To purchase this Sefer, click here
Who is obligated to light the Chanukah candles:
A. The people obligated:
Every homeowner, or head of household, is obligated to light Chanukah candles in their home. This law applies both for men and women, as explained in C. A person who is not a homeowner or head of household, and is rather a dependant of another [such as one’s wife and children] is not obligated to light Chanukah candles, as will be explained in D.
A deaf person: A deaf person who is able to speak, is obligated to light Chanukah candles. [One who is both deaf and mute, is considered a Shoteh and is exempt from the Mitzvah.]
A blind person: A blind person is obligated to light Chanukah candles. Nevertheless, he is to do so without a blessing. Preferably, he is to have another person, such as his wife or host, light on his behalf.
A person who is insane: One who is insane, is not obligated to light Chanukah candles.
One who is in an area without Jews: Every Jew is obligated to light Chanukah candles, even if he is found in an area without other Jews.
If one is not living in a home [i.e. homeless; camping; traveling; in combat], is he obligated to light Chanukah candles?
Some Poskim rule that the Mitzvah of lighting Chanukah candles is independent of home ownership or living in a physical house. Such a person must light Chanukah candles in his current location with a blessing, although he is to place the Menorah in an area that the candles will not blow out due to wind prior to being lit a half hour. Other Poskim however rule that the obligation is dependent on living in a home, and one is hence not obligated to light Chanukah candles if he is currently not living in a home.
Even according to the stringent opinion, if one is unable to light the candles in an area where it is protected from being extinguished by the wind, then he is to light the candles without a blessing.
Must one who is traveling overnight on a boat, airplane, train, bus, or car light Chanukah Candles?
This matter is dependent on the above-mentioned dispute. According to the stringent approach, one who will be in transport throughout the night, from before Plag Hamincha until after daybreak, and will hence be unable to light at home, is to light candles at his current location. The candles must be lit in a way that the flame will not go out prior to the required time of 30 minutes. In areas that candle lighting is prohibited, such as a plane, train or bus, and one is unable to make a stop in order to light the candles, then one is to light an electric Menorah, or filament flashlight [not LCD], without a blessing.
If candles will be lit in the travels home: In the event that one is traveling, and the wife, husband, parents, or children will be lighting the Chanukah candles in his home-See Halacha 4 for the full details of this matter, regarding when one is Yotzei with their lighting! Some Poskim however rule, that irrelevant of that discussion, when one is in transit, such as the cases mentioned above, he is obligated to light candles with a blessing even if candles are being lit in his home.
B. A pauper:
Even one who is supported from charity, is obligated to light Chanukah candles. He must go to the extent of either begging for money or selling his clothes [or getting a job] in order to buy oil for the lighting [of at least one candle per night].
Precedence-Shabbos candles versus Chanukah candles: One who is unable to afford to purchase both Shabbos candles and Chanukah candles, Shabbos candles receive precedence. He is to purchase only one Shabbos candle for the dining table [to last until after the meal], and if any money remains, he is to use it to purchase Chanukah candles. [This however only refers to the candles of Erev Shabbos, if however one has enough money to either purchase candles for Thursday’s lighting, or save the money to purchase candles for Shabbos, then the Chanukah candles receive precedence. Furthermore, some Poskim rule that possibly in today’s times that we anyways light the Chanukah candles inside the house, the Chanukah candles always receives precedence. Other Poskim however argue that this law that the Shabbos candles receive precedence applies even today. Practically, we rule like the latter opinion, that even in today’s times the Shabbos candles receive precedence.]
Precedence-Wine for Kiddush/Havdala versus Chanukah candles: If one has Shabbos candles, but is unable to afford to purchase both Chanukah candles and wine for Kiddush, Chanukah candles receive precedence. He is to purchase only one Chanukah candle and use any leftover money towards wine for Kiddush. Likewise, if one has Shabbos candles and wine for Kiddush, but is unable to afford to purchase both Chanukah candles and wine for Havdala, Chanukah candles receive precedence. [If, however, one does not have money to afford both Chanukah candles and bread for the meal, then some Poskim rule that the bread receives precedence. Other Poskim however rule the Chanukah candles receive precedence. If a roommate cannot afford to purchase both wine for Shabbos and Chanukah candles, he/she is to ask the other roommate to acquire him/her some of the oil and wicks as a present, and be included in their lighting. He/she may then use the leftover money to purchase wine for Kiddush.]
