Chanukah - When and Where to Light
1א

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

The Sages taught: It is a mitzva to place the Hanukkah lamp at the entrance to one’s house on the outside, so that all can see it. If they live upstairs, they place it at the window adjacent to the public domain. And in a time of danger, when the gentiles issued decrees to prohibit kindling lights, they place it on the table and that is sufficient to fulfill their obligation.

2ב

נֵר שֶׁל חֲנוּכָּה שֶׁהִנִּיחָה לְמַעְלָה מֵעֶשְׂרִים אַמָּה — פְּסוּלָה, כְּסוּכָּה וּכְמָבוֹי.

A Hanukkah lamp that one placed above twenty cubits is invalid, just as a sukka whose roofing is more than twenty cubits high

3ג
נֵר חֲנֻכָּה מַנִּיחוֹ עַל פֶּתַח הַסָמוּךְ לִרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים מִבַּחוּץ. אִם הַבַּיִת פָּתוּחַ לִרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים, מַנִּיחוֹ עַל פִּתְחוֹ; וְאִם יֵשׁ חָצֵר לִפְנֵי הַבַּיִת, מַנִּיחוֹ עַל פֶּתַח הֶחָצֵר; וְאִם הָיָה דָּר בַּעֲלִיָּה שֶׁאֵין לוֹ פֶּתַח פָּתוּחַ לִרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים, מַנִּיחוֹ בַּחַלּוֹן הַסָמוּךְ לִרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים; וּבִשְׁעַת הַסַכָּנָה שֶׁאֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי לְקַיֵּם הַמִּצְוָה, מַנִּיחוֹ עַל שֻׁלְחָנוֹ וְדַיּוֹ, וְצָרִיךְ נֵר אַחֵר לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ לְאוֹרוֹ; וְאִם יֵשׁ מְדוּרָה אֵין צָרִיךְ נֵר אַחֵר; וְאִם הוּא אָדָם חָשׁוּב שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכּוֹ לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ לְאוֹר הַמְּדוּרָה, צָרִיךְ נֵר אַחֵר.

One should place the Hanukkah light at the entrance which adjoins the public domain, on the outside. If the house opens to the public domain, they should place it at its entrance. If there is a courtyard in front of the house, they should place it at the entrance of the courtyard. If they live on the upper floor, having no entrance leading to the public domain, they should place it at a window that adjoins the public domain. In a time of danger, when one is not allowed to perform mitzvot, it is enough that they place it on their table. They need another light to use for its illumination. And if there is a bonfire, they need no other light. But if they are a dignified person, whose way is not to use the illumination of a bonfire, they need another light.

4ד

אֵין מַדְלִיקִין נֵרוֹת חֲנֻכָּה קֹדֶם שֶׁתִּשְׁקַע הַחַמָּה אֶלָּא עִם שְׁקִיעָתָהּ לֹא מְאַחֲרִין וְלֹא מַקְדִּימִין. שָׁכַח אוֹ הֵזִיד וְלֹא הִדְלִיק עִם שְׁקִיעַת הַחַמָּה מַדְלִיק וְהוֹלֵךְ עַד שֶׁתִּכְלֶה רֶגֶל מִן הַשּׁוּק. וְכַמָּה הוּא זְמַן זֶה כְּמוֹ חֲצִי שָׁעָה אוֹ יֶתֶר. עָבַר זְמַן זֶה אֵינוֹ מַדְלִיק. וְצָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּתֵּן שֶׁמֶן בַּנֵּר כְּדֵי שֶׁתִּהְיֶה דּוֹלֶקֶת וְהוֹלֶכֶת עַד שֶׁתִּכְלֶה רֶגֶל מִן הַשּׁוּק. הִדְלִיקָהּ וְכָבְתָה אֵינוֹ זָקוּק לְהַדְלִיקָהּ פַּעַם אַחֶרֶת. נִשְׁאֲרָה דּוֹלֶקֶת אַחַר שֶׁכָּלְתָה רֶגֶל מִן הַשּׁוּק אִם רָצָה לְכַבּוֹתָהּ אוֹ לְסַלְּקָהּ עוֹשֶׂה:

One may not light Chanukah candles before the sun sets, but rather [light] with its setting - not after, and not before. [If] they forgot or intentionally did not light with the setting of the sun, they can light until pedestrians leave the marketplace. And how long is this time? About a half hour or more. If this time passes, they [may] not light. And they need to put enough oil in the candle so that it will continue to be lit until the pedestrians leave the marketplace. If they lit it and it became extinguished it, they are not required to light it another time. If it stayed lit after the pedestrians leave the marketplace, they can extinguish it or take it away, if they want.

