Q & A HOLIDAY LAW

Chanukah & Purim

Ask The Rabbi

Page 3

CHANUKAH

Where do we put our Menorah?

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Can I use electric lights for Chanukah candle lighting?   

  1. Electric lights can't be used for Chanukah candles because the mitzvah is specifically to
    light with oil or candles with a wick (Har Tzvi, Orach Chaim 2:114)   

  2. An exception can be made under extenuating circumstances such as a soldier who has
    nothing else to light. (Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach) 

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Do we add or subtract anything from the davening on Chanukah?

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 Can I work while the Chanukah candles are burning?       

  1. The custom (minhag) that women not work while the Chanukah menorahs
    are burning came about because a woman participated in the Chanukah
    miracle. Yehudit, the daughter of Yochanan, the High Priest, slayed one
    one of the Greek generals. Some men have adopted this custom also.
    (Mishna Brura) 
  1. The Maharal suggests that we shouldn't do any work for at least the first
    1/2 hour after the candles are lit so that we don't benefit from the light of}
     the menorah. 

  2. The Levush  says that Chanukah is a holiday designated for praising G-d (Hashem)  &
    the best time to do this is while the menorah is lit.  

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How late at night may I light candles? And do I still recite the bracha then?

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Must one use olive oil that is fit for consumption for Chanukah purposes?

I’ve heard this cited in the name of Rav Elyashiv,
but edible oil is considerably more expensive.

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PURIM

Is there a mitzvah to eat meat at the Purim Seudah?
 Could I make a dairy meal instead? 

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How many people must we give Shaloch Manos to on Purim

One

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What is required in a Shaloch Manos basket?

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Should I sent Shaloch Manos to my friend who lost her mother this year?

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If you are in you in mourning, do you give Shaloch Manos?

Yes but keep it simple

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It's not always easy for a woman, to make it to shul to hear Parashat Zachor.
How much of an effort must I make?

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Return to Halacha Directory

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