Lighting Menorah on Motzei Shabbos

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Lighting on Motzei Shabbos:[1]

In Shul?[2] On Motzei Shabbos, in Shul, the Chanukah candles are lit after Maariv [before Aleinu[3]], prior to Havdala.[4]

At home:[5] Certainly, at home, one is to first light the Chanukah candles and then recite Havdala, as one has already heard Havdala in Shul.[6] [However, some Poskim[7] rule that the Chanukah candles are to be lit only after Havdala.[8] Practically, the worldly custom, as well as the Chabad custom, at home, is to first to say Havdalah and only then to light the Chanukah candles.[9]]

Using the Chanukah candles for Havdala:[10] On Motzei Shabbos, one may not use the Chanukah candle to recite the blessing of the Havdala candle, and rather a separate Havdala candle must be used.[11] [This however only applies if one already lit the Chanukah candle and recited the blessing of “Lehadlik Ner Chanukah” over it. If, however, one has not yet lit the candle for the sake of the Mitzvah of Chanukah, then one may light this candle for Havdala, recite the blessing of Meoreiy Haeish, and then extinguish the candle and relight it for the sake of the Chanukah candle.[12] Furthermore, it is even proper to do so.[13]]




In Shul, the Chanukah candles are lit prior to Havdala. In one’s home, the Chanukah candles are lit after Havdala.



When does one recite Vayiten Lecha; after Havdala or after the Chanukah lighting?[14]

The prayer of Vayiten Lecha is recited only after the Chanukah lighting. 


What time is one to take leave of Shabbos in order to light the Chanukah candles after Shabbos?

Some are accustomed to Daven Maariv as early as possible on Motzei Shabbos, in order to facilitate the lighting of the candles within a half hour after nightfall.[15] Nonetheless, doing so has led to people desecrating Shabbos, and lighting the candles prior to the exit of Shabbos.[16] Accordingly, it is best to not change from the regular time of Maariv on Motzei Shabbos which is followed during the rest of the year, and so is the custom.[17] This applies whether one lights inside or outside the home.[18]

One who takes leave of Shabbos by Rabbeinu Tam:[19] One who takes leave of Shabbos by the time of Rabbeinu Tam, is to do so as well on Shabbos Chanukah, and only light the candles after the time of Rabbeinu Tam.



[1] 681:2


On Motzei Shabbos, there are two Mitzvos which need to be fulfilled with the exit of Shabbos; 1) Havdalah and 2) Chanukah candles. The question arises as to which Mitzvah one is to perform first. On the one hand, the Mitzvah of Havdala is more common, and hence should receive precedence based on the rule of Tadir. On the other hand, the Mitzvah of Chanukah candles contains Pirsumei Nissa. There is another advantage involved in lighting the Chanukah candles first, as it is proper to delay the leave of Shabbos, and Havdala as much as possible. Practically, there is a dispute amongst Poskim as to the order that should be followed, as will be explained in the coming footnotes. Nonetheless, the final ruling is a compromise of the opinions, that in Shul one precedes the Chanukah candles, while at home one precedes Havdalah, for reasons to be explained.

[2] Michaber ibid; M”B 681:3; Sefer Haminhagim p. 160 [English]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one is to first recite Havdala and then light the Chanukah candles, as Havdala is a more frequent Mitzvah, and thus takes precedence. [Taz 681:1] The custom of the world is not like this opinion regarding the Shul lighting and hence one should not change the custom. [M”B ibid]

[3] So is the custom in Beis Chayeinu. [Shevach Hamoadim 7:3]; See Beir Heiytiv 681:1 regarding saying it before Vayiten Lecha; See Teshuvos Vehanhagos 2:336 regarding saying it before Kaddish Tiskabel, in order so it be considered part of the communal prayers. See Piskeiy Teshuvos 681:1

[4] The reason: As it is a Mitzvah to delay the leave of Shabbos as much as possible, as well as that the lighting of the candles contains the Mitzvah of publicizing the miracle. [M”B 681:2]

[5] 681:2

[6] Rama ibid; Mor Uketzia 681; Chayeh Adam 154:37; Gr”a in Maaseh Rav 235; Luach Eretz Yisrael [Tukichinsky]; Minhag Yishuv Hayashan in Yerushalayim; See M”B 681:3

The reason: As the lighting contains the Mitzvah of “Pirsumei Nissa” which takes priority over Havdalah. Alternatively, the reason is because it is proper to delay the leave of Shabbos as much as possible, and thus Havdalah is delayed. [M”B 681:2]

[7] Taz 681:1; Birkeiy Yosef 681:1 that many are accustomed like the Taz; Makor Chaim 681; Derech Hachaim; Kitzur SHU”A 139:17; Sdei Chemed Chanukah 19 in name of many Poskim and that so is the custom of Yerushalayim; Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeishev 25; Aruch Hashulchan 681:2 that so is the custom; Darkei Chaim Veshalom 820; Nimukei Orach Cham 681; Maor Vashemesh Parshas Mikeitz in name of the Chozeh Melublin, in name of Rav Shmelka Minikulsburg that regarding this matter the ruling follows the Taz ibid; Sefer Haminhagim p. 160 [English]; Custom of Chazon Ish; Piskeiy Teshuvos 681:2; See Biur Halacha 681:2 “Madlikin”

Ruling of Mishneh Berurah: The M”B 681:3 and Biur Halacha “Madlikin” records both opinions and concludes that that in a Shul one first lights the Chanukah candles while at home one may do as he chooses.

[8] The reason: As the Mitzvah of Havdalah is more Tadir. [Taz ibid]

[9] Sefer Haminhagim p. 160 [English]; Poskim ibid; Aruch Hashulchan ibid that so is the custom; Custom of Chazon Ish; Piskeiy Teshuvos 681:2

[10] Michaber 681:1; Tur in name of Yerushalmi

[11] The reason: As it is forbidden to benefit from the Chanukah candle, and one may not recite a blessing over the Havdalah candle until one benefits from its light. [Michaber ibid]

[12] Bach; Ateres Zekeinim; M”B 681:1; Kaf Hachaim 681:1

[13] Poskim ibid

The reason: As it is proper to perform two Mitzvos with the same candle.

[14] Sefer Haminhagim p. 160 [English]; Luach Eretz Yisrael [Tukichinsky]; Piskeiy Teshuvos 681:1

The reason: In order to precede the lighting of the Chanukah candles as much as possible. [Luach ibid]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that Vayiten Lecha is recited prior to Havdalah. [M”B 681:2]

[15] Gr”a in Maaseh Rav 237

[16] Biur Halacha 293 “Gimel Kochavim”

[17] Moadim Uzmanim 2:155; Piskeiy Teshuvos 681:1

[18] See Moadim Uzmanim ibid that in today’s times, even those who light outside the home, have a number of hours until the time of “Tichleh Regel Min Hashuk” passes.

[19] Igros Moshe 4:62

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