Hilchot and Minhagei Chanukah According to the Sephardic Practice – Part 2

hero image

Excepted with permission from Laws of the Holidays: A Comprehensive Halachic Guide for Sepharadim

Part 1 here

 The Berachot and Kindling of the Chanukah Lights

Order of the berachot

  1. On the first night of Chanukah, three berachot are recited: 1. Lehadlik Ner Chanukah[137] SheAsah Nissim LaAvotenu BaYamim HaHem BaZeman HaZeh 3. Shehecheyanu.[138] On the other of the nights of Chanukah, only the first two berachot are recited.[139]
  2. All of the berachot should be recited before lighting, since the berachot must be recited prior to fulfilling the mitzvah.[140]
  3. The berachot must be reciting while standing. Those who are part of the household who are present should stand as well.[141]
  4. If one’s wife lit on his behalf on the first night of Chanukah, he should recite a Shehecheyanu when lighting on the second night.[142]
  5. Even though the Sephardic custom is that only the head of the household lights the menorah and recites the berachot, it is proper for the rest of the household to be present and answer amen to the berachot.[143]
  6. If one hears an Ashkenazi reciting a berachah on his lighting in his home after the head of the household already lit, should think the word amen without verbalizing it. However, if someone in Eretz Yisrael hears a berachah from his Ashkenazi friend whose parents are in chutz laAretz, he may answer amen.[144]

Nussach of the berachot

  1. The proper nussach of the berachah is lehadlik ner Chanukah and not lehadlik ner shel Chanukah. If one accidentally recited the berachah and added the word shel, he has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation, and the berachah does not need to be repeated.[145]
  2. When a messenger is appointed to light the menorah on behalf of someone else, he should not change the nussach of the berachah.[146]
  3. A convert may recite all of the berachot on the Chanukah lights.[147]

Lighting the menorah

  1. After reciting the berachot on the lighting, one may not speak until one has entirely lit the first wick. However, if one spoke, another berachah should not be recited.[148]
  2. After the first wick has been lit entirely, one should begin to recite HaNerot Hallalu while lighting the remaining wicks.[149]
  3. After reciting HaNerot Hallalu, many people have a custom to recite Mizmor Shir Chanukat HaBayit LeDavid.[150] It is also customary to sing the piyyut of Maoz Tzur.[151] Some Sephardim have the custom to also sing the piyyut of Yah hatzel yonah mechakah.[152]
  4. The procedure of lighting is as follows: On the first night one should light the rightmost candle. Starting from the second night, he should begin lighting the leftmost candle, which is the candle that is added that evening, and then light the rest of the candles from left to right.[153]
  5. The above is the case when lighting on either the left side of a door (opposite the mezuzah) or at a window. However, if one is lighting in a doorway without a mezuzah, then one should light in the opposite direction, and light the candle closest to the door.[154]
  6. If one accidentally lit the Chanukah lights in the wrong direction, he has fulfilled his obligation and does not need to light again.[155]
  7. When lighting the Chanukah lights, one should not move the flame of the shamash (i.e. the candle he is using to light with) from the wick that is being lit until most of it has caught fire. This is so that the flame will ascend well as soon as one finishes kindling, and so that the wick will shine well and will not extinguish.[156]
  8. One should not blow out a candle with one’s mouth (at any time of the year). To extinguish the fire, one may shake the end of the match or candle.[157]
  9. After lighting the candles, it is a praiseworthy custom to remain near the candles, stare at them, and discuss the miracles of Chanukah with one’s family.[158]

 Mistakes when lighting

  1. If one forgot to recite the berachot and began lighting, he may recite them when he remembers, as long as he is still lighting the candles. If he already lit all the candles, he may not recite berachah of Lehadlik Ner that evening, even if he did not yet light the shamash. He can, however, recite the berachot of SheAsah Nissim and Shehecheyanu as long as the lights are still burning.[159]
  2. If one accidentally lit the shamash before lighting the other wicks, he does not have to recite another berachah.[160]
  3. If one who forgot to recite Shehecheyanu on the first night of Chanukah and remembered after a half hour after his lighting, he should recite the berachah when lighting on the second night. If one forgot the second night, he may recite it within the first thirty minutes of the lighting on the night that he remembers.[161]
  4. One who accidentally lit an extra candle, has fulfilled his obligation, but he should extinguish the extra candle.[162] If one did not light enough candles, he should add an extra candle when he remembers, but another berachah is not recited upon lighting it.[163] If one only remembers once some of the candles have already gone out, or after a half-an-hour from when he lit the other candles, he should relight all of the candles again with the proper amount of candles, but without reciting another berachah.[164]
  5. If one realizes that he did not have any oil in his menorah after he has recited the berachah upon lighting, can add the oil to the menorah if the oil was in front of him at the time of the berachah. Similarly, if one accidentally knocks over his menorah after he has recited the berachah, he is permitted to refill the menorah and does not have to recite another berachah provided that there is at least one wick that has absorbed the oil of the menorah. One must refill the menorah and light it immediately without making any unrelated interruptions.[165]

 Berachot Recited upon Seeing the Chanukah Lights

  1. If one is certain that he will be unable to kindle the lights that night or he will be unable to take part in someone else’s kindling and will not have someone light them for him at home, he is required to recite SheAsah Nissim, and SheHecheyanu on the first night, if he sees Chanukah lights burning.[167]
  2. The berachah on seeing Chanukah lights may only be recited during the first half hour after tzet hakochavim.[168] On erev Shabbat, however, the berachah may be recited even before tzet hakochavim.[169]
  3. Even if one only sees the extra lights and not the light for that night, such as if it went out already (within the first half an hour), he may recite the berachah.[170]
  4. The berachah upon seeing Chanukah lights can be recited upon the lights in the menorah of the synagogue.[171]
  5. If one already recited the berachah upon seeing the Chanukah lights, and he was later able to attain candles for lighting, he should light and only recite the berachah of Lehadlik ner Chanukah.[172]
  6. One may not recite a berachah when seeing electric Chanukah lights.[173]

 Deriving Benefit from the Chanukah Lights

  1. It is forbidden to use the Chanukah lights for any other purpose.[174]
  2. The custom is to kindle an additional light, the shamash, so if a person would come to use the light of the menorah, he could claim that he is benefitting from the light of the shamash. The shamash is placed near but slightly apart from the Chanukah lights, by either being higher or longer than the rest. This is so that it should not be confused with the other lights.[175] One should light a shamash even if one has electric lights on in his home.[176]
  3. It is prohibited for one to warm his hands with the heat from the candles.[177]
  4. Oils or wicks that give off a pleasant odor when lit may be used as Chanukah lights even though one will benefit from their scent.[178]
  5. Pictures may be taken of the menorah when the lights are burning.[179]
  6. If the electricity in the house goes out and there is no light other than the light of the menorah available, one may use the light of the menorah to see, and does not have to close his eyes.[180]

