Moving the Menorah

Moving a Menorah

May one move the Menorah after it is lit? What if the Menorah is blocking the doorway, or one fears from the children? The Sages decreed against moving the Menorah while its Mitzvah is fulfilled. The following are the cases in which this decree applies.

Moving the Menorah:[1]
The Menorah must be lit in its final intended resting area. Thus, once the Menorah is lit, it may not be moved, as explained next.

Not to move the Menorah once it has been lit: Once the Menorah has been lit it may not be moved from inside to outside [or vice versa[2], until it has remained lit for a half hour after nightfall[3]]. If one moves the Menorah from inside to outside [or vice versa, before a half hour passes] he does not fulfill his obligation.[4] [Some Poskim[5] are stringent to not move it at all from the place it was lit, even if it will be replaced elsewhere within the same room. Other Poskim[6] are lenient to allow moving it to another area within the same room. Practically, one should initially be stringent like the former opinion.[7] If however one moved it within the same room, he fulfills his obligation.[8] It is even initially permitted to move the Menorah a few inches for lighting purpose and then return it to it place.[9]]

In Shul:[10] One is to initially be careful in the above matter, not to move the Menorah from its place, even regarding the candles that are lit in Shul. The Shul’s candles are to hence be lit in their final resting area, and not moved after that for the first half hour.

Moving the Menorah after it is lit a half hour:[11] After the menorah has been alight for the required time of 30 minutes [after nightfall], it may be moved even if the lights are still aflame.

Q&A

May one temporarily move the Menorah from its place [such as to switch chairs] with intent to replace it there right away?[12]
Yes. If one desires to move the Menorah for a few moments in order to set up the chair and the like, he may do so.

If the Menorah was lit horizontal to the doorway, and is blocking the doorway, may it be moved to be vertical to the doorpost?[13]
If the Menorah is in middle of the doorway and one needs to go through, it may be moved slightly to side.

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[1] Michaber 675/1; Shabbos 22b

[2] M”B 675/5

[3] M”A 675/2; Darkei Moshe 675/1; Rav Yaakov Viyaal; Elya Raba 675/2; M”B 675/6; Kaf Hachaim 675/10

[4] Michaber ibid; Shabbos ibid

The reason: As one who sees the person moving it will say he is moving it for his own needs. [Michaber ibid]

[5] Darkei Moshe in name of Harav Yaakov Viyaal; brought in M”B 675/6; See Halachos Ketanos 1/2 [brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 675/1 and Kaf Hachaim 675/11] that implies one is not Yotzei if he does so.

[6] Machatzis Hashekel 671/7; Poskim brought in M”B 675/6 and 671/30; See M”A 263/23 based on Rashal and Peri Chadash; Misgeres Hashulchan 139/8; Kaf Hachaim 671/54

[7] M”B 675/6 in name of Peri Megadim

[8] Machatzis Hashekel 671/7; M”B 671/30; Kaf Hachaim 671/54; However see Halachos Ketanos 1/2 [brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 675/1 and Kaf Hachaim 675/11] that implies one is not Yotzei if he does so.

[9] Sefer Haminhagim p. 159 [English]  “The menorah once had to be moved a tefach or two closer to the [Previous] Rebbe so that he would be able to light it, and they then replaced it into its original position after the blessing.” This implies there is no reason to be stringent if it will be placed within the same area.

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one should not move the Menorah at all even if it will be replaced to it area. [Lev Chaim 3/146]

[10] M”A 675/2; M”B 675/6

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one may move the Shul’s Menorah from place to place even within the half hour. [Beis Yosef, brought in M”B ibid]

[11] M”A 675/2; Darkei Moshe 675/1; Rav Yaakov Viyaal; Elya Raba 675/2; M”B 675/6; Kaf Hachaim 675/10; M”B 675/6; Sefer Haminhagim p.160 [English]

Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule one is not to move the Menorah so long as the candles remain lit, even after 30 minutes have passed. This is due to Maaras Ayin. [Elya Raba 672/2; Derech Hachaim 4; Shaar Hatziyon 672/12; Kaf Hachaim 672/22; based on M”A 670/2 in name of Rashal regarding being stringent not to use the light past this time] Some Poskim rule that those who light inside their home are not to move the Menorah even after the time has passed, although in a time of need one may be lenient and place it by a window and the like. [Mishmeres Shalom 48/1; Piskeiy Teshuvos 675/1] See Miseches Sofrim “One does not move the Menorah until it extinguishes”

[12] See Elya Raba 674/2; Chemed Moshe 671/7; Minchas Moshe 16; Nitei Gavriel 35/7; Sefer Haminhagim p. 159 [English]  “The menorah once had to be moved a tefach or two closer to the [Previous] Rebbe so that he would be able to light it, and they then replaced it into its original position after the blessing.” This implies there is no reason to be stringent if it will be placed within the same area.

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one should not move the Menorah at all even if it will be replaced to it area. [Lev Chaim 3/146]

[13] Piskeiy Teshuvos 675/1

 

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