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Lighting Chanukah Lights in Chutz La’aretz


Question from Brooklyn, NY:
1) In Eretz Yisroel where they light outdoors, there is a great diligence to light within 20 – 30 minutes after sunset, many light at sunset itself.
Does this apply outside of Eretz Yisroel where everyone lights inside?
2) There is a discussion concerning the opinion of the Ritvah, and many say this is also the opinion of the Rambam, that the time when people are no longer outside, depends on the time and place.
So in our day and age, till what time is it required for the Chanukah lights to burn – outside of Eretz Yisroel?



Thank you for your question.

  1. The reason why in Eretz Yisroel many people light at shliya (sunset) is because the opinion of the Vilna Gaon was to light then, and there are many things done in Eretz Yisroel (especially Yerushalayim) according to the Vilna Gaon. (In part because it was his disciples that started the old yishuv in Yerushalayim, and that was their minhag).  It is not because of where they are lighting. (For example R’ Moshe Feinstein zt”l held that one should light 10 minutes after sunset, see Igros MOshe O:CH 4-101(6)) Even nowadays that we light inside, we are still lighting by the window so that the people in the street can see the lights. Therefore we should still keep the old minhagim and not change. It is correct, that there is more room to be lenient nowadays because we are also lighting for the people inside the house, however the zman should still be kept.
  2. There is discussion among the poskim if we have to light our light longer nowadays because people are in the street a lot later than half an hour after tzeis hakochavim, nevertheless the halacha remains the same, that the lechatchila time to light is at skiya tzeis etc. The amount of time that the lights should burn is for half an hour. There are however opinions that they should go for longer. Please see the following post  Chanukah Sameach


Oz Nidberu 7-70

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