Lighting from One Light to Another

  1. It is permissible to light a Chanukah light from another. However, one may not use the Chanukah lights to light a separate light that will be not used for the mitzvah, even if he intends to use that light to light the remaining Chanukah lights.[181]
  2. If one of the lights went out, one may not use one of the Chanukah lights to relight it. Only the shamash or some other flame should be used to relight the candle.[182]
  3. Once the Chanukah lights have burned for the required half hour, one may derive benefit from their light, and may even use them to light other candles that are not for the mitzvah.[183]
  4. The shamash may be used for personal use (for example, to light a cigarette).[184]

 Leftover Oil and Wax

  1. One should make a condition before kindling the lights on Chanukah that he is designating the oil only for the required thirty minutes, and he is permitted to make personal use of it afterward.[185] If one did not make such a stipulation, the remaining unused oil should be burned in a way that would prevent one from deriving benefit, as it was originally designated for a mitzvah.[186] The same applies to used wicks and leftover wax from the candles.[187]
  2. Oil that was poured into the menorah for use but was not consumed may be used for another night of Chanukah.[188] One may not use the extra oil for a different mitzvah, such as lighting the Shabbat lights.[189]
  3. The leftover oil should not be kept from one year to another, and must be destroyed after Chanukah. This is because one may inadvertently use it during the year.[190]
  4. The above halachot only apply if the oil was placed in the menorah and was lit. However, if one purchased a bottle of oil for the Chanukah lights, the leftover oil remaining in the bottle may be used for whatever purpose he desires.[191]
  5. One may use the menorah for other purposes after he is finished using it for the mitzvah of Chanukah lights, even on Chanukah. Preferably, the menorah should be used for mitzvah purposes, such as lighting the room for Shabbat or for learning Torah.[192]
  6. The cups used to hold the oil or candles may be discarded in a respectful manner.[193]

 Lighting the menorah at a party

  1. The Chanukah lights should be lit at parties that take place during Chanukah, since there is a significant amount of people present. One who recites a berachah upon this lighting has what to rely on to do so. Preferably, Arvit should also be prayed in the place where the lights are kindled.[213]

Those Who are Obligated to Kindle Chanukah Lights

Women and Children

  1. Women are also required to kindle the Chanukah lights because they, too, benefited from the defeat of the enemy, and because the miracle was wrought through a woman.[214]
  2. A child at the age of chinuch may light the remaining candles once the head of the household has lit the obligatory light. [215]
  3. A child who wants to light his own menorah may do so without a berachah.[216]
  4. A blind man who is married to a woman with normal vision should not light himself, and should instruct his wife to light for him. Similarly, if he is not married and lives in a household where others are lighting, he should become a partner in someone else’s lighting.[219] However, if he is living alone, he should light the Chanukah lights with a berachah.[220]
  5. A blind man may even light the Chanukah lights for others.[221]
  6. One who is too ill to light the menorah on his own, is permitted to ask a non-Jew to light the menorah for him, but he should not recite a berachah upon the non-Jew’s lighting.[222]

One Who is Not Home or One Who is Traveling During Chanukah

Traveling after the time of candle lighting

  1. If one is home during the time of candle lighting, he is obligated to light at his home, even though he will be traveling later that night and not returning home for the rest of Chanukah. However, it is proper to remain home for at least half an hour after one lights the candles.[224]

One who is away from home

  1. If one’s wife, a member of his household, lights for him at home, he fulfills his requirement even if he is far from home. In such a case, one is no longer obligated to light himself. As long as there is someone who is staying at the home who will be lighting in one’s home, one fulfills his obligation.[225] This is even the case when one is away from home and has rented a hotel room, he fulfills his obligation with the person who is lighting in his home, and he does not have to light where he is staying throughout Chanukah.[226]
  2. When one is not home during Chanukah and there is no one who is staying in one’s home who will be lighting the menorah on one’s behalf, one is obligated to light the menorah where he is staying.[227]
  3. A person who is away from home may only rely on his wife’s lighting when he is certain that she is lighting for him. However, if he is uncertain, and he will not be returning home later that night, he should light wherever he is with a berachah.[228]
  4. If one is away from home, in a place without other Jews around, he should still light the Chanukah lights with a berachah, even if his wife is lighting for him at home.[229]

One who is in a different time-zone

  1. If one travels to chutz laAretz while his wife is in Eretz Yisrael, or vice versa, he should preferably light the Chanukah lights where he is, but should have in mind when he is lighting not to fulfill his obligation through his wife’s lighting.[230]

Staying as a guest at someone’s home

  1. One who goes to someone’s house with his family during Chanukah and will not return in the evening should take part in his host’s lighting.[231]
  2. If one is paying to lodge in someone else’s home, and obtains his food elsewhere, he may either light on his own or become a partner in his host’s lighting.[232]
  3. One who is visiting a neighbor or is invited to dinner somewhere in his city must return home to light and he cannot light or take part in his hosts lighting, since he intends to return home that night.[233]

Spending Chanukah at one’s parents or in-laws

  1. One who is spending a night of Chanukah with his wife at the home of his parents or his in-laws does not have to light the Chanukah lights or even become a partner in his father or father in-law’s lighting. However, if one wants to light in such a case anyway, he should light without a berachah.[234] This is even true if one left his home after plag haminchah.[235] However, if one will be returning home later that night, he should light when he arrives home, even if he spent the previous nights at his parents’ home. Therefore, on motzaei Shabbat, one should light at his home, and not rely on his parents lighting.[236]
  2. When staying at one’s parents’ or in-laws’ house, one cannot light in one’s bedroom, even if one has a private room.[237]
  3. A married man who eats his meals at his parents’ home but does not sleep in their home should light the Chanukah lights where he sleeps.[238]
  4. One who goes to eat at his parents’ or in-laws’ home for the Friday night meal on Shabbat Chanukah should light the Chanukah lights in his home after plag haminchah if he will be returning home later that night.[239]