Shalom Bayis precedes Chanukah candles-The lesson in Divine Service:
The Shabbos candles represent Shalom Bayis, bringing peace into one’s home. The Chanukah candles represent bringing peace to the world. The above law states that if one is unable to enter the energy into both spreading peace in his home and into the world, then his home takes precedence. One is to precede his efforts in making his home a dwelling place for Hashem. This especially to one’s wife, who can at times be a Knegdo [adversary] and needs to be reversed to become an Eizer.
C. The obligation in a family-Head of household and other family members:
In a family unit, the obligation to light Chanukah candles falls upon the head of each household. This law applies for both male and female heads of households [i.e. divorcee/widow], as explained next.
Other household members: The additional household members who live and are supported by the head of the house, are not obligated to light Chanukah candles. Furthermore, according to some Poskim, they are specifically not to light candles, and only the head of the household is to do so. This is the Sephardic custom. This applies to household members of all ages and relation, who are supported by the head of the household, and applies to all nights of Chanukah. However, other Poskim rule that [although from the letter of the law there is no obligation for other household members to light], nevertheless, each and every [male] household member is [obligated] to light individual candles each night [due to an age old honored custom of Mehadrin] and so is the widespread [Ashkenazi] custom. [According to the Ashkenazi practice, each of the additional household members is to light candles with a blessing.]
Where to light: Each household member that is lighting candles is to beware to place the candles in its own area, as opposed to having everyone light together in the same spot. This applies even on the first night.
Although, only the head of the household is obligated to light the Chanukah candles, the old age Ashkenazi custom of Mehadrin is for every male family member to light the candles. The candles of each individual are to be lit in their own designated area. Sefaradi male family members, however, do not light candles in addition to the head of the household.
Q&A on additional household members lighting
Must the additional household members who light the Menorah have in mind to not to be Yotzei with their father?
Some Poskim learn that they should have in mind not to be Yotzei with the lighting of the leader of the household. However, from other Poskim it is evident that it is not necessary to have this in mind.
Must the additional household members who light the Menorah, light their candles prior to their father?
Does the Mitzvah of Mehadrin apply to a husband whose wife is lighting or vice versa?
This matter is debated amongst the Poskim.
Does the Mitzvah of Mehadrin apply when one is a guest in another’s home?
Some Poskim learn that perhaps the Mitzvah of Mehadrin only applies when he is at home, however when one is a guest in another’s home, then the concept of Mehadrin does not apply, and he should thus not light candles with a blessing. Practically, one is to have in mind to not be Yotzei with the lighting of his household, and he may then light the candles with a blessing.
Q&A on Sefaradim
Is it considered a blessing in vain for a Sefaradi dependent [i.e. son] to light candles in addition to head of the household [i.e. father]?
Some Poskim learn that it is a possible blessing in vain for a Sefaradi dependent to light candles in addition to the leader of the household.
According to the Sefaradim, is a married couple who is still living by his or her parents to light the candles separately?
He is to light Chanukah candles without a blessing. He and his wife are to join the lighting of the parents, answer Amen and then go right away and light their candles, by their room.
If an Ashkenazi is living in the home of a Sefardi, may he light candles in addition to his host?
Yes. The Sefardi landowner may not protest his custom.
Women [who are the heads of their household] are obligated to light Chanukah candles just like men. Thus, a single, divorced or widowed woman, is obligated to light Chanukah candles in her home. Likewise, a woman whose husband is away from home is obligated to light Chanukah candles in her home, and cannot delegate this duty to a male child below Bar Mitzvah. A woman may even be appointed by a man as his Shliach to light the Chanukah candles on his behalf, as explained in Halacha 4 [and brought next].
Wives: From the letter of the law, a woman can light candles in place of her husband, even when he is present in the house, and have the household fulfill their obligation through her. Nevertheless, it is not proper for a wife to light on behalf of her husband, when her husband is able to light. From the letter of the law, according to the Ashkenazi custom explained in C, a wife is allowed to light candles with a blessing in addition to her husband, just as is done by the other household members. Nevertheless, practically, wives do not light Chanukah candles in addition to her husband [that is home], and she rather fulfills her obligation with her husband’s lighting.
Daughters living at home: Daughters who live in the household in which their father is lighting candles, according to the Ashkenazi custom explained in C, are allowed to light candles with a blessing, in addition to the father of the home. Practically, however, the daughters are not to light Chanukah candles in addition to their father, and are rather to fulfill their obligation with their fathers lighting.
