preferably eat bread during this meal. The Rambam (Chapter 2 of Hilchot Megillah, Halacha 15) writes: “What is the extent of one’s obligation during this feast? One should eat meat and prepare a delicious meal to the b......

Read Halacha

Sucking On a Fruit

Question: If one sucks on an orange or a grapefruit but does not chew it with one’s teeth, must one recite the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” like on other fruits or should one recite the “Shehakol” blessing like one would when drinking other fruit juices? Answer: Indeed,......

Read Halacha