Difference between revisions of "Mourning and Fasting on Chanukah and Purim"

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Mourning and Fasting on Chanuka

  1. If a relative passes away on Chanukah one must keep all the practices of Aveilut, including ripping one’s clothing for the dead and comforting the mourner. [1]
  2. One should not conduct a eulogy during Chanukah because Chanukah is a time of Simcha and Hallel and it is only permitted to conduct a eulogy for a Chacham on the day of death. [2] A teacher of Torah who set times to learn is considered a Chacham to eulogize on Chanukah during the Levayah. [3]
  3. One is not allowed to fast on Chanukah. If one’s parent’s Yehrzheit falls out on Chanukah (according to those who fast for one’s parent’s yehrzeit) one should fast one of the days prior to Chanukah. [4]
  4. One is allowed to fast or do a eulogy the day before or after Chanukah. Some say that one should be strict not to fast the day before Chanukah Lechatchila. [5]
  5. If one did fast on Chanukah one should make it up by fasting again after Chanukah. [6]
  6. One shouldn’t go to visit cemeteries during Chanukah (and especially Chol HaMoed) because it generates sadness and a eulogy of the deceased. One has what to rely on to visit the graves of Tzadikkim during Chanukah and Chol HaMoed. [7]
  7. Some have the Minhag not to say Kaddish for their parents on Chanukah, however it’s a wrong Minhag and one should continue saying Kaddish even on Chanukah. [8]

Permitted and Forbidden activities on Chanuka

  1. There is a long standing practice that women wouldn’t do work during the half hour that the candles are lit. The practice is meant to highlight the fact that we don’t use the light of the candles for our benefit. One shouldn’t be lenient in this practice except for Ochel Nefesh needs for food such as cooking and baking. [9]
  2. Some had the Minhag not to do any work on Chanukah but this is a wrong Minhag and should be stopped because leads to excessive idleness. [10]

Related pages

  1. See also Mourning.


  1. Mishna Brurah 670:12 writes that all agree that there is Aveilut on Chanukah. Yalkut Yosef (Moadim 192) agrees.
  2. Shabbat 21b says that it’s forbidden to eulogize on Chanukah. However Megilah 3b and moed Katan 26b says for a Chacham it’s permitted on Moed and all the more so for Chanukah. S”A 670:3 rules this that it’s forbidden except for a Chacham. Mahariv, Magan Avraham (C”M 547) and Chaye Aam says nowadays we don’t have a Chacham. However the Maharamit, Birkei Yosef (C”M 15:2), Orach Mishpat 4:17 in name of Maharshal (Bava Kama 2), Nezirut Shimshon, Aruch HaShulchan, Shaar Shlomo Zorafa 135, and Sh”t Yabia Omer Y”D 9:46 allow it even nowadays.
  3. Sh”t Shaar Shlomo Zorafa 135 and Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S”A 670:6).
  4. S”A 670:1 based on Shabbat 21b says it’s forbidden to fast on Chanukah.
  5. S”A 686:1 based on Tosfot (Tanit 18) and Rosh (Megilah Perek Kama). However, Mishna Brurah 686:1 brings Bach and Pri Chadash that say one isn’t allowed to fast the day before Chanukah. Mishna Brurah 686:1 says that since it’s permitted to fast the day before and after Chanukah (S”A 686:1) one is allowed to do a eulogy because a eulogy is more lenient than a fast (Shaar Tzion 686:1). See further, Sh”t Har HaKarmel O”C 10, and Sh”t Divrei Moshe 1:37
  6. S”A 568:5
  7. Gesher HaChaim and Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 192) based on Bet Yosef (Y”D 344) who forbids going to cemeteries on Rosh Chodesh. Ben Ish Chai allows going to graves on Tzaddikim even on Chol HaMoed and Moed LeChol Chai argues that one shouldn’t go to the cemetery at all.
  8. Yalkut Yosef Moadim pg 193.
  9. This practice is brought down by Tur and S”A (670:1), Aruch Hashulchan 670:8. Mor Ukesiah 670 explains that the practice is to show that it’s forbidden to use the light of the candles. The Taz 670:2 says that the custom is similar to their custom of abstaining from melacha on Rosh Chodesh. The basis for the custom on Rosh Chodesh is that the women did not participate in the sin of the Golden Calf so they were rewarded with the Rosh Chodesh. Similarly, since the miracle of Chanukah was brought about through the heroic actions of Yehudis, it is a worthy custom for women to commemorate this by abstaining from melacha. Chayei Adam Chanukah 154:3 also mentions the story of Yehudit as the basis for this custom. Eliyah Raba 670:2, Derech Chaim, Lekutei Mahrich Kaf HaChaim 670:8, and Mishna Brurah 670:4 say that it’s only forbidden during the half hour of lighting which is a mitzvah against the Magan Avraham 670:2 in name of the Maglei Tzedek who says that it applies as long as the candles are lit. Sh”t Kinyan Torah 7:52 writes if it forbidden for melacha by comparing the time to Yom tov melachot which are permitted on Yom Tov are permitted. So holds Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 190)
  10. So says Shiltei Giborim and Sh”t Chacham Tzvi 89 brought down by Mishna Burah 670:5 and Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S”A 670:3).