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How does the Shabbat affect the Menorah lighting?

by Rabbi N. Silberberg

  

Library » Holidays » Chanukah » The Laws | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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On Friday afternoon, the Menorah must be lit before sunset.1 The custom is to light the Menorah before the Shabbat candles. Remember to ensure that there is enough oil in the cups (or the candles are long enough) for the flames to burn for at least one half hour after the stars appear.

On Saturday night after the Shabbat ends, we first make Havdalah and then we light the Menorah. In the synagogue the Menorah is lit before Havdalah.

Footnotes

  • 1. Once the sun sets it is too late to light candles as it is already Shabbat and lighting fire constitutes a desecration of the Shabbat.

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Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Menorah
Candelabra. Usually a reference to the nine-branched candelabra kindled on the holiday of Chanukah.
Havdalah
Prayer signifying the end of the Sabbath or Jewish holiday. This "separation" prayer is recited after nightfall over a cup of wine.