Single woman who are the head of their household, are obligated to light candles just like men. Likewise, a woman whose husband is away from home is obligated to light Chanukah candles in her home. Women who are part of a household, are to have the father of the house light the candles, and be Yotzei with him. There is no difference between Ashkenazi and Sefaradi custom, in this regard.
May a wife light candles with a blessing even if her husband is lighting?
If a wife chooses to light candles, she may do so with a blessing, even if her husband is also lighting candles. [However, she must have in mind to not be Yotzei with her husband’s lighting in order to be allowed to light her own candles with a blessing.]
If one came home and unexpectedly found that his wife lit the Chanukah candles, is he to light candles with a blessing?
See Halacha 3A in Q&A!
What does a wife do if she is not with her husband during a night of Chanukah?
If the husband is away from home, the wife is obligated to light the Chanukah candles at home with a blessing. If the wife is away from home, she is to follow the same law as a male married guest, which is brought in Halacha 4A, and either join in the lighting of her host, or light her own candles.
Children are lighting: If there are sons who are lighting at home, then if they are not yet Bar Mitzvah, she does not fulfill her obligation with their lighting, and is thus to light the candles in addition to them.
Are daughters to light Chanukah candles if the father is not home and the mother is lighting in his stead?
Some Poskim rule that in such a case, the daughters should also light candles, although the custom is not to do so.
Must household members [daughter; wife; Sefaradi boys] who are fulfilling the Mitzvah with the father of the house be present at the time of the blessing?
It is preferable for all the household members to be present at the time of the lighting and blessings. If a household member was not present, he/she nevertheless fulfills his/her obligation. The person is not to recite Sheasa Nissim upon seeing the Menorah despite the fact that he/she was not present when the blessing was recited.
E. Children below the age of Bar/Bas Mitzvah:
Some Poskim rule, that according to the Ashkenazi custom for every household member to lights the candles, once a child reaches the age of Chinuch he is also required to light. Other Poskim however rule, that even according to the Ashkenazi custom in which all male household members light candles, nevertheless, there’s no obligation to educate a child in a matter of Hidur Mitzvah, and therefore he is not obligated to light. [Practically, according to Chabad custom, male children only begin lighting the Chanukah lights some time before their bar-mitzvah. Nevertheless, in many families of Anash, even very young children are educated to light their own candles.]
If a child is living on his own: A child who has reached the age of Chinuch [and is living on his own] is obligated to light the Chanukah candles. The age of Chinuch is considered the age that the child understands the Mitzvah of lighting Chanukah candles.
From the letter of the law, children who are below the age of Chinuch, are not required to be educated to light candles. Children who are above the age of Chinuch, it is disputed as to whether one is required to educate them to light candles. Practically, the custom today is to educate male children of even very young age to light their own Menorah.
If a child is becoming Bar Mitzvah on Chanukah, when is he to light his candles, before or after nightfall?
 Shulchan Aruch Chapter 571
 571:2; Rambam 4:1; Tur 571:2
 M”B 670:12
 M”A 675:4; Rashal 77; Elya Raba 675:7
 Poskim ibid
The reason: As a blind person is obligated in all Mitzvos, and since the Mitzvah of Pirsumei Nissa applies towards other people seeing the Chanukah candles, it is therefore an obligation for him to light it. [ibid]
 Mor Uketzia; Machazik Bracha 675:5; Shaareiy Teshuvah 675:3; Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeishev 15; M”B 675:9; Kaf Hachaim 675:23; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 676:3