Staying in a hotel

  1. A guest in a hotel should light in his room.[240] If this is not permitted,[241] one should light with an incandescent flashlight without a berachah. If possible, those who are staying in the hotel should all become partners with one lighting and light at the entrance to the hotel.[242]
  2. If two people who are living together in the same apartment or are in the same hotel and are sharing food, they may become partners in the Chanukah lights, and should take turns lighting each night. However, if each one eats his own food, then each of them should light his own Chanukah lights.[243]

Traveling on a plane, train, or boat

  1. A person who is traveling by train, boat, or plane the entire night is considered like a renter of a room, and must light where he is, with the berachot.[244] In instances where lighting is a safety hazard, such as on a plane, one should light by turning on an incandescent flashlight for half an hour without a berachah.[245]

Becoming a partner in a hosts lighting

  1. One may become a partner in one’s host’s lighting by doing the following:
    1. He should contribute money, thereby acquiring a share in the oil or candles. One does not have to pay for half the cost; even an amount as small as a perutah (i.e. the smallest coin of one’s currency) is sufficient.[246] When giving the host the money, one should say, “I am giving you this money to acquire a share in the oil and wicks of the Chanukah lights that you will kindle tonight (or for as long as one is staying).” The host should respond that he is accepting the money so that his guest should have a share in the Chanukah lights.[247]
    2. Another option is for the host to present a portion of the oil as a gift. This may not be accomplished by simply declaring that it is a gift, but must be acquired as a kinyan (i.e. lifting the container of oil).[248]
  2. When a host is lighting the Chanukah lights for his guest, the guest should stand next to the host during the recitation of the berachot with the intent to fulfill his requirement by listening to the host’s berachot, while the host likewise intends to fulfill the guest’s requirement with his berachot.[249]
  3. If an Ashkenazi is staying in a Sephardi’s home during Chanukah, he may light his own menorah even though Sephardim only light one menorah for the household.[250]

Unmarried Students

  1. A Sephardi yeshivah student[251] who lives in his yeshivah that is in the same city as his parents does not have to light Chanukah lights if his father will be lighting at his home. If he wants to do so anyway to fulfill those opinions that hold that even a Sephardi should light in such a situation, he should light without a berachah. Alternatively, he may purchase a share in the candles or oil of an Ashkenazi friend and fulfill his obligation through his friend’s lighting.[252]
  2. According to the letter of the law, a yeshivah student whose parents are in chutz laAretz and is learning in yeshivah in Eretz Yisrael does not have to light Chanukah lights. However, he should be stringent, and may even recite a berachah with his lighting, or at least take part in another students lighting, such as with an Ashkenazi who will be lighting according to his custom.[253]
  3. If a ben Eretz Yisrael is in chutz laAretz (in a location whose time zone is behind that of Eretz Yisrael) for Chanukah and his father is lighting in his home in Eretz Yisrael, he should light without a berachah (regardless of his father’s lighting). However, he should try to hear the berachah from someone else or take part in someone else’s lighting.[254]
  4. A Sephardi yeshivah student whose father will be lighting for him at home in the same city does not have to interrupt his learning to go home and hear his father make the berachot and light.[255]
  5. If one’s parents will not be lighting at home, for example, if they will be staying at a hotel, then one is obligated to light, even when staying in the same city as his parents.[256]

 Lighting on the night of one’s wedding

  1. One who gets married on a night of Chanukah should light the Chanukah lights when he arrives home that night without a berachah, since he had already fulfilled his obligation through his parents’ lighting that night, when he was still single. However, if one got married during the day, he should light the Chanukah lights when he arrives home that night, with a berachah.[257]

Tefillot of Chanukah

Al HaNissim in Birkat hamazon

  1. During all eight days of Chanukah, Al HaNissim is added to Birkat hamazon and Shemoneh esrei.[258]
  2. If someone omitted Al HaNissim in Birkat hamazon, he does not repeat Birkat hamazon. If he remembers to recite it before finishing the berachah of Al hakol but before saying Hashem’s Name in the berachah, he may go back and recite it.[259]
  3. If one omitted Al HaNissim and already said Hashem’s Name at the end of the berachah, he should complete the berachah and continue with Birkat HaMazon.[260]
  4. If one began eating a meal before shkiyah on the last day of Chanukah and finished eating after shkiyah, he should still recite Al HaNissim in Birkat HaMazon.[261]
  5. Chanukah is not mentioned in the berachah of Al HaMichyah.[262]

Al HaNissim during Shemoneh esrei

  1. In Shemoneh Esrei, Al HaNissim is added in the berachah of Modim before the words ve’al kulam. If one omitted Al HaNissim, he does not repeat Shemoneh Esrei. If one realized his error before completing the berachah, he may go back and recite it. If he completed the berachah, or even only started the berachah and mentioned Hashem’s Name, he does not go back to correct his error. [263] One may also not recite Al HaNissim between the berachot of Modim and Sim Shalom. [264]
  2. If, in error, one recited Al HaNissim when Yaaleh VeYavo is recited, and completed Shemoneh Esrei, he does not repeat Shemoneh Esrei. However, if he realized his mistake before completing the berachah of Modim, he may recite Al HaNissim again, in its proper place.[265]
  3. One may not skip or shorten Al HaNissim to be able to recite Kedushah with the minyan.[266]
  4. When the first day of Chanukah is on Shabbat, one does not recite Al HaNissim during Minchah on erev Shabbat if he lit the Chanukah lights before praying Minchah. If he accidentally recited Al HaNissim during Minchah, he does not have to repeat Shemoneh Esrei.[267]
  5. Al HaNissim should be recited during Arvit on the first night of Chanukah even though one did not yet light the Chanukah lights.[268]
  6. In Mussaf on Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Tevet, Al HaNissim is added. If it was omitted, Shemoneh Esrei should not be repeated (see the above halachot regarding what to do if one did not yet complete Shemoneh Esrei).[269]

