Where is one to light the candles if he is eating by a friend or relative on one of the nights of Chanukah?

Where is one to light the candles if he is eating by a friend or relative on one of the nights of Chanukah?[1]

One’s family remained home: If an individual happens to be eating out on one of the nights of Chanukah, he must return home to his family to light [prior to the continuing the meal[2]], and cannot light where he is eating.[3] [The same applies if he will be eating elsewhere for all eight days/nights of Chanukah, but will return home to sleep, that he is to return home to light, being that he does not eat in the other place on a steady basis.[4] Accordingly, those who are eating out during one of the nights of Chanukah are to first light the candles at home prior to going to the meal. Those who choose to light the candles in the area of the meal, are making a mistake.[5] In the event that one traveled from far, and cannot go back home before the meal, he must appoint a Shomer to allow him to eat, and he may then continue the meal and light candles after returning home.[6]]

Having one’s wife light one one’s behalf:[7] If one is eating out on one of the nights of Chanukah but his wife remained home, he can have his wife light for him at his home, if he desires to remain eating by his friend and not return home to light. [Thus, those who go to a men’s only Chanukah party/meal, may remain by the meal and have their wives light on their behalf.] Nevertheless, it is best for him to return home and personally light the candles, rather than rely on his wife.[8]

 

 

Summary:

If one is eating away from home for one night of Chanukah, he must return home to his family to light prior to starting the meal. In the event that one traveled from far, and cannot go back home before the meal, he must appoint a Shomer to allow him to eat, and he may then continue the meal, and light candles after returning home, or alternatively, ask his wife who has stayed home to light on his behalf.

Q&A

If a family [husband/wife/kids] is eating out by another family on one of the nights of Chanukah [i.e. went to a relative for a Chanukah meal], where is he to light candles, by his area of eating or upon his return home?

From some Poskim[9] it appears that he may choose to light candles in his current area, where his family is eating.[10] However, from other Poskim[11] it is implied that he must return home to light. [Practically, he should go back home with all, or at least some, of his family members, and light at home prior to continuing the meal.[12] In the event that one traveled from far, and cannot go back home before the meal, he must appoint a Shomer to allow him to eat, and he may then continue the meal and light candles after returning home.[13]]

 

If one who lives alone [no wife and children] is eating out by a friend on one of the nights of Chanukah, where is he to light candles, by his area of eating or upon his return home?

This follows the same dispute, and ruling, of the previous Q&A, and he is thus to return home prior to the meal in order to light, or appoint a Shomer to remind him, in which case he may light after the meal, upon returning home.[14]

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[1] M”A 677:7; Taz 677:2; Kneses Hagedola 677; Bach 677; Elya Raba 677:3; M”B 677:12; Kaf Hachaim 677:21; Minchas Yitzchak 7:48; Piskeiy Teshuvos 677:4

[2] See Halacha 6 that it is forbidden to eat or continue a meal, do work, or even learn Torah, until the candles are lit.

[3] The reason: As although today there is no Chashad towards the public if he lights by his friend’s house, as they assume one lights inside his house, there is Chashad towards his family, who does not see him lighting at home. [Bach ibid; Kaf Hachaim ibid] Alternatively, the reason is because the entire Mitzvah of lighting is to take place in one’s home, thus creating the entire law of a guest explained in Halacha 3, and being that one does not eat here on a steady basis, it is not considered his home, and he thus may not light there. Lighting by the meal would be similar to one who is lighting the candles in middle of the street, which of course has no relevance to the Mitzvah. [Taz ibid]

[4] Implication of Peri Chadash 677; Kaf Hachaim 677:15; Piskeiy Teshuvos 677 footnote 21 and 24

[5] Taz ibid

[6] See Halacha 6 in Q&A

[7] Poskim ibid

[8] The reason: As Mitzvah Bo Yoser Mibeshlucho. [M”A ibid]

[9] Implication of Bach ibid and so learns Kinyan Torah 5:72 in Taz and M”A ibid; See Peri Chadash 677; Biur Halacha 677:1 “Bemikom Sheochel”; Kaf Hachaim 677:17; See Minchas Yitzchak 7:48; Piskeiy Teshuvos 677:4 footnote 25 and 29-30; Az Nidaru 7:69

[10] The reason: As the entire objection of the Bach ibid against lighting by his temporary meal area is simply due to Chashad of one’s family, who has remained home. However, here, that one’s family is with him and sees that he lit the candles, there is no Chashad is applicable. Accordingly, there is no obligation for one to light candles in his actual home, but simply that he light candles somewhere where Chashad is not relevant. Alternatively, one can say that when one eats in a new area, then that area becomes his temporary home, and he is able to light candles there. Vetzaruch Iyun!

[11] Possible way of learning Taz 677:2 and M”A 677:7 [Taz ibid implies that the entire Mitzvah of lighting is to light in one’s home, and being that one does not eat here on a steady basis, it is not considered his home, and he thus may not light there. In his words “Lighting by the meal would be similar to one who is lighting the candles in middle of the street, which of course has no relevance to the Mitzvah.”]; Possible implication of Peri Chadash 677; Biur Halacha 677:1 “Bemikom Sheochel”; Kaf Hachaim 677:17 that only when one is eating and sleeping elsewhere with his family may one light elsewhere; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid who leans to rule like this understanding, although, in truth, it is possible to understand the Taz to only be referring to a case that one left his family at home, in which case Chazal established the lighting to be done at home. If, however, he is with his family elsewhere, then he may light where they are. Vetzaruch Iyun!

[12] Minchas Yitzchak ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[13] See Halacha 6 in Q&A

[14] The reason: As the entire objection of the Bach ibid against lighting by his temporary meal area is simply due to Chashad of one’s family, who has remained home. However, here, that one has no family at home, there is no Chashad is applicable. Accordingly, there is no obligation for one to light candles in his actual home, but simply that he light candles somewhere where Chashad is not relevant. However, according to the Taz ibid, there is an actual obligation to light in one’s home, and an area of temporary meal is not one’s home.

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