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule he may light candles with a blessing. [Rashal ibid; Shevet Halevi 4:67; Yalkut Yosef p. 224]
 Michaber 675:3; Shabbos 23b
 Orchos Chaim [Rishon] Chanukah 18 regarding ship; Maharsham 4:156; Aruch Hashulchan 677:5; Shaar Shlomo 51; Beis Shearim 362; Shearim Hametzuyanim 129:8; Tzitz Eliezer 9 p. 97; 15:29; Az Nidbaru 7:63, 67; 11:34-2 based on Rishonim and Achronim; Piskeiy Teshuvos 677:3; Mishneh Halachos 7:86; See Nitei Gavriel 2:1; Mikraei Kodesh Chanukah 18; Chazon Ovadia Chanukah p. 156-158
 Possible way of learning Rashi Shabbos 23b that one is exempt from lighting on a ship due to it not being a house [so learns Igros Moshe ibid, unlike Maharsham ibid]; Implication of Tosafus Sukkah 46a “There are people who do not have homes and cannot fulfill the Mitzvah”; Implication of Rambam Chanukah 4:1 “Every home is to light one candle”; Pnei Yehoshua Shabbos 21; Igros Moshe Y.D. 3:14-5; See Rav SZ”A in Minchas Shlomo 2:51; Halichos Shlomo 2:13; Hilchos Chag Bechag Chanukah p. 27;
 Rashi ibid even according to Maharsham
 Orchos Chaim [Rishon] Chanukah 18 regarding ship; Maharsham 4:156 regarding a train; Aruch Hashulchan 677:5 regarding a train; Shearim Hametzuyanim 129:8; Tzitz Eliezer 15:29; Az Nidbaru 7:63; Piskeiy Teshuvos 677:3
 See Piskeiy Teshuvos 673:1 footnote 6
Lighting a candle and taking a chance that it will be extinguished: Some Poskim [Betzel Hachochma 4:127; Piskeiy Teshuvos 677:3] suggest lighting a single candle with a blessing even in areas that lighting a match is forbidden, and security will extinguish it, and if one will be forced to extinguish it himself, then he is to light it without a blessing. Practically, however, it does not seem reasonable to ask someone to perform an illegal act, offend others and take a chance of getting arrested, and rather in such a situation, Shev Veal Taaseh Adif, and he should rather light a filament flashlight without a blessing.
 Maharsham ibid; Aruch Hashulchan ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid
 The reason: As the payment for the plane/train/bus ticket is considered like one is renting the space, and it is thus similar to a 2nd home, which requires lighting even if one’s wife is lighting for him in his 1st home. [Maharsham ibid] Alternatively, the reason one should light candles is because he is obligated to see candles in order to say the blessing of Sheasa Nissim, he is thus to light his own candles, even when he is technically Yotzei with the lighting at home. [Aruch Hashulchan ibid]
 Michaber 671:1
 Elya Raba 671:1; Mamar Mordechai 671:2; M”B 671:3; Kaf Hachaim 671:5
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule he does not need to go to the extent of hiring himself out for a job, in order to purchase the candles. [Olas Shabbos 671:1]
 Elya Raba 671:1; P”M 671 A”A 1; Chayeh Adam 154:6; M”B ibid; Kaf Hachaim 671:3
 The reason: This is due to the Mitzvah of Pirsumei Nissa. [M”B 671:2]
 Michaber 678:1; Rava Shabbos 23b
The reason: As the purpose of Shabbos candles is to bring peace to one’s home [Michaber ibid] as one needs to eat near light, and the light prevents him from stumbling upon walking in the room. [See Rashi ibid; Taz 678:1; M”A 678:2] The Shabbos candle receives precedence even if he can afford to buy both Chanukah candles and wine for Kiddush with that money. [Radbaz 108; Erech Hashulchan 678:1; Kaf Hachaim 678:4] The entire Torah was given for the sake of peace, and hence if one cannot fulfill the Mitzvah of Chanukah due to a Mitzvah that brings peace, then even from the perspective of Chanukah, one should forgo its Mitzvah for the sake of the Mitzvah that brings peace. [See Likkutei Sichos 15 p. 372 [printed in Shaar Hamoadim Chanukah 49]]
 See Kaf Hachaim 678:4
 M”A 678:1; Elya Raba 678:1; M”B 678:1; Kaf Hachaim 678:1
The reason: As one is only obligated to light one Shabbos candle to fulfill the Mitzvah of Ner Shabbos. The concept of lighting two candles for Shabbos is merely a proper act, and it is thus better to be Mihadeir in the Chanukah lighting [and light many Chanukah candles] rather than be Mihadeir in Shabbos candles. [P”M 678 A”A 1; M”B 678:1; See also Biur Halacha 263 “Shtei Pesilos”] As the concept of Mehadrin by Chanukah candles is brought in the Talmud, as opposed to the concept of lighting more than one Shabbos candle. [Shaar Hatziyon 678:3]