Hallel and Other Tefillot That Are Recited on Chanukah

  1. On all eight days of Chanukah, the complete Hallel is recited with a berachah.[270]
  2. A mourner must recite Hallel on Chanukah, even if the minyan is praying in his home.[271]
  3. Women are exempt from reciting Hallel on Chanukah. If a woman wants to recite Hallel, she may do so without a berachah.[272]
  4. On Chanukah, Tachanun, Tzidkatecha, and Tzidduk HaDin are omitted.[273] Tachanun should be omitted even on Minchah on erev Chanukah.[274] Vidduy is also omitted from Keriat shema al hamittah. Tikkun Rachel is not recited during Tikkun Chatzot, but Tikkun Leah can be recited.[275]
  5. Instead of reciting Shir shel Yom, as one would usually do after reciting Bet Yaakov, one should say Mizmor Shir Chanukat HaBayit LeDavid. One should preferably still recite the day of the week, but without the accompanying paragraph for that day.[276]
  6. Even on Chanukah, one should not recite the phrase of Mizmor Shir Chanukat HaBayit after Hodu.[277]
  7. At the end of tefillah on Rosh Chodesh, one should recite Barechi Nafshi before Mizmor Shir Chanukat HaBayit.
  8. The paragraphs of BaMeh Madlikin are not recited on erev Shabbat of [278]
  9. At the end of Birkat hamazon, one does not recite “Migdol” on Chanukah, rather, “Magdil” is said, like one does on a regular weekday.[279]

 Keriat HaTorah

  1. On Chanukah, three people are called to the Torah each day (other than Rosh Chodesh Tevet). The Sephardic custom is to begin reading the first day from Bamidbar 6:22–7:3,[280] which is the berachot of the kohanim. The levi then reads from Bamidbar 7:4–11,[281] and the yisrael reads the offering of the first day in Bamidbar 7:12–17.[282] The Ashkenazic custom, however, is to read from Bamidbar 7:1–17 on the first day.
  2. On the second day, the reading begins from Bamidbar 7:18–20. The levi reads from 7:21–23. The Sephardic custom is for the yisrael to then repeat the offering of the second day (Bamidbar 7:18–23), unlike the Ashkenazic custom, which is to read the offering of the third day (Bamidbar 7:24-29). This practice continues similarly each day until the eighth day.[283]
  3. On Shabbat of Chanukah, two Torah’s are taken out. From the first Torah the parashat hashavuah is read, calling up six aliyot. The second Torah the paragraph of that day of Chanukah that day is read. The haftarah is read from Zecharya 2:14-4:7 (“Roni ve’simchi”). When the first day of Chanukah is on Shabbat, the haftarah of the first Shabbat is Zecharya 2:14, and the second Shabbat is Melachim I 7:40-51.[284]
  4. On Rosh Chodesh Tevet, the sixth day of Chanukah, two sifrei Torah are taken out. The reading for Rosh Chodesh is read from the first Torah, and three aliyot are called up. Then, an additional aliyah is called up for the reading of Chanukah from the second Torah.[285] When Rosh Chodesh Tevet is on Shabbat, three sifrei Torah are taken out, parashat hashavuah is read from the first Torah, and kaddish is not recited at the end of the reading unless seven people were called up for aliyot. The Rosh Chodesh reading (Bamidbar 28:9-15) is read from the second Torah, followed by kaddish. Then the reading for that of Chanukah is read followed by the kaddish and the haftarah.[286]
  5. If a Sephardi listened to keriat haTorah for Chanukah in accordance with the Ashkenazic custom in chutz laAretz (since the Ashkenazim in Eretz Yisrael follow the Sephardic custom), he has fulfilled his obligation, though it is preferable for him to hear it in accordance with his own custom.[287]
  6. A Sephardi may accept an aliyah for Shelishi in an Ashkenazic minyan even though the reading differs from the Sephardic custom.[288]

[137] Pri Megadim E.A. 263:11 says that even on the second night the word “ner” is said in singular, since the Chachamim did not want to establish a separate nussach for each day. See also Halichot Moed, Chanukah, p. 4.

[138]. Shulchan Aruch 676:1.

[139]. Shulchan Aruch 676:2.

[140]. Rama 676:2; Ben Ish Chai, Vayeshev 1:1; Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 126. See also Teshuvot VeHanhagot 2:339, in the name of the Brisker Rav. This is unlike the positions of Yaskil Avdi, vol. 7, Kuntres De’ah VeHaskel §17 and VaYashov HaYam 1:11, which state that according to Kabbalah, only the first berachah should be recited before the lighting. Chanukah Be’Tzion, pp. 247-251, reports that the custom of his father was to light the menorah only after reciting all of the berachah. He adds that this was also the custom of the Ben Ish Chai. This is also the opinion of several other Mekubalim, including Hagahot Rabbi Avraham Azulai 676:1 (the grandfather of the Chida); Chemdat Yamim; and Moed Lechol Chai 27:22. Even the Chida does not mention that one should light the menorah after reciting the first berachah, and if it was one of the customs in Bet El, he surely would have mentioned it.

[141] Chanukah Be’Tzion, p. 245.

[142]. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 138; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 444 (which is unlike Yabia Omer, vol. 4, 50:4). This is contrary to the view of Kaf HaChayim 676:26–27.

[143] See Halichot Moed, Chanukah, p. 12.

[144]. Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 111; Yabia Omer, vol. 5, 4:1.

[145]. Shelah, Tammid – Ner Mitzvah 7, and Birkei Yosef 676:1 explain that on Chanukah one should not add the word “shel” since it is prohibited to benefit from the lights of the Chanukah candles, and one is only lighting the candles for the purpose of fulfilling the mitzvah. Machazik Berachah 676:1 adds that since the only mitzvah on Chanukah is lighting the Chanukah candles, unlike during Shabbat where lighting the candles is just one of the many mitzvot of Shabbat. See also Moed LeChol Chai 27:20; Ben Ish Chai, Vayeshev 1:2; Kaf HaChayim 676:9 who bring that there are Kabbalistic reasons for not adding the word “shel.” They also say that without the word “shel,” there are thirteen words in the berachah which correspond to the thirteen attributes of mercy, and also correspond to the thirteen breaches that the Greeks made in the Bet HaMikdash. See also Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 125; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 401; and Chanukah Be’Tzion, p. 251.

[146]Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 108; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 405. It also adds that if one changed the nussach and said al hadlakat nerot Chanukah, he has still fulfilled his obligation.

It seems from the Yalkut Yosef that even if the owner of the home is not in front of the messenger when he is lighting, the messenger is permitted to recite a berachah. This is also the opinion of Igrot Moshe O.C. 1:190 and Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, p. 259. Mishnah Berurah Ish Matzliach brings in the name of Rabbi Moshe Levi who says that a messenger should only recite the berachah of lehadlik ner Chanukah, and not any of the other berachot. However, see Halichot Moed, Chanukah, p. 39 who brings several poskim (such as Mishnah Berurah 675:9; Kaf HaChayim 675:20; Halichot Shlomo, p. 300) who state that a berachah should not be recited if the owner of the home is not in front of the messenger. See also Orchot Shabbat, vol. 4, p. 191.

