Lighting a Public Menorah

Lighting a Public Menorah:[1]

The Rebbe’s directed the arrangement of public Menorah lightings, in order to publicize the miracle of Chanukah.[2] However, the participants do not fulfill their obligation with such lighting and thus should be informed that they must still light in their homes.[3]

Is a blessing recited?[4] Some Poskim[5] rule that a blessing may be recited when lighting a public Menorah, just as the blessings are recited upon lighting the Menorah in Shul.[6] Other Poskim[7] rule that a blessing may not be said.[8] Some[9] rule that a blessing may only be said if a Minyan for Maariv is arranged by the public Menorah lighting.[10]

Using torch wicks: A torch may not to be used for the Menorah lighting.[11] Thus, by all public lightings in which a blessing is recited like the lenient opinion above, the candle must be made of a single wick.


[1] See Likkutei Sichos 25:419; Shulchan Menachem 3/273-274

[2] Hisvadyos 1987 2 p. 98 and 133

[3] Hisvadyos 1987 2 p. 98

[4] See Hiskashrus 696:14; Chikrei Haminhagim 1:208; Piskeiy Teshuvos 671:15

[5] Mishneh Sachir 2:202; Az Nidbaru 6:75; 5:37; 11:32 and 34; Rav Ginzburg in Hiskashrus 696:14, and so was done in the satellite hookup with the Rebbe.

[6] The reason: They base their allowance on either a) The Rivash explains that the reason the blessing is recited over the lighting in Shul is because of the publication of the miracle, and since here too the miracle is being publicized, a blessing may be said. b) The Kol Bo explains that the reason the blessing is recited over the Shul lighting, is in order to fulfill the Mitzvah for those who are not able to light, and thus likewise by a public lighting where many people who don’t light attend, a blessing may be said. c) The main institution of the lighting was to be done outside, and thus a public lighting has greater advantage than even the Shul lighting. [Az Nidbaru ibid]

[7] Tzitz Eliezer 15:30; Minchas Yitzchak 6:65; Shevet Halevy 4:65; Divrei Yatziv 2:286; Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach brought in Az Nidbaru 6:75; Kinyan Torah 1:131; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:398

[8] Their reason: Even the custom of lighting with a blessing in a Shul is not agreed to by all Poskim. Those who allow doing so go into difficulty to explain its basis. There is thus no room to extend this to being allowed to light with a blessing as well in an area which was never previously accepted.

[9] Yalkut Yosef p. 204; Rav Yochanan Guraryeh in Chikreiy Minhagim p. 217

[10] This makes the lighting similar to the lighting done in a Shul.

[11] See Halacha 14B!

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