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Chanuka Lighting & Travelling



It looks like i will be travelling iy’h for a simcha on chanuka. However the travel is long, I will be leaving on erev chanuka with a stopover for a few hours in zurich airport and then only land in tel aviv at 3.30am. When do I light?
Is it better to light in Zurich airport or Ben Gurion airport?
Can one say brochos if not lighting in a home?
Does make a difference if I can get a minyan at one of the airports for mariv?

Unfortunately, by the time i get to Jerusalem, will probably be morning already and therefore too late to light.


According to most poskim, while you are traveling you are essentially homeless, and you don’t have to and can’t light at all. The best thing in your situation would be to have your wife or an adult child, light for you at home. This way you are yotza with her lighting in your home.

Regarding lighting in the airport, you can’t be yotza with that because it isn’t your home, or your place at all. Nevertheless, it still might however be a good idea to light something in the airport without a bracha for pirsumei nisa. (See Hilchos Chag B’chag- Chanukah 4-1).

Having a minyan is not going to help us here, because lighting in a shul is only when it is a shul and a makom kavuah, but not in a terminal, which essentially is just a reshus horabim.

Regarding lighting on the plane itself, there are poskim that say that since you rented the place, even though it is only temporary, technically you may light there, however other disagree with this. Besides for which, lighting a flame on a plane is dangerous, and not allowed, therefore it is forbidden to light a fire on the plane. What you can do, is to take along a flashlight, or a traveling electric candle, and turn it on so it will stay lit for half an hour, but without making a bracha. Therefore the best option, if applicable is that your wife should light for you at home.

Since you will not be saying the bracha of Shehechiyanu on the first night, you may have to say it on the second night.  If your wife or family members cannot light for at home because they are not there, then when you light on the second night you will say shehechiyanu.

If your wife will light for you the first night, it is questionable if you may say shehechiyanu on the second night, because your wife said the bracha for you. The Mishna Berura therefore says that because it is questionable, you don’t say shehechiyanu. Other poskim however say that if you want to say shehechiyanu you can buy a new fruit etc. and make a shehechiyanu on it and have in mind to include the lighting of the menorah.

Best wishes and have a safe trip.


Tosefos Succah 64a D”H Haroeh, Biur Halacha 675-3 D:H Isha, Kovetz Halachos (Chanukah)  Igros Moshe Y:D 3-14, that one needs a “bayis” I orer to light the menorah. See Mivakshei Torah 200-1 in the name of R’ S. Z. Auerbach zt”l, Mitzvas Ner Ish pg. 91 in the name of R’ Eliyashiv zt”l, Megilas Sefer Shabbos 38-8, Ohr Yisroel 18 pg. 78, Avnei Yohpe 5-94(2) and Hilchos Chag Bchag (Chanukah) 4-2 in the name of R’ Eliyashiv zt”l that one may not light on a plane. On the other hand Maharsham 4-146, She’arim Hemtzuyanim B’halacha 139-8, Be’er Moshe 6 Kuntris Electric 58-5, Kovetz Halachos (Chanukah) 11-8, that one may only light in his “home”, and a train, since it is a rented spot, it is considered as one’s home. Essentially a plane is worse because it is very temporary. See Darcei Hora’ah (Horav A. Weiss) 4-8 (1), Kovetz Mivakshei Torah (Kislev 5756) says from R’ S. Z. Auerbach zt”l, that one may light on a plane but without a bracha.

Regarding lighting a flame on the plan, see Darei Horaah ibid 2, 3 that it is forbidden, and geneiva to light a flame on a flight without the explicit permission of the staff, who will never give permission to endanger 400 passengers!

Regarding saying shehecheyanu the second night Shulchan Aruch O:CH 676-1, and M:B 2, Aruch Hashulchan 676 -7 however says that one does say the bracha even if his wife lit for him at home.

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