[147]. See Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 123 and Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 423.

[148]. Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 425. See Halichot Olam, vol. 1, p. 68, which states that one may speak or signal for something that pertains to the mitzvah, such as passing more oil or a match. See also Torat HaMoadim, Chanukah, p. 171 and Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 427, which state that if one heard Kaddish or a berachah, he should not answer amen until he entirely finished lighting the first wick.

[149]. Shulchan Aruch 676:4; Mishnah Berurah 676:8; Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 130. This was also the custom of Chacham Ovadia Yosef in his home. See also Minchat Shlomo, Tinyana 58:5.

[150]. Moed LeChol Chai 27:13; Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 130. There is also a custom brought in Ben Ish Chai, Vayeshev 1:21 and Kaf HaChayim 670:26 to recite Vihi No’am seven times, followed by the Psalm 91 of Tehillim (Yoshev ba’seter). Doing so is a segulah for protection throughout the year. Chanukah Be’Tzion, p. 259, says that it suffices to say the pasuk of “Vihi No’am” seven times, and one does not need to say the entire Psalm 91 seven times as well. See also Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 428 for more of these customs.

[151] See Chanukah Be’Tzion, p. 260. This piyyut was written by one of the Rishonim, Rabbi Mordechai ben Rabbi Yitzchak, and it is brought in Lekket Yosher, vol. 1, p. 36, by the author of the Terumat HaDeshen, that he would sing this piyyut as well. One reason for singing this piyyut is so that one will remain near the candles while they are burning for the first half an hour after they have been lit.

[152] This piyyut was written by Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi, and is commonly sung by Iraqi Jews. The piyyut is essentially about the Jewish Nation’s yearning to be redeemed from their exiles; by remembering the miracles of Chanukah, we beseech Hashem to have mercy on us and redeem us once again with the Final Redemption. Chanukah Be’Tzion, p. 263, writes that when his father, Rabbi Salman Mutzafi, would sing this song sing and cry with great emotion.

[153]. Shulchan Aruch 676:5; Kaf HaChayim 676:31; Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 32. Mishnah Berurah 676:9 mentions that some Ashkenazim have the custom to always begin with the candle that one lit on the first night.

Halichot Moed, Chanukah, p. 2, adds that one should stand slightly to the side where one will begin lighting so that he does not have to pass his hand over any of the other candles before lighting the candle that he intends to light.

[154]. Shulchan Aruch 671:7; Ben Ish Chai, Vayeshev 1:4; Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 33, in the footnotes.

[155]. Biur Halachah, 676 “Kedei.”

[156]. See Mishnah Berurah 264:26 in the name of Levush, and he adds that this is the same manner that they lit the Menorah in the Bet Hamikdash. This manner of lighting is explained in Torat Kohanim, Emor 13, from the pasuk “To raise up an eternal light” (Vayikra 24:2), that the Kohen lighting the Menorah in the Bet Hamikdash must hold the flame to the wick until the wick’s flame rose up on its own. See also Biur Halachah 673:2, in the name of the Mahari Beruna §39. Sheiltot D’Rav Achai Gaon, siman 63 & 122, and Aruch HaShulchan 264:12 explain that if the flame does not grasp the majority of the wick, it might go out. See also Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 129; Shabbat, vol. 1, p. 211, and Teshuvot VeHanhagot, vol. 2, 342:8. Ben Ish Chai, Noach 2:28, and Mekabtziel, Noach 2:15, gives a different reason. He explains that if one were to remove one’s hand after lighting only the tip of the wick, the candle is viewed to have been lit by itself and one will not have fulfilled the mitzvah of lighting the candles, which must be actively lit.

[157]. Palagi, Kaf HaChayim 31:1; Yafeh LaLev, vol. 3, Kuntres Acharon, Y.D. 116:3; Zivchei Tzedek, Y.D. 116:74; Ben Ish Chai, Pinchas 2:18; Sofer, Kaf HaChayim, Y.D. 116:115; Silmat Chayim (old edition) §499; ibid. (new edition), siman §95, Inyanim Shonim; Orchot Rabbenu, vol. 1, p. 239; Rivevot Ephraim, vol. 4, 55:35; Derech Sichah, vol. 1, p. 273; Rabbi Chayim Kanievsky, She’elat Rav, vol. 1, 13:16; Shemirat HaGuf VeHaNefesh 267:8. See Yabia Omer, vol. 9, 95:14; Halichot Olam, vol. 7, p. 248; Yalkut Yosef, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, O.C. 298:9; and ibid., Y.D. 116:40.

[158] See Chanukah Be’Tzion, p. 280, who writes that according to Kabbalah, this is very beneficial for one’s neshamah.

[159]. Ben Ish Chai, Vayeshev 1:10. See Maor Yisrael, vol. 3, p. 315; Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, pp. 130–135; and Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 430, which discusses this subject at length. The berachah of Lehadlik Ner may also not be recited, even if one is within toch kedei dibbur of his lighting.

[160]. Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 467. Chanukah Be’Tzion, p. 244 , points out that if one has an additional shamash attached to his menorah, he should light it after he finishes lighting the amount of candles that he must light for that night, or let a child light it.

[161]. See Shulchan Aruch 676:1 and Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 136. Chazon Ovadia adds, however, that SheHecheyanu may not be said after the eighth night of Chanukah, since it may only be recited while performing the mitzvah of lighting the Chanukah lights.

[162] Halichot Moed, Chanukah, p. 15.

[163] See Mishnah Berurah 672:6.

[164] Halichot Moed, Chanukah, p. 15, footnote 70.

[165] See Halichot Moed, Chanukah, p. 93.

[167]. Shulchan Aruch 676:3. See also Yechaveh Daat 4:38, in the footnote at the end of the teshuvah; and Az Nidberu 11:32.

[168]. Sdei Chemed, Chanukah 9:3; Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 140; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, pages 453–460.

[169]. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 142; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 467.

[170]. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 140; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 462.

[171] See Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 143.

[172] See Halichot Shlomo, Chanukah, p. 308.

[173]. Yaskil Avdi 3:17; Yabia Omer 3:35; Yechaveh Daat 4:38.

[174]. There are several reasons for this prohibition: Mishnah Berurah 673:8 cites Rashi, who writes that one may not use the Chanukah lights for any purpose since it should be apparent that these lights are solely for the mitzvah, to publicize the miracle. Another reason is brought in the name of the Ran on Shabbat 9a and Rashba, which state that since these lights commemorate the miracle that occurred with the Menorah in the Bet HaMikdash, the lights that we kindle in our homes are meant to resemble the lights of the Menorah in the Bet HaMikdash. The Chachamim therefore decreed that one should not use these lights, which is similar to the prohibition of using the lights of the Menorah in the Bet HaMikdash. The Gemara, Shabbat 22a, adds that the reason for the prohibition is so that one should not demean the mitzvot. See also Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 331 for Kabbalistic reasons.

