A poor person lighting Chanukah Candles

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If one doesn’t have enough money for Chanuka candles

  1. If one only has oil for one night, meaning it only will last a half hour, he should light it the first night and not split it up for all the nights since making a bracha on such a candle is a possible bracha levatalah. [1]
  2. If on the second night, someone who only has 2 candles should light one that night so that tomorrow he’ll be able to also one candle. [2]
  3. If on the eighth night (not worried about the next night) one doesn’t have enough for all 8 candles should light the 8th one with the required amount and split the rest of the oil between the other candles. [3]
  4. One who only has 2 candles on the 3rd night or any case where he doesn’t have the right number of candles should only light one candle. [4]
  5. One who only has 9 candles should light 2 on the 2nd night and one the other nights. So too if one has 10 candles one lights 2 on the 2nd night and one the other nights and not 2 on the 3rd night. [5]
  6. If on the second night a person who only had 1 candle and lit it and then got another candle should light it without a Bracha, so too a person who lit 1 candle by mistake should light the others without a Bracha. But if by the time one gets more candles or remembers the lit candle went out, one can’t just light the not lit ones but should go back and light the right number of candles at once without a Bracha. [6]
  7. If someone has enough oil for all the nights with hiddur, and his friend doesn’t have anything, one should give his friend enough for the basic requirement. However if your friend is a household member of a house that already has one set of candles, one doesn’t need to give up his hiddur for his friend’s hiddur. [7]
  8. Someone who doesn’t have money for both Shabbat candles (the minimum is one candle) and Chanuka candles (the minimum is one candle) should buy Shabbat Candles, however nowadays one can fulfill Shabbat candles with a bracha on electric lights and so one who has electric lights should buy Canuka candles. [8]
  9. Someone who doesn’t have money for both Chanuka candles and wine for kiddish or havdalah should buy Chanuka candles and make kiddish on bread and havdalah in Shemona Esreh. [9]

