If one’s wife or/and daughters will not be coming home until after nightfall, is one to delay the lighting until they arrive?

If one’s wife or/and daughters will not be coming home until after nightfall, is one to delay the lighting until they arrive?

It is proper even in today’s times [that the custom is to light indoors], to initially light the candles at its proper time [i.e. immediately after sunset/nightfall, each in accordance to their custom, and no later than within a half hour past nightfall[1]], as explained in Halacha A.[2] Nevertheless, if the members one’s household are not currently present, it is proper to delay the lighting until one’s household is present, in order to publicize the miracle.[3] [This certainly applies to one’s wife and daughters, who are included in one’s lighting, and are Yotzei the Mitzvah/blessings with him. Nonetheless, as stated above, initially one is to arrange for all family members to be present during the proper time of lighting. If majority of the household members are present, then seemingly there is no need to delay the lighting on behalf of one or two household members who have yet to arrive.[4] Nonetheless, a husband is to delay lighting until his wife arrives home, even in such a case.]

Until what time may one delay:[5] If a family member will only arrive home past midnight, one is not to delay the lighting on their behalf. This applies even if one is waiting for his wife to arrive home.  

If a family member was not present by the lighting, must they light or recite the blessing of Sheasa Nissim? If a household member was not present, he/she nevertheless fulfills his/her obligation. Nevertheless, he/she should try to be present by another Menorah lighting for the sake of hearing the blessing of Sheasa Nissim, as explained in Halacha 2D.


[1] Michaber 672:1-2

[2] Rama 672:2 “Some Poskim however rule that today since anyways the lighting is done inside the house, there is no obligation to be careful to light on time, nevertheless it is best to be careful to light within the time even today.”; Sefer Haminhagim p. 158 [English]; Hayom Yom 25th Kisleiv; Igros Kodesh 14:184; 10:153 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 3:265]

[3] Nitei Gavriel 3:10 based on Makor Chaim 672:1 and Poskim brought next; Hiskashrus Chanukah; See the following Poskim who all rule that according to our custom today, one is to light at night when one’s family is all present: M”A 672:5 in name of Machzor Maglei Tzedek Minhagei Wormz p. 240; Chayeh Adam 154:20; M”B 672:10; Kaf Hachaim 672:24 [Now, although the Rama ibid concludes that even today one is to initially be particular in this, seemingly one can argue that according to the above Poskim, this is coming to say that one should be particular to make sure that his household is gathered by the proper time, however, if they are not then he should light later on when they arrive. Vetzaruch Iyun, as one can argue to the contrary, that the novelty of the Rama’s conclusion is that one should light on time, even if his family is not present. Vetzaruch Iyun.]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one is to never delay lighting on time, within the first half hour after nightfall, even if his family will not be present. [Ruling of Rav Yaakov Yosef, based on the fact that some Poskim rule that even today the Mitzvah is over once a half hour after nightfall has arrived, and one is hence to suspect for their opinion.]

[4] As Ein Ladavar Sof, and when one arrives another leaves, and hence in large families, it very difficult to wait upon everyone being present.

[5] Birchas Habayis 54:6

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