Rabbi Shlomo Sobol
Former Rosh Kollel in Detroit
- On Friday afternoon, first one lights Chanukah candles and then Shabbat candles.
- The earliest time one may light Chanukah candles is plag haminchah – one and a quarter halakhic hours before tzeit hakokhavim (nightfall).
- Although one is permitted to light Chanukah candles as early as plag haminchah, it is preferable to light them closer toshkiah (sunset). Therefore, the recommended time for candle lighting is 25 minutes before sunset.
- If using oil, one should use enough so that it will continue to burn for half an hour after sunset. Similarly, someone using wax candles should use candles which will last until half an hour after sunset.
- On Friday afternoon, it is preferable to davenMinchah before lighting the Chanukah candles. However, one who did notdaven before candle-lighting may daven afterwards.
- After lighting Chanukah candles, one should immediately light Shabbat candles. Women accept Shabbat with the lighting of the Shabbat candles. Since there is a mitzvah to extend Shabbat, it is proper that men accept Shabbat about 20 minutes before sunset by saying “I accept Shabbat upon myself.”
- In shul, Chanukah candles are lit before making havdalah.
- At home, there are some who are of the opinion that Chanukah candles should be lit before making havdalah, while others are of the opinion that havdalah should be made before lighting candles. Everyone should follow their custom.
- One should light candles as soon as possible after Shabbat. Therefore, it is recommended to prepare the wicks or candles on Friday before Shabbat begins, so that they will be ready for use immediately after Shabbat ends.
May we live to see the Chanukah candles lit in the Holy Temple!