 Radbaz 13; Erech Hashulchan 678:2; Kaf Hachaim 678:5
The reason: As we do not delay the performance of a Mitzvah for the sake of performing a later Mitzvah. [ibid] Furthermore, Hashem could arrange that he make money the next day and hence afford to buy the candles. [Kaf Hachaim ibid]
 M”A 678:2; Ruach Chaim in name of Rosh Yosef; Chayeh Adam 154:36; See Kaf Hachaim 678:2
 The reason: As in upon lighting the Chanukah candles at home one will automatically achieve the Shalom Bayis affected by the Shabbos candles, as the Chanukah candle will give light to the room. Now, although it is forbidden to use the Chanukah lights and eat near it, nevertheless, this is similar to a time of danger in which we rule the candles may be lit on the table, and due to lack of choice one is likewise allowed to eat near it. This law likewise applies during the week, if one only has one candle available. [M”A ibid]
 Elya Raba 678:2; Bigdei Yesha 678; Derech Hachaim; P”M 678 A”A 2 that so is implied from Michaber and Rama ibid; M”B 678:2; Kaf Hachaim ibid in name of Shaar Hakavanos
 M”B 678:2
 Michaber 678:1; Rava Shabbos 23
The reason: As the Chanukah candles contains the Mitzvah of Pirsumei Nissa. [Michaber ibid] Now, although the Mitzvah of Kiddush is Biblical, nevertheless, since one can make Kiddush on bread, the wine does not receive precedence. [Beis Yosef; Ran; Levush; Taz 678:2; M”B 678:6]
 M”A 678:3; M”B 678:5
 Rama 678:1
The reason: As the Chanukah candles contains the Mitzvah of Pirsumei Nissa [Michaber ibid] and it is possible to recite Havdala in Davening. [Kaf Hachaim 678:10]
 Taz 678:2; Erech Hashulchan 678:4; M”B 678:4; See Kaf Hachaim 678:9
 The reason: As eating bread and Lechem Mishneh on Shabbos is a Biblical precept according to all, as well as that making Kiddush on bread [when wine is not available] is a Biblical command, while the Chanukah candles is merely Rabbinical. [Taz ibid;]
 Bach 678, brought in Beir Heiytiv 678:1; Peri Chadash 678; Ateres Zekeinim 678
 The reason: As the Mitzvah of Kiddush is only Rabbinical, and there is no Biblical command to eat Lechem Mishneh. [Ateres Zekeinim ibid; P”M 678 M”Z 2]
 P”M 678 A”A 2; Kaf Hachaim 678:8
 Likkutei Sichos 3:67 [Lashon Hakodesh]; See also Likkutei Sichos 15 p. 372 [printed in Shaar Hamoadim Chanukah 49]
 Michaber 671:2; Rambam 4:1; Tur 571:2
 Such as children, above and below Bar Mitzvah, who live at home; one’s wife; an orphan who one took into one’s home. [M”B 671:8]
 Michaber 671:2; Tur 671; Tosafus Shabbos 21b; the recorded custom of Spain brought by Rambam 4:3, even though the Rambam is the source of the second opinion.
 The reason: As the Gemara Shabbos ibid records the level of Mehadrin [to light per family member] and Mehadrin Min Hamihadrin [to light per number night], and according to this opinion, the custom of Mehadrin Min Hamihadrin is not in addition to Mehadrin, but is instead of it. Meaning, rather than lighting per household members, one is to only light per number night. The reason for this is because the main idea of Mehadrin Min Hamihadrin is for it to be recognizable which night of the miracle one is holding by, and if each household member lights candles, people will simply think that each household member lit one candle [which is plain Mehadrin], as opposed to thinking of the number of candles lit for that night. [Biur Halacha 671:2 “Lo Yadlik Yoser”]
 Michaber 671:2; The recorded custom of Spain brought by Rambam 4:3, Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeishev 16; Kaf Hachaim 571:18
Switch of opinions: This Sefaradi custom is unique being that it ends up that the Sefaradim rule like the Ashkenazi Poskim [i.e. Tosfos] while the Ashkenazim rule like the Sefardi Poskim [i.e. Rambam]. There is no precedence for such a switch of rulings amongst the Poskim. [Taz 672:1; Kaf Hachaim 671:6]
 M”B 671:8
 Rama 671:2; Rambam 4:1-2; Rif brought in Biur Hagr”a and Biur Halacha 671:2 “Veyesih Omrim”
 See D!