5ה
אָמַר רַב חִיָּיא בַּר אָשֵׁי אָמַר רַב: הַמַּדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל חֲנוּכָּה צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ. וְרַב יִרְמְיָה אָמַר: הָרוֹאֶה נֵר שֶׁל חֲנוּכָּה צָרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ. אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה: יוֹם רִאשׁוֹן, הָרוֹאֶה מְבָרֵךְ שְׁתַּיִם, וּמַדְלִיק מְבָרֵךְ שָׁלֹשׁ. מִכָּאן וְאֵילָךְ, מַדְלִיק מְבָרֵךְ שְׁתַּיִם, וְרוֹאֶה מְבָרֵךְ אַחַת. מַאי מְמַעֵט? מְמַעֵט זְמַן: וְנִימְעוֹט נֵס! — נֵס כׇּל יוֹמֵי אִיתֵיהּ.

Rav Ḥiyya bar Ashi said that Rav said: One who lights a Hanukkah light must recite a blessing. And Rabbi Yirmeya said: One who sees a burning Hanukkah light must recite a blessing because the mitzva is not only to kindle the light but to see the light as well. Therefore, there is room to recite a blessing even when seeing them.

Rav Yehuda said: On the first day of Hanukkah, the one who sees burning lights recites two blessings, and the one who lights recites three blessings.

From there on, from the second day of Hanukkah, the one who lights recites two blessings, and the one who sees recites one blessing.

The Gemara asks: What blessing do they omit on the other days? The Gemara answers: They omit the blessing of time: Who has given us life, sustained us, and brought us to this time.

The Gemara asks: And let us omit the blessing of the miracle: Who has performed miracles. The Gemara answers: The miracle is relevant on all of the days, whereas the blessing: Who has given us life, is only pertinent to the first time they perform the mitzva each year.

6ו
מַאי מְבָרֵךְ? — מְבָרֵךְ: ״אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל חֲנוּכָּה״. וְהֵיכָן צִוָּנוּ? רַב אַוְיָא אָמַר: מִ״לֹּא תָסוּר״. רַב נְחֶמְיָה אָמַר: ״שְׁאַל אָבִיךָ וְיַגֵּדְךָ זְקֵנֶיךָ וְיֹאמְרוּ לָךְ״.

And what blessing does one recite? They recite: Who has made us holy through God's commandments and has commanded us to light the Hanukkah light.

The Gemara asks: And where did God command us? The mitzva of Hanukkah is not mentioned in the Torah, so how is it possible to say that it was commanded to us by God?

The Gemara answers that Rav Avya said: The obligation to recite this blessing is derived from the verse: “You shall not turn aside from the sentence which they shall declare unto you, to the right, nor to the left” (Deuteronomy 17:11). From this verse, the mitzva incumbent upon all of Israel to heed the statements and decrees of the Sages is derived. Therefore, one who fulfills their directives fulfills a divine commandment. Rav Neḥemya said that the mitzva to heed the voice of the Elders of Israel is derived from the verse: “Ask your father, and he will declare unto you, your Elders, and they will tell you” (Deuteronomy 32:7).

7ז

(ד) הַגָּה: וְלָכֵן יֵשׁ לִזָּהֵר לְהַעֲמִיד הַנֵּרוֹת בְּשׁוּרָה בְּשָׁוֶה, וְלֹא בְּעִגּוּל דְּהָוֵי כִּמְדוּרָה (הג''מ בְּשֵׁם סְמַ''ק); וּמֻתָּר לְהַדְלִיק בְּפָּמוֹטוֹת שֶׁקּוֹרִין לַאמְפָּ''א, מֵאַחַר שֶׁכָּל נֵר מֻבְדָּל הַרְבֵּה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ (ת''ה סִימָן ק''ה). וְיִזָּהֲרוּ כְּשֶׁעוֹשִׂים נֵרוֹת, אֲפִלּוּ בְּשַׁעֲוָה, שֶׁאֵין לְדַבְּקָן בְּיַחַד וּלְהַדְלִיקָן, דְּהָוֵי כִּמְדוּרָה (פִּסְקֵי מַהֲרִי''וּ ס''ה); אֲפִלּוּ בְּנֵרוֹת שֶׁל שַׁבָּת וְיוֹם טוֹב יִזָּהֲרוּ שֶׁלֹּא לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן (אוֹר זָרוּעַ).

Rem"a: Therefore one should be careful to place the lights in a straight row and not in a circle, since that is like a bonfire. (Hagahot Maimoniot quoting Sefer Mitzvot Katan)

It is permitted to kindle with candlesticks, since each light is separated greatly from the other. (Terumat Hadeshen Section 105)

One must be careful when preparing lights, even of wax, not to stick them together and kindle them, since that is like a bonfire (Piskei Mahar"i 65)

Even with the lights of the Sabbath and Holy Days one must be careful not to do so.

(Or Zarua)

8ח

אמר רבא צריך נר אחרת להשתמש לאורה

Rava said: One must kindle another light in addition to the Hanukkah lights in order to use its light, as it is prohibited to use the light of the Hanukkah lights.