Related Pages

  1. Lighting Chanuka Candles


  1. Sh”t Sadeh HaAretz O”C 3:34, Sh”t Lechem Shlomo O”C 117(5), Moadei Hashem pg 111c D”H Kavaum, Sh”t Imrei Shefer O”C 5, and Sh”t Sheilat Yitzchak 3:58(2) hold one should use the required amount for the first night even at the expense of other nights. Netah Surak 73b says based on the Bet Yosef’s answer that the Chashmonaim split up the oil for the 8 days, that one is allowed to do the same since the minimum amount of a half hour isn’t Me’akev. So says Divrei Tzvi 671. However Chazon Ovadiah (Mitzvah Hadlaka 4, pg 28) argues the Bet Yosef’s answer was only for the Bet Hamikdash where miracles are regular and that his answer wasn’t meant le’halacha. See Rav Ovadya’s Meor Yisrael 3 pg 312.
  2. Chaye Adam 154:25, Ikrei HaDaat 35:6, Chazon Ovadiah (Mitzvah Hadlaka 5, pg 29), Torat HaMoedim Chanuka 1:7
  3. Magan Avraham 671:1, Eliyah Raba 671:3, Yad Aharon (Hagot Hatur), Chaye Adam 154:25, Siddur Bet Ovad (Chanuka 4 pg 158a), Aruch HaShulchan 671:10, Mishna Brurah 671:5, Chazon Ovadiah (Mitzvah Hadlaka 5, pg 29), Torat HaMoedim Chanuka 1:9
  4. Chaye Adam 154:25, Sh”t Katav Sofer 135, Sh”t Shevet Sofer 26 D”H Elah, Aruch HaShulchan 671:10, Mishna Brurah 671:5, Kaf HaChaim 671:10, Bet Halevi on Torah (Chanuka pg 29b), Mishpat Cohen 95, Sh”t Rivavot Efraim 4:181(11), Sh”t Mishnat Halachot 6:84, Moadim BeHalacha pg 166, Chazon Ovadiah (Mitzvah Hadlaka footnote 7, pg 31), Torat HaMoadim Chanuka 1:8 all hold that since the mitzvah is to light the number of the night lighting the wrong number isn’t a hiddur and may be a violation of Bal Tigra against the Avi Ezri (Chanuka 4:1). Editor’s inference: if one did light 2 candles on the 3rd night and then realized that he should only have lit one, he should relight without a bracha just like someone who lit by accident 2 on the 3rd night thinking that it was the 2nd night should relight without a bracha (Orchot Chaim Chanuka 10).
  5. Torat HaMoadim Chanuka 1:8 based on the sources in previous footnote.
  6. Bet Yosef 672 in name of Orchot Chaim says one who lit 2 candles on the 3rd night should light a 3rd candle without a Bracha since the Bracha was made over the obligation of all the candles. So quote the Levush 672, Magan Avraham 676. Yet the Magan Avraham 651:25 writes in name of the Avudraham in name of the Rambam that one if had in mind to light other candles, one doesn’t make a Bracha, but if one lit with a Bracha and then found more candles he should make another Bracha. The following understood the Rambam simply like the Magan Avraham: Eliyah Raba 672:7, Pri Megadim A”A 672:3 leaves it in a Tzarich Iyun, Machsit HaShekel 676 says that it’s a Chiddish that even though you fulfilled the mitzvah with the first candle one still makes a Bracha on the other candles one didn’t have in mind. However, the Torat HaMoedim Chanuka pg 26 brings the Rambam’s Sh”t Pear Hadur 11 which says if one had in mind to fulfill the mitzvah of many houses he can light for many houses on 1 Bracha but if he didn’t have it in mind he must make another Bracha. Therefore the above Rambam also doesn’t mean that if one gets more candles one should make another Bracha but that if one is going to light for another house one should make another Bracha. So explains Maamer Mordechai 676:1, Olot Shabbat ibid, Sh”t Pri HaAretz 3:2 explain the Rambam. So hold the Birkei Yosef 671:3, Shaarei Teshuva 671:2, Tzadeh HaAretz 3:42, Torat HaMoadim Chanuka 1:10, and Chazon Ovadiah (Mitzvah Hadlaka footnote 7, pg 30). The above is all concerning one who lit one candle with knowledge of the correct number night and so his intent covers the candles that come later. Concerning a case where one made a mistake lighting 6 on the 7th night thinking it was the 6th night, the Pri Chadash says one adds a candle without a Bracha, based on the Orchot Chaim. So holds Chaye Adam 154:29, Sh”t Yehuda Yaleh Assad O”C 205, Sh”t Nachlat Binyamin 133 D”H Hen Emet, Katav Sofer O”C 135(3), Kol Sinai (Kislev 5725), Kaf Hachaim 672:20, and Torat HaMoadim Chanuka 1:10. However Erech HaShulchan 672:7 and Rabbi Akiva Eiger (Mehudra Tanina 13) write that one makes a Bracha. See Sedei Chemed (Chanuka 18), Ben Ish Chai (Vayeshev 10), Sh”t Meishev Devarim O”C 153, Sh”t Rav Moshe Feinstein in Igrot Moshe O”C 190 pg 329a, Sh”t Hitorerut Teshuva 1:103e.
  7. Magan Avraham 671:1 writes that it’s better that one allow his friend to do the basic mitzvah and forfeit his hiddur mitzvah. Eliyah Raba 671:3 limits this to where the friend isn’t a household member, but in a case where the friend is a household member of a house that already has one set of candle and is just lighting his own menorah (as per Minhag Ashkenazim) for hiddur, one shouldn’t give up from his hiddur mitzvah for your friend’s hiddur. So holds the Machsit HaShekel 671:1, Pri Megadim A”A 671:1, Chaye Adam 154:25, Mishna Brurah 671:6, Kaf Hachaim 671:9. Chemed Moshe argues on the Magan Avraham that one doesn’t need to give for someone else’s mitzvah. Similarly, Torat Hamoadim (Chanuka pg 30-31) and Sh”t Machneh Chaim Kama (O”C 29, Y”D 3:55 pg 41a) argue that the Magan Avraham didn’t mean it as an obligation but as a chesed. However, Sh”t Mechtam Ledavid O”C 6 and Sh”t Lev Chaim (1:91 pg 126d) understand the Magan Avraham that it is an obligation. Chazon Ovadyah (Chelek 1 Vol 2 Siman 47) concludes that one must give the candles. Nonetheless Torat HaMoadim(Chazon Ovadiah’s son) argues that Chazon Ovadiah just meant it is preferable as a chesed.
  8. Shabbat 23b Rava says that Shabbat candles which are for Shalom bayit take precedence over Chanuka candles, but Chanuka candles which are for Pirsumei nisa (publicizing the miracle) take precedence over kiddish. So hold Rambam (Chanuka 4:14), Tur and S”A 678. Or Zaruh 2:326 implies this is only someone who only has one candle but someone with two would light one for Shabbos and one for Chanuka. So writes Magan Avraham 678:1, Eliyah Raba 678:1, Mishna Brurah 678:1. Tur 296, Rama 296:5 hold Chanuka candles take precedence over Havdalah. The reason that Chanuka precedes kiddish is because kiddish can be done on bread, but if one doesn’t have wine or bread then bread precedes Chanuka candles because kiddish is a Deoritta (according to many Rishonim) and even if it’s derabanan (Ramam) still bread takes precedence (either because the Rambam would agree kiddish is deoritta if one doesn’t make it even on bread or that kiddish is a Derabanan learned out of a pasuk), see Torat Moed Chanuka pg 34-6).
  9. see previous footnote