 Rama 571:2 as rules Rambam 4:1-2; Kitzur SHU”A 139:6 “The custom of all Israel”; The Bach writes that this is the followed custom of all communities with exception to Spain. The Bach concludes that one whose custom is like Tosafus, is not to swerve from it. Darkei Moshe explains that today being we all light inside, and there is no longer confusion as to how many candles one has lit, even according to Tosafus one is to follow the ruling of the Rambam. [See P”M 671 M”Z 1] See Shaar Hamoadim Chanukah 39
 Taz 677:1; P”M 671 M”Z 1; Shut Rav Akiva Eiger Tinyana 13 based on M”A 677:9; Kesav Sofer 132-134; Sefas Emes Shabbos 21a
Background: It is not clear from the Gemara Shabbos 21b or Rambam ibid that each individual is to say a blessing or even light the candles, but rather that simply the Baal Habayis lights enough candles to correspond for each person. Nevertheless, the age-old custom based on Mehadrin of the Gemara and Rambam is for each individual to light a candle with a blessing. The Poskim discuss whether one who is away from home may light candles with a blessing, even though he is Yotzei with his family at home. All however agree that if he is at home, he may light candles with a blessing according to the Ashkenazi custom. The doubt is only when one is away from home, and hence perhaps the concept of Mehadrin is not applicable. See Taz ibid and Poskim he mentions; P”M 677 M”Z 1 that Mehadrin allows one to say a blessing and it is only when one is away from home that the concept of Mehadrin perhaps does not apply.
The reason: As he is fulfilling the Mitzvah of Mehadrin which was initially enacted by the Sages who established this Mitzvah, and hence, even if he is Yotzei, he may still light his own candles in order to fulfill the Mehadrin. [Sefas Emes ibid; So can be implied from Taz ibid] However, other Poskim learn that those who light have in mind to not be Yotzei with the Baal Habayis. [P”M 671 M”Z 1 “Meaning that they have in mind not to be Yotzei”; Shut Rav Akiva Eiger Tinyana 13 based on M”A 677:9; Piskeiy Teshuvos 671:2]
 Rama 671:2 and 671:7
The reason: This is done in order so it be recognizable the amount of candles being lit that night. [ibid] By doing so, one satisfies even the opinion of Tosafus. [Biur Halacha 671:2 “Veyizharu”] However, when each Menorah is not individually recognizable, people can mistake the number of candles being lit that night, having joined the candles lit on two different Menorahs.
 M”A 671:2; P”M 671 A”A 2; Biur Halacha 671:2 “Kdei”
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that on the first night, it is not necessary for the household members to light in individual areas. [Elya Raba 671:3, brought in Biur Halacha ibid]
 Implication of Taz 677:1 “If he wants he can be Yotzei with his wife and if not then he can light himself”; P”M 671 M”Z 1 “Meaning that they have in mind not to be Yotzei”; Machatzis Hashekel 677:1; Shut Rav Akiva Eiger Tinyana 13 based on M”A 677:9; See Kesav Sofer 132-134; Piskeiy Teshuvos 671:2
 Sefas Emes Shabbos 21a; Taz 677:1 “A guest who lights in addition to his wife is not considered a blessing in vain, as its included in Mehadrin”; See M”A 674 that with one candle the entire family is Yotzei and thus the sons cannot light from one candle to another”
 The reason: As he is fulfilling the Mitzvah of Mehadrin which was initially enacted by the Sages who established this Mitzvah, and hence, even if he is Yotzei, he may still light his own candles in order to fulfill the Mehadrin. [Sefas Emes ibid; So is implied from Taz ibid]
 See previous Q&A that either one has in mind to not be Yotzei, or does not need to have this in mind. Either way, there is no need to precede one’s lighting to that of the parent.
 See Taz 677:3 in name of Terumos Hadeshen 101 who brings a dispute in this matter and concludes that it is considered Mehadrin for the husband/wife to also light. See P”M 677 M”Z 1 for the sides to this debate.
 See Taz 677:3 in name of Terumos Hadeshen 101 for a dispute in this matter regarding one who is married. See P”M 677 M”Z 1 that perhaps it only applies at home, and that is why he can’t light as a guest if his wife lights in his house. The Beis Yosef [and Michaber] however conclude that one is Yotzei and hence may not light with a blessing. [see Taz ibid]
 Rama 677:3; Taz ibid, and so concludes the.