[175]. Shulchan Aruch and Rama 673:1. See Ben Ish Chai, Vayeshev 1:13; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 44:5; Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 101; and Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 337, which state that the shamash should be either placed differently or look different from the other lights.

[176] Biur Halachah 671:5 “Ve’tzarich”; Chanukah Be’Tzion, p. 239.

[177] Halichot Moed, Chanukah, p. 105, citing the opinion of Rabbi Shmuel Wosner and Rabbi Nissim Karelitz, quoted by Piskei Shemuot, p. 112.

[178]. Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 340; Teshuvot HaRishon LeTzion 2:80.

[179]. Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 342. It also adds that one may not take a picture next to the menorah if the lights increase the clarity of the picture.

[180]. See Shaarei Teshuvah 673:4 and Shaar HaTziyun 673:10, in the name of the Pri Chadash, which explain that this is permitted because benefiting from the light in this manner is not included in the prohibition of using the Chanukah lights. See also Moed LeChol Chai 27:39 and Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 100.

[181]. Shulchan Aruch and Rama 674:1. See Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, pages 103–104.

[182]. Magen Avraham 674:1; Mishnah Berurah 674:2; Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 104; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 355.

[183]. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 105; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, pages 344 & 356. This is unlike the Mishnah Berurah 674:8 and Kaf HaChayim 674:12.

[184]. Ben Ish Chai, Vayeshev 1:14 and Moed LeChol Chai 27:40 state that there are those who are stringent and do not use the shamash for mundane matters. However, the overwhelming majority of poskim write that the shamash does not have any kedushah. These include Kaf HaChayim 674:7; Mishnah Berurah 674:3; Pri Chadash, Netivei Am; and others. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 102 disagrees strongly with Piskei Teshuvot, vol. 6, p. 484, which states in the name of Kav HaYashar that one should be stringent with the kedushah of the shamash. See Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 347 for further insight.

[185]. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 164; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 513, 14.

[186]. Shulchan Aruch 677:4; Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 160.

[187]. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:20; Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 3, p. 239.

[188]. Mishnah Berurah 677:17; Torat HaMoadim, Chanukah, p. 126.

[189]. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, pages 166–167, in the footnotes; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 515. This is unlike Moed LeChol Chai 27:62.

[190]. Magen Avraham 677:11; Mishnah Berurah 677:19.

[191]. Magen Avraham 673:8; Biur Halachah, 677 “HaTzarich”; Shevet HaLevi 1:188; Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 167; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 513; Torat HaMoadim, Chanukah, p. 129. The same is true for oil that was poured into the menorah but was not used.

[192]. Yaskil Avdi 8:38; Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 101, in the footnotes.

[193]. Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 3, 34:17.

[213]. At first, Chacham Ovadia Yosef ruled that one may only kindle the lights with a berachah if Minchah and Arvit are prayed in the party hall, as brought in Yalkut Yosef, Moadim, p. 204. However, later on he ruled that only Arvit should be prayed where the menorah is lit, as cited in Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 48 and Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 224. It is not obligatory, however, and the lights may nevertheless be kindled if the people do not pray Arvit there. See also Yabia Omer, vol. 7, 57:4, which is unlike Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 42:11. Many Ashkenazim hold that the menorah should not be lit at such gatherings, and if it is lit, a berachah should not be recited. See Shevet HaLevi 6:65; Az Nidberu 6:75; Tzitz Eliezer 15:30 & 22:37; Teshuvot VeHanhagot 1:398; Halichot Shlomo, Moadim vol. 1, p. 314, 4; and Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 3, 39:8. See also Teshuvot HaRishon LeTzion, vol. 1, p. 221.

[214]. Shulchan Aruch 675:3; Mishnah Berurah 675:10; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 382.

[215]. See Moed LeChol Chai 27:36 & 53 and Ruach Chayim, Palagi, end of siman 671, which state that it is praiseworthy to let one’s child light the remaining lights once the obligatory light has been lit. However, Ben Ish Chai, Vayeshev 1:18 states that only the shamash may be given to a child to light. Chacham Ovadia Yosef used to put the candle in the hand of his child (Rabbi David Yosef, when he was younger) and then place his own hand on the child’s, and proceed to light the remaining candles. Rabbi David Yosef writes in Torat HaMoadim, Chanukah, p. 67 that his father did this to fulfill his obligation in accordance with the views that one may not let his child light even the nerot hahiddur. However, Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef in Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 382 writes that his father only did so to speed up the lighting, and not because of a stringency. In Halichot Olam, vol. 1, p. 67, Chacham Ovadia is also very clear about his opinion, and writes that the Ben Ish Chai ’s ruling is extreme, and one may lechatchilah let his children light the nerot hahiddur.

[216]. Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 42:1, with footnotes; Shema Shlomo 4:21; Halichot Moed, Chanukah, p. 10.

[219]. Ben Ish Chai, Vayeshev 1:15; Kaf HaChayim 675:23.

[220] Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 113 explains that a blind person may even light with a berachah when he is alone, since the mitzvah of lighting the menorah is to publicize the miracle of Chanukah. Therefore, as long as others will see the menorah, a berachah may be recited.

[221]. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 115, in the footnotes; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 395.

[222] Halichot Moed, Chanukah, pp. 99-100.

[224] See Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, p. 286; Shevet HaLevi 8:158; Halichot Shlomo, Chanukah, p. 279; Halichot Moed, Chanukah, p. 70.

[225]. Shulchan Aruch 677:1; Mishnah Berurah 677:2. See also Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 469, which states that one should try to light the menorah in the synagogue that he will be praying in, if he can. See also Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 47:2.

[226] See Halichot Moed, Chanukah, p. 129, footnote 6.

[227] Shulchan Aruch 677:1.

[228]. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 151; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 475.

[229]. Shulchan Aruch 677:3; Moed LeChol Chai 27:49. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 158, end of footnote, adds that one should also think that he does not want to fulfill his obligation through his wife’s lighting. Halichot Moed, Chanukah, p. 22, adds that this is also the case for one who must work until late at night and has his wife light at his home, should light a menorah at his work, since he will otherwise not see any lit menorah throughout the night. However, a berachah should not be recited upon this lighting. If possible, instead of lighting a menorah at work, one should tell his wife to add enough oil to the candles so that they will last until the time one returns home from work.

