Some Chanukah Laws & Customs

Chanukah - Klienman

  • Every night of Chanukah the menorah should burn for at least a half hour into the night, or until 5:30 pm. Therefore, standard Chanukah candles that burn for 30-45 minutes should be lit no earlier than 5:00 pm.
  • The Chabad custom is to light the Menorah at sundown, 4:29 pm, making sure it will burn until 5:30 pm. Because of this custom, larger candles or olive oil should be used.
  • On Friday, December 7, Chanukah candles should be lit before Shabbat candles are lit. Ideally we should daven Mincha beforehand. Under no circumstances can the Menorah be lit after sundown, 4:28 pm. Candles may be lit as early as 3:34 pm. Regular Chanukah candles cannot be used for Friday night, since they must last until 5:30 PM. Shabbat candles may be used instead.
  • On Saturday night, December 8, the menorah is lit after Shabbat ends at 5:13 pm. Havdala is first recited and then the Menorah is lit.
  • The V’Al HaNissim is added to all Chanukah prayers, as well as in Grace after Meals.
  • The complete Hallel is said every day of Chanukah. In Israel, 8 of the 18 days during the year when the complete Hallel is said, are Chanukah.
  • Chanukah is connected with the term Chinuch, education. It is a time that we traditionally tip our children’s teachers for doing a great job educating our children and teaching them Torah.
  • Chanukah is a time for family. At least on a few of the nights of Chanukah, the family should spend time together, sharing the miracles and stories of Chanukah.
  • To educate our children about the importance of Tzedakah and to give them some spending money, Chanukah gelt is given.
  • The Rebbe discussed the importance of giving Chanukah gelt every night of Chanukah and he mentioned that husbands should give their wives Chanukah gelt as well.