 Implication of Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeishev 16 and Kaf Hachaim 671:15; 677:15 who rule that even a married couple who is by the home of their parents is to light without a blessing; See also Yechaveh Daas 6:53; Vetzaruch Iyun, as according to all, lighting in addition to the father is at the very least the level of Mehadrin. However, perhaps the Mitzvah of Mehadrin is for the father to light one candle per person, as brought in the Gemara and not that each person lights one candle. Alternatively, perhaps in order for one to follow Mehadrin Min Hamihadrin they have to have in mind to not be Yotzei with the father’s lighting. [P”M 671 M”Z 1 “Meaning that they have in mind not to be Yotzei”; Shut Rav Akiva Eiger Tinyana 13 based on M”A 677:9; See Kesav Sofer 132-134; Piskeiy Teshuvos 671:2] Alternatively, it follows those who hold that one cannot have in mind to not be Yotzei with the father/wife. [See Yechaveh Daas ibid; Vetzaruch Iyun]
 Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeishev 16; Kaf Hachaim 671:15; 677:15; Taamei Haminhagim 848
 Kneses Yechezkal 17; Shaareiy Teshuvah 671:3; Kaf Hachaim 671:7
 Michaber 675:3; Shabbos 23a
 The reason: The reason women are obligated in this Mitzvah, despite the fact that this is a Mitzvah “Shehazman Grama”, is because women were actively part of the Chanukah miracle, as the Greeks decreed that every bride must first sleep with the general, and it was through a woman that the Chanukah miracle took place. [Shabbos 23a; Taz 675:4; Beir Hagoleh 675:2; Kol Bo]
 M”B 675:9; When the Rebbe Rashab was away from home for Chanukah, he would instruct his wife Shterna Sara, to light the candles, but to hear the blessing from one of the men. [Sefer Hasichos 5706 p. 21; Likkutei Sichos 30 p. 312]
 Michaber 675:3 “A woman may light Ner Chanukah”; M”A 675:4 “For the sake of her household”; Taz 675:4 “She can even light on behalf of a man”; M”B 675:9 and Biur Halacha 675:2 “Isha”
 Biur Halacha 675:2 “Isha”
 Olas Shmuel 105; Pischeiy Teshuvah; M”B 675:9; Kaf Hachaim 675:21; Machatzis Hashekel 677:8 in name of Shiltei Giborim [brought in Sefer Haminhagim p. 157 footnote 623] “The Mehadrin have every family member light candles, whether men or women”; Rambam Chanukah 4 “Whether for men or for women”; Kaf Hachaim 671:16
 Rashal 85; Kneses Hagedola 671; Elya Raba 671:3; Olas Shmuel 105; Pischeiy Teshuvah; M”B 671:9 and 675:9; Kaf Hachaim 671:16; 675:21; Sefer Haminhagim p. 157 [English]; Minhag Beis Harav, brought in Toras Menachem 5750 2:51; Likkutei Sichos 30:312 “Practically, we do not find that women would light candles on their own”; See Shulchan Menachem 3:274; Minhag Yisrael Torah 671:1
The reason: Although the Ashkenazi custom is for all household members to light, nevertheless, the custom is for wives to follow the letter of the law, and not to light their own Menorah and rather fulfill their obligation through their husband. The reason for this is because one’s wife is like his body and it is thus considered as if she lit the candles. [Elya Raba 671:3; M”B 671:9] Alternatively, women are considered nullified to men in this regard and are hence not included in the Mitzvah of Mehadrin. [Olas Shmuel 105 brought in M”B 675:9] Alternatively, the reason is because women are not expert in the blessings. [Mishmeres Shalom 48:2, brought in Sefer Haminhagim ibid] Alternatively, because they are not expert in the laws of how it is to be done. [Likkutei Sichos 30:312] Alternatively, the reason is because originally when the custom was to light outside the home, women did not light candles as “Kol Kevuda Bas Melech Penima”. [Chasam Sofer Shabbos 21b]
 See Olas Shmuel 105; Pischeiy Teshuvah; M”B 675:9; Kaf Hachaim 675:21; Sefer Haminhagim p. 157 [English]; Minhag Yisrael Torah 671:1
 See Poskim ibid; Machatzis Hashekel 677:8 in name of Shiltei Giborim [brought in Sefer Haminhagim p. 157 footnote 623] “The Mehadrin have every family member light candles, whether men or women”; Rambam Chanukah 4 “Whether for men or for women”; Kaf Hachaim 671:16
