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Chapter 139:15
Chanukah

15. The [Chanukah] candles should also be kindled [each night] in the synagogue to publicize the miracle, and the blessings [for the mitzvah of the Chanukah candles] recited over them. They should be placed on the southern wall [of the synagogue] (1), and lit between the "Mincha" and "Ma'ariv" prayer services (2). Nevertheless, a person does not fulfill his obligation [by kindling] the candles in the synagogue, and must kindle [the Chanukah lights] again in his home (3).

A mourner (4), Heaven forbid, should not light the Chanukah candles on the first night in the synagogue, so that he will not be obligated to recite the blessing "Shehecheyonu" (5), because a mourner should not recite "Shehecheyonu" in public. He may, however, recite this blessing in his own home.

FOOTNOTES:

(1) This commemorates the gold Menorah in the Beit Hamikdash (Temple in Jerusalem), which was positioned on the southern side of the sanctuary.

(2) If there is a long interval of time between "Mincha" and "Ma'ariv," the menorah should be lit just before "Ma'ariv" even if it is late at night (Mishna Berura 671:47).

(3) The person who kindled the Chanukah lights in the synagogue on the first night of Chanukah, and thus recited the blessing "shehechyanu," should not recite it again when he lights his candles at home, unless he must recite that blessing on behalf of the members of his household. He must, however, recite the other blessings again, when he lights at home (Mishnah Berurah 671:45).

(4) That is, one mourning for a parent within the first twelve months after the death, or one mourning for a wife, brother, sister, son or daughter within the first 30 days after the death.

(5) The blessing is one of joy, and not appropriate for a mourner to recite in public.

 

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