Chanukkah Candle Lighting in 5 Easy Steps
Chanukkah is coming and it's time to light the chanukkiyah. There are many rules that pertain to candle lighting for Chanukkah.
Before you begin, make a copy of this sheet and use it to complete the activity.
By following the steps below, you will create a source sheet which will explain the rules and provide the sources that the rules are based on.
  1. Read the sources below.
  2. Write a summary of the rule that is described in the source. (The first one is done for you)
  3. Add other resources such as videos, pictures or articles that further explain the rules. You can make your own videos or recordings or find them online.
  4. Just for fun: Add fun Chanukkah facts or videos which will enhance your source sheet.
We will share the source sheets with our school community to help with candle lighting at home.

Rule #1
Who is obligated to light Chanukkah candles?
(ד) כָּל שֶׁחַיָּב בִּקְרִיאַת הַמְּגִלָּה חַיָּב בְּהַדְלָקַת נֵר חֲנֻכָּה
(4) All who are obligated with respect to reading the Megillah (lit. Scroll) are obligated with respect to lighting the Hanukkah light.
... וְהַכּל חַיָּבִים בִּקְרִיאָתָהּ אֲנָשִׁים וְנָשִׁים וְגֵרִים וַעֲבָדִים מְשֻׁחְרָרִים..
...All are obligated in its reading: men, women, converts, and freed slaves.
אשה ודאי מדליקה דא"ר יהושע בן לוי נשים חייבות בנר חנוכה שאף הן היו באותו הנס:
A woman certainly lights, for Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: Women are obligated regarding the Chanukkah light, for they, too, were [central] in the miracle.
Summary: Men and women are obligated to light Chanukkah candles. We learn this from the rules of reading Megillat Esther. Rambam, in the Mishneh Torah, says that the same people who are obligated in Megillah, are obligated in Chanukkah candles. The Gemara explains that women are obligated because they participated in the miracle.

Rule #2
Which blessings do we say when we light Chanukkah candles?
(ד) ...וְהַמַּדְלִיק אוֹתָהּ בַּלַּיְלָה הָרִאשׁוֹן מְבָרֵךְ שָׁלֹשׁ בְּרָכוֹת וְאֵלּוּ הֵן.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל חֲנֻכָּה
וְשֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְכוּ'.
וְשֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְכוּ'.
(4) ... And the one who lights it on the first night says three blessings, and they are: "Bountiful are You, Eternal One, our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who makes us holy with His commandments, and commanded us to light the light of Hanukkah," and
"...who did miracles for our ancestors..." and
"who has given us life, and sustained us..."

Rule #3
How many candles do we light?
מצות חנוכה נר איש וביתו והמהדרין נר לכל אחד ואחד והמהדרין מן המהדרין ב"ש אומרים יום ראשון מדליק שמנה מכאן ואילך פוחת והולך וב"ה אומרים יום ראשון מדליק אחת מכאן ואילך מוסיף והולך אמר עולא פליגי בה תרי אמוראי במערבא ר' יוסי בר אבין ור' יוסי בר זבידא חד אמר טעמא דב"ש כנגד ימים הנכנסין וטעמא דב"ה כנגד ימים היוצאין וחד אמר טעמא דב"ש כנגד פרי החג וטעמא דבית הלל דמעלין בקדש ואין מורידין
The mitzvah of Chanukkah is a [single] candle for [each] man and his household [ביתו can also translate as wife], and those who are scrupulous: A candle for each and every one, and the scrupulous among and the scrupulous among the scrupulous: Beit Shammai says: The first day he lights eight, from here going [forward], he goes on reducing, and Beit Hillel says: The first day he lights one, from here going [forward], he goes on adding. Ulla said They argued about it - two Amoraim from the West [i.e., Eretz Yisrael]: Rabbi Yosi ben Avin and Rabbi Yosi ben Zevida. One said: the reasoning of Beit Shammai is: to correspond to the days which are entering,and the reasoning of Beit Hillel is: to correspond to the days which are going out; [the other] one said: the reasoning of Beit Shammai is: to correspond to the bulls [offered on Sukkot] and the reasoning of Beit Hillel is that [we] raise up in holiness and [we] do not lower.

Rule #4
Where do we put our chanukkiyot?
ת"ר נר חנוכה מצוה להניחה על פתח ביתו מבחוץ אם היה דר בעלייה מניחה בחלון הסמוכה לרה"ר ובשעת הסכנה מניחה על שלחנו ודיו
Our Sages taught: The Chanukkah candle - it is a mitzvah to place it at the door of his house, on the outside, and if he was living in an attic [i.e., with no direct access to public areas], he places it in a window adjoining the public area and in times of danger [i.e., persecution], he places it on his table and it is sufficient for him.

Rule #5
How long do the Chanukkah lights have to burn?
מצותה משתשקע החמה עד שתכלה רגל מן השוק
"Its mitzvah is from when the sun sets until the foot is gone from the marketplace".
(ב) שָׁכַח אוֹ הֵזִיד וְלֹא הִדְלִיק עִם שְׁקִיעַת הַחַמָּה, מַדְלִיק וְהוֹלֵךְ עַד שֶׁתִּכְלֶה רֶגֶל מִן הַשּׁוּק, שֶׁהוּא כְּמוֹ חֲצִי שָׁעָה שֶׁאָז הָעָם עוֹבְרִים וְשָׁבִים וְאִכָּא פִּרְסוּמֵי נִסָא;
(2) If one did not light with sunset, either due to forgetfulness or on purpose, s/he should go ahead and light until people stop passing through the marketplace, which is approximately half an hour, because then the people are passing and coming home and thus the miracle is publicized.