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Hanukkah candles

Question:

Hello Rabbi,
1. I work until 6:30 many nights and technically the candles can be lit as early as 4:15. Is it okay to wait until after I am done with work to light? There are people awake and even walking by in the street.

  1. Also, if I am lighting after work, would it be okay to have a light meal at 4:00 even though that is technically within half hour of lighting time (despite my not lighting then?). If not, is it better to light earlier and then go back to work?

Thank you.

Answer:

Thank you for your question.

  1. The candles should be lit after it is already nightfall, meaning that the stars ae already noticeable. The candles should be lit then and stay lit for half an hour. I am not sure what time this is in your area. This is the preferred time to light. If you can’t then it is still permitted to light as long as here are people still in the street that will see your candles. If you can it is better to light and then go back to work. Additionally, if you can’t light at the correct time, it is possible to light from plag hamincha (which in the winter is approximately an hour before sunset). However then, you should make sure to light with enough oil or at least one candle that will burn long enough until half an hour after nightfall.
  2. After half an hour before lighting time we do not a meal, however something light, such as fruits and vegetables, or even less than an eggs worth of cake. Drinking is also permitted.

Sources:

O:CH 672-2, M:B 672-10.

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