Halacha Date: 22 Kislev 5781 December 8 2020
In the previous Halacha, we have explained that although one who has no one lighting on his behalf at home (for instance, because he has no family or because his family is with him) and is staying as a guest in a friend’s home on Chanukah should have been obligated to light candles in one’s present location, nevertheless, he fulfills his obligation through the host’s lighting. This only applies, however, when the host does not collect any payment from the guest for room and board, for if he does, the guest must contribute a few coins to the host to acquire a share in the oil and wicks of his Chanukah candles. We have also written above that, in any case, it is preferable for the guest to chip in a small amount for the oil and wicks, even when he is not paying for any of his host’s expenses.
However, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that if the “guests” are a married son or daughter staying in their parents’ house, they need not contribute anything toward the cost of the oil or wicks because they are considered to be actual members of the household and they fulfill their obligation through the Chanukah candle-lighting of the head of the household. Nevertheless, even in this situation, Hagaon Harav David Yosef Shlit”a writes that it is still preferable to give a few coins toward the cost of the oil and wicks. It is understood though that the aforementioned applies only according to custom of the Sephardim that “the Mitzvah of the candle is for a man and his household,” as we have explained in previous Halachot. However, according to the Ashkenazi custom, the son or son-in-law may have in mind not to fulfill their obligation through the lighting of the head of the household and he may subsequently light and bless on his own.
One who is staying in a hotel which is comprised only of rooms designated for guests and is not the private dwelling place of the hotel owner as well (and in addition, no one is lighting at home on the guests behalf, see above), must light Chanukah candles in one’s hotel room and recite the appropriate blessings before lighting.