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My wife will be lighting Chanukah Candles.


I am aware of the many sources that discuss the reasons a woman should or should not light, and rather her husband should be Motzei her.

If my wife does choose to light her own Chanukah candles, does she make her own Beracha?

If the answer is, that my beracha is for my whole ״בית״ and therefore she should not light. Then why do all aged children make their own beracha, they should be included in their fathers beracha on the ״בית״ ?

Thank you,
חנוכה שמח


From the wording of your question “if my wife chooses” you are inferring that your wife is the one to decide the halacha, and the minhag in Klal Yisroel!

Even if she “chooses” not to according to the poskim and the minhag, she should still listen to the bracha from her husband, and answer amen. She is different that the children who make the bracha by themselves because they are doing like mehadrin min hamehadrin, which includes the making their own bracha. On the other hand, a married woman is not included in mehadrin min hamehadrin, this is because a man and his wife are considered one body and have only one obligation. Therefore since the husband already lit it is as if she also already lit, and therefore if she would make a bracha it would be a bracha l’vatala. Even if there are sources that she may light, she would still not make a bracha because safek brachos l’hakel.

By the way, the gemora says “gadol h’oneh aneim yoser min hamivarech”, the person who answers amen gets more reward then the person who actually made the bracha, one of the reasons for this is because amen has the gematria of 91 which is the gematria of the name A-D-N-Y, and the name Y-H- V- H. The person making the bracha is only blessing H-shem with the name A-D–N-Y. Therefore the person answering amen is considered to have blessed H-shem on a higher level, ( although they don’t have a speaking part). Therefore she is not losing out by answering amen to her husband’s bracha, and this is the way that H-shem wants her to fulfill the mitzvah of lighting chanukah candles.

Have a happy Chanukah



Maharshal siman 85, Eliyahu Rabba 671-3, Pri Migadim ibid M:B 1, Shar Hatzion ibid 10, Kovetz Halachos 11-9.

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  1. Just to be melamed zchus on the questioner— when he said that his wife might choose to light, maybe he was assuming like the Olas Shmuel (brought in mishna brura תרעא:ט) who says that women may choose to light like all mitzvas asei shehazman grama. And the way the mishna brura brings it, it sounds like this applies to all women. Even though the mishna brura says earlier the svara of ishto kegufo, still the question is still legitimate based on the other mishna brura.
    Also it could be there’s a makom to say even lefi the svara of ishto kegufo she can choose not to be yotzei with her husband just like the other benei bayis do according to some achronim (although there would be no point in doing so since she’s yotzei mehadrin min hamehadrin with her husband— still lefi this there might not be a bracha levatala.

    Bekitzur there’s a makom to say that her choice does make a difference— and not that she’s deciding the Halacha/minhag for klal Yisroel

    1. This is precisely the difference between all the other people in the home and the man’s wife. Everyone else halachically can choose if they want to be yotza in a regular way or mehadrin min hamihadrin. However one’s wife according to many poskim is different because she and her husband are one and it is as if she already lit. This is the way that chazal set up the mitzvah, ner ish ubayso, the ner is for both of them. She can’t just choose to do differently than that, especially if she is going to make a bracha.

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