[230]. Even though, strictly speaking, one may rely on his wife’s lighting for him, it is preferable for one to light his own lighting; see Halichot Shlomo 13:10, devar halachah; Chut Shani, Chanukah, p. 311; and Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 150. See also Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 47:1 and Minchat Yitzchak 7:46, which state that in this case, one should have in mind not to fulfill his obligation through his wife’s lighting. However, one must make sure that his wife has not already lit for him, depending on the time difference. See Chazon Ovadia, p. 150, in footnotes, in the name of Rav Pe’alim 2:50; and Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 47:1, in footnotes.

[231]. Shulchan Aruch 677:1. See also Kaf HaChayim 677:5, which states that according to the Sephardic custom that the head of the household lights the menorah, one does not need to light his own menorah, and should instead become a partner in the head of the household’s lighting. See also Torat HaMoadim, Chanukah, p. 54.

[232]. Torat HaMoadim, Chanukah, p. 57; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 47:3.

[233]. Mishnah Berurah 677:12.

[234]. Chessed LaAvraham 677:24; Ben Ish Chai, Vayeshev 1:16; Kaf HaChayim 671:15 & 677:20; Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 152; Yechaveh Daat 6:43; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 503; Torat HaMoadim, Chanukah, p. 55. Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, pages 196 & 506 adds that if one is staying in someone else’s home and is eating his food, and the owner of the home does not charge him, he may rely on the lighting of the owner of the home. However, preferably, he should become a partner in the owner’s lighting.

[235]. Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 47:5; Halichot Shlomo, Chanukah, p. 278. Ohr LeTzion points out that one should try to sleep at home on Chanukah to avoid Halachic issues. See also Halichot Moed, Chanukah, p. 148.

[236]. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 155; Halichot Shlomo, p. 279; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 47:5.

[237] See Yabia Omer 11:80; Igrot HaRishon LeTzion, vol. 1, pp. 205-211; Halichot Moed, Chanukah, p. 135. This is unlike Shabbat candles, where Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 1, p. 196, states that one is permitted to light the Shabbat candles with a berachah if one has a private room. See also Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, p. 285.

[238]. Teshuvot VeHanhagot 1:392 and Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 47:3.

[239]. See Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 275.

[240]. Torat HaMoadim, Chanukah, p. 59, in the name of Chacham Ovadia Yosef. Halichot Moed, Chanukah, p. 66, adds that if it is possible to get a room that has a balcony, then one should light the menorah in the balcony (in a glass box), and one should take this into consideration when renting a room.

[241] See Halachah Berurah, vol. 15, 263:70 who says that if the hotel does not allow one to light in the room, one who lights in the room is considered like he is stealing from the hotel.

[242]. See Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 505 and Halichot Moed, Chanukah, p. 66, in the name of Rabbi Nissim Karelitz. See also Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 47:8 and Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 3, 39:11. However, it seems that it is better that a berachah should not be recited.

[243]. Torat HaMoadim, Chanukah, p. 61.

[244]. Shemesh U’Magen, vol. 3, 56:5; Halichot Shlomo, p. 260. See also Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 47:8, which states that one should not recite a berachah when lighting.

[245]. Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 201. See Halichot Shlomo, p. 283, which says that one should not use a florescent light either.

[246]. Mishnah Berurah 677:3.

[247]. Kaf HaChayim 677:2. See also Mishnah Berurah 677:3, which states that according to some views, it is preferable that the host add a little more oil than he usually does.

[248]. Shaar HaTziyun 677:9 and Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 472.

[249]. Mishnah Berurah 677:4.

[250]. Shaarei Teshuvah, siman 671; Kaf HaChayim 671:7; Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 3, 39:24.

[251] This is also the case for a girl who is in seminary, or for a soldier.

[252]. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 150; Yechaveh Daat 6:43; Torat HaMoadim, Chanukah, p. 44; Yalkut Yosef, Yom Tov, p. 523. See also Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 47:1; Shalmei Moed, p. 204; Yaskil Avdi vol. 7, Hashmatot, siman 8, p. 386; and Shvut Yitzchak, Hilchot Chanukah, ch. 6; Chanukah Be’Tzion, p. 290.

[253]. See Yalkut Yosef, Moadim, p. 231, 2, which states that one should not recite a berachah in this situation. However, Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 150 says that if one is sure that as he will be lighting in Eretz Yisrael, his parents will not be lighting in chutz laAretz, he may even light with a berachah. It also says that this is also implied by Rav Pe’alim 2:50 regarding someone who is away from home and knows his wife will not be lighting for him until later that night. In such an instance, he may light before his wife. See also Mishnah Berurah §16. Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef also retracted his original ruling and conceded with the ruling of Chacham Ovadia, as stated in Chazon Ovadia (see Yalkut Yosef, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 677:5 and Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 493). See also Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 47:1; Kuntres Zichron Yehudah, vol. 1, p. 104; and Kuntres Ner Tzion, pages 14 & 20, which state that in this situation, one must light Chanukah lights with a berachah. Chazon Ovadia differs slightly and says that the berachah and lighting is optional. See also Shalmei Moed, ch. 45, pages 201–205; Halichot Shlomo, Moadim, vol. 2, p. 261; and Teshuvot VeHanhagot 4:169.

[254]. See Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 495 (and on) and Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, p. 283, which imply that since there is a time difference and one was not yet obligated to light, one may light again. See also Shamata D’Moshe, Shemuot Moshe §6; Shevut Yitzchak, vol. 8, p. 176, in the name of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv; and Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 3, 39:31, footnote 179; Halichot Moed, Chanukah, p. 144.

[255]. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 75; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 266.

[256]. Shevut Yitzchak, vol. 8, 16:10, in the name of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 487; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 47:2. See also Igrot HaRishon LeTzion, vol. 1, p. 186 who says that it is better for one to have in mind that he wants to fulfill his obligation through the lighting that is done in the yeshivah if this is an option, or light without a berachah.

[257]. Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 275. This is also the opinion of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv as cited in Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 3, 39:12. See also Bet Chatanim 15:4, which cites the opinion of Rabbi Ben Tzion Abba Shaul in Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 47:6, which states that if possible, the chatan should go to the home where he will be staying that night and light the Chanukah lights after the chuppah ceremony. If this is not possible, he should send a messenger to light in his home on his behalf. See also Nissuin KeHilchatam 15:60, in the name of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.

[258]. Shulchan Aruch 682:1.

[259]. Shulchan Aruch 682:1.