 Olas Shmuel 105; Pischeiy Teshuvah; M”B 675:9; Kaf Hachaim 675:21; Sefer Haminhagim p. 157 [English]; Minhag Beis Harav, brought in Toras Menachem 5750 2:51; Likkutei Sichos 30:312 “Practically, we do not find that women would light candles on their own”
The reason: Although the Ashkenazi custom is for all household members to light, nevertheless, the custom is for daughters to follow the letter of the law not to light their own Menorah and fulfill their obligation through their father. The reason for this is because women are considered nullified to men in this regard and are hence not included in the Mitzvah of Mehadrin. [Olas Shmuel 105 brought in M”B 675:9] Alternatively, the reason is because women are not expert in the blessings. [Mishmeres Shalom 48:2, brought in Sefer Haminhagim ibid] Alternatively, because they are not expert in the laws of how it is to be done. [Likkutei Sichos 30:312] Alternatively, the reason is because it is improper for daughters to light in face of the mother who is not lighting. [Sefer Haminhagim ibid]
The Chabad custom: As stated above from Sefer Haminhagim, the Chabad custom is for girls not to light candles. Nonetheless, in the year 1988 the Rebbe stated that even girls are to light candles if it will add to their education in a positive way. [Hisvadyus 5748 Vol. 2:91] However, the next year the Rebbe was asked by Neshei Ubnos Chabad if this instruction applies for the coming year as well, and the Rebbe answered that this question belongs to a Rav. The widespread custom today amongst daughters of Anash is not to light candles, as is the custom mentioned in Sefer Haminhagim.
 M”B 675:9 in name of Olas Shmuel 105
 The reason: As the Ashkenazi custom is to allow each person of the house to light their own candles and women are included in this law. [ibid]
 See M”A 677:1; Machatzis Hashekel ibid
 M”B 675:4; Piskeiy Teshuvos 675:4; See Halacha 4
 Mishmeres Shalom 48:1
 The reason: As some Poskim hold that they do not fulfill the blessing of Sheasa Nissim with the household lighting unless they are present and hear the blessings. [Michaber 677:3 as explained in M”B 677:14 [contradicts 676:3]; Mordechai; Biur Hagr”a in name of Rashi; Elya Raba; Bach; Peri Chadash; brought in M”B ibid; Shaar Hatziyon 676:9] Likewise, today that we light inside, it is important to have as many household members by the lighting as is possible in order to publicize the miracle. [See Rama 672:2; M”B 672:10]
 Michaber 676:3 [contradicts 677:3]; M”A 676:1; Taz 676:4; Birkeiy Yosef 676:3; M”B 676:6; 677:14; Kaf Hachaim 676:24; 677:23; Piskeiy Teshuvos 675:3; In Rishonim: Rashba; Ran; Smag
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule the blessing of Sheasa Nissim and Shehechiyanu is to be recited by the household members upon seeing the candles. [Michaber 677:3 as explained in M”B 677:14 [contradicts 676:3]; Mordechai; Biur Hagr”a in name of Rashi; Elya Raba ; Bach; Peri Chadash; brought in M”B ibid; Shaar Hatziyon 676:9] Practically, the blessing is not to be recited as Safek Brachos Lihakel. [M”B 676:6; 677:14; Kaf Hachaim 676:24; 677:23] However, some Poskim rule that the blessing of Sheasa Nissim is to be recited by one who was not present at that time. [Ashel Avraham Tinyana 675 “even a girl over Chinuch who did not hear the blessing must say it upon seeing the candles.”]
 Rama 675:3; P”M 671 M”Z 1; See M”B 677:13; Kaf Hachaim 677:22; According to Michaber, obviously the child does not light being that according to him only one person lights in each home.
 M”A 677:8; M”B 677:13; Biur Halacha 675:3 “Uledidon”; Shiltei Giborim; Meiri; Kaf Hachaim 677:22l; The M”A and Biur Halacha ibid brings opinions that argue on Rama and hold that even according to the Ashkenazi custom that all male household members light, nevertheless, there’s no obligation to educate a child in a matter of Hidur Mitzvah, and therefore he is not obligated to light. The M”B 675:14 concludes he is only required to light one candle.
 Sefer Haminhagim p. 157 [English]; This seemingly follows the latter opinion above.
 Shevach Hamoadim p.101
 Michaber 677:2; Orchos Chaim
 M”B 677:13; Kaf Hachaim 677:22
 Mikraeiy Kodesh Chanukah 11; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 675:4
 Teshuvos Vehanhagos 2:337