Where should I put my Hanukkiah?

Updated: Feb 7

Question:

I live on the 4th floor. Where should I put my Hanukkiah?


Answer

1. Even were your apartment to be on the ground floor,but inside the building (as opposed to the door to your apartment opening directly on to the street), it is unclear whether it would be correct to place your Ner Hanukka at the entrance to the building - there exist a machloketh Rishonim regarding this question: according to the Rambam you would place the candles outside your own door, and according to the Tosaphoth you would place them outside the entrance to the building.

2. Seeing that your apartment is on the fourth floor, you have two options:

a) to light in a window (which faces the street if at all possible), or

b) to light outside the door to your apartment in the stairwell.


3. These two options are equally correct in my view. There is no issue of the window being too high when one lights inside as mentioned by the Tur (OH 672) in the name of Rabbenu Yoel. This is also the view of the Ra'avya (843). I believe this to be correct (even though the Tur disputes this - I do not understand the Tur's reasoning, whereas the reasoning of R. Yoel and the Ra'avya seems to me unassailable).


4. Regarding option 2b) there is a stipulation, namely that at least some people are likely to walk by in the stairwell and see your candles, even if this might only be one or two people. If however no-one is likely to see the candles, it is preferable to light in the window (where I assume at least some people will see them).


FRIDAY, 03 APRIL 2009

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