[260]. Shulchan Aruch 682:1. See also the Rama, which adds that one should insert הרחמן הוא יעשה לנו נסים ונפלאות כשם שעשית לאבותינו בימים ההם בזמן הזה when saying HaRachaman, and then continue with the tefillah of BiYmei Mattityahu.

[261]. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 207; Yechaveh Daat 3:55; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 600. This is also the opinion of Rabbi Ezra Attia as brought in Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 48:3, in the footnotes. However, Ben Ish Chai, Chukat 1:22 and Kaf HaChayim 682:43 disagree, and hold that one should not recite Al HaNissim.

[262]. See Shulchan Aruch 208:12; Mishnah Berurah 682:2; Kaf HaChayim 682:3; Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 198; Yabia Omer 3:36; and Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, p. 291. There are several reasons given:

  1. Since Chanukah is only a rabbinically established holiday.
  2. There are poskim who state that it would appropriate to do so, but since there is no established custom, one should not begin a new custom.
  3. Since there is no actual “thanks” in Al Hamichiyah where one can insert the mention of Chanukah, as there is Birkat hamazon and in Shemoneh esrei.
  4. Since the actual day has no kedushah, unlike Yom Tov and Shabbat where the day itself is kadosh.

Halichot Shlomo, vol. 2, ch. 17, Orchot Halachah §20,  adds, however, that one of the reasons why we eat sufganiyot and mezonot items on Chanukah is in order to be able to recite Al hamichyah in remembrance of the Mizbe’ach, since it is mentioned in Al hamichyah but not in Birkat hamazon. The reason for this is because the Mizbe’ach was defiled by the Greeks and since it could not be re-purified after capturing the Bet Hamikdash after the war, it was then buried and stored away.

[263]. Shulchan Aruch 682:1. See also Yechaveh Daat 5:49, which states that one should preferably recite Al HaNissim at the end of E-lohai Netzor if one realized his error after reciting the berachah of Modim.

[264]. Yabia Omer, vol. 1, 22:11 & 9:53; Yechaveh Daat 5:49.

[265]. Chayim Shaal, vol. 1, 75:3; Rav Pe’alim 3:39; Shaar HaTziyun 682:2; Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 193; Yabia Omer, vol. 10, 55:30, p. 173.

[266]. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 194; Yechaveh Daat 1:77; Yabia Omer 2:32 & 9:66. See Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 48:1. This ruling is unlike the position of Yaskil Avdi 8:10.

[267]. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 188; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 589. See Rivevot Ephraim, vol. 2, 185:11, in the name of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein.

[268]. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 188; ibid., Purim, p. 99; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 585.

[269]. Shulchan Aruch 682:2 and Mishnah Berurah 682:6.

[270]. Shulchan Aruch 683:1. Tosafot, Taanit 28b, explains that Hallel is recited on each day of Chanukah, since as the days progressed, the miracle was greater and greater. Avudraham says that since every day another candle is added to the mitzvah, it is considered like a separate holiday each day. Shibulei HaLeket, Inyan Rosh Chodesh 174, adds that the reason for saying a complete Hallel is that since on Chanukah the Mizbe’ach was reinstituted, we celebrate by saying Hallel just like the Nessi’im recited Hallel when they inaugurated the Mizbe’ach that was in the Mishkan. Tiferet Yisrael – Yachin , Arachin 2:31, says that Hallel is recited in order to publicize the miracle. See also Chanukah Be’Tzion, pp. 348-353.

[271]. See Machazik Berachah 683:1; Ben Ish Chai, Vayikra 2:15; Kaf HaChayim 683:4; Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 217; and Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 616, which discusses this subject at length. This is unlike the Ashkenazic custom who recite the Hallel in a different room or at home, and the mourner does not recite Hallel at all; see Chayei Adam 154:40 and Mishnah Berurah 683:1.

[272]. Yabia Omer 6:45; Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 213; Yechaveh Daat 1:78; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 49:1. See also Minchat Shlomo, Tinyana 58:5 and Kovetz Teshuvot 3:105.

[273]. Rama 683:1.

[274] See Shulchan Aruch 131:6 who implies that tachanun should be skipped on erev Chanukah. See also Halachah Berurah, vol. 7, p. 51.

[275] See Chanukah Be’Tzion, p. 344.

[276]. Birkei Yosef 693:3; Ben Ish Chai, Ki Tisa 1:17; Halichot Olam, vol. 1, p. 245; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 622. See Nehar Mitzrayim, Tefillah §11 and Shemesh U’Magen, vol. 4, O.C. §23.

[277]. See Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 235 and on, which brings this as the position of Chikrei Lev, O.C., siman 32; Moed LeChol Chai 27:64; Rav Pe’alim, vol. 3, O.C. §5; and Od Yosef Chai, Miketz §15. See also Kaf HaChayim 51:7, which explains why the first few words are omitted in this paragraph. Some Sephardim, however, have the custom to recite Mizmor Shir, as brought in Keter Shem Tov, vol. 1, p. 35 and Nahagu HaAm, Chanukah §4. See also Chanukah Be’Tzion, p. 339.

[278]. Bet Yosef 679:270; Birkei Yosef §2; Rav Pe’alim, vol. 4, O.C. §34; Yaskil Avdi 7:44; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 1, p. 332; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 544.

[279] See Halichot Olam, vol. 3, p. 166; Halachah Berurah, vol. 9, p. 514; Igrot HaRishon LeTzion, vol. 1, p. 11.

[280]. See Shulchan Aruch 684:1 and Rama. The reason for this reading is because the Mishkan was completed on the 25th of Kislev.

[281]. Birkei Yosef, Shiyurei Berachah 684:1; Moed LeChol Chai 27:1; Kaf HaChayim 684:5.

[282]. Shulchan Aruch 684:1.

[283]. Shulchan Aruch 684:1.

[284] See Avudraham, Chanukah; Rambam, Teffilah 13:17.

[285] See Chanukah Be’Tzion, p. 387, who writes that Kaddish is not recited after the first Torah reading. He adds that when he was praying in the synagogue of Chacham Ovadia Yosef, Chacham Ovadia explicitly told him not to say Kaddish after he received shelishi.

[286] Shulchan Aruch 684:3.

[287]. Yechaveh Daat 4:39; Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 236; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 630. In any case, Birkei Yosef 684:5 states that one does not have to hear the Torah read again, since one has fulfilled his obligation even with the wrong day’s Torah reading.

[288] See Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 50:1; Chanukah Be’Tzion, p. 385.