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Happy Chanukah!

A gift to Beth David from our YCT Rabbinic Intern, Phil Kaplan, who sings with Six13. This video was just released today – December 12.

View Video from Six13



Frequently Asked Questions...

About Chanukah

Q: What is the proper time to light the Chanukah lights?
A:  The proper time to light any time after 5:00pm, or as soon as family members are able to gather.

Q:  How long do the lights have to burn?
A:  There must be enough oil or wax for the lights to burn for one-half hour. On Friday (December 15), the lights must be able to burn 90 minutes past Shabbat candle lighting time. This will require the use of larger candles than the conventional Chanukah candles.

Q:  Where is the best place to position my Chanukah?
It should be placed in an area near a window where it can be seen those passing by. It is most ideal to place it in a window near the doorway to the residence opposite the mezuzah.

Q:  I am going to a family Chanukah party in the late afternoon and I won't get home until very late at night. Should I light before I leave, after I get home or at the Chanukah party?
The Chanukah lights may be kindled at a party at the proper time, provided that you will be eating at the place. Otherwise, it is okay to kindle your lights at home upon your return.

Q:  I am not going to get home from work until 8: 30pm. Should the rest of my family light without me? May I eat dinner before I light?
A:  Your family can wait until you get home and if there are children who need to go to sleep, they should light on their own. Or, your spouse can light on your behalf with the rest of the family at the proper time. Be guided by what will be in everyone’s best interest.

Q:  I am going out for the Friday night meal and I don't want to leave my lights unattended. Can I light at the home of my guest?

Q:  I read somewhere that there is prohibition against performing certain activities while the lights are lit. Can you please clarify?
A:  There is a practice to refraining from work-like activities for the first half hour that the lights are burning.

Q:  My family is staying in a hotel and I don't think the hotel will let me light in the room. What should I do?
You can ask a friend or relative to light on your behalf and have your family’s obligation fulfilled thereby. It is ideal to pay that agent a small amount of money to share in the cost of the mitzvah.

Q:  I would like to leave the house after lighting the Chanukah lights, but I don't want to leave the lights unattended. May I blow out the lights after lighting them?
You may blow out the lights one-half-hour after lighting.

Q:  I light with oil and it often does not burn completely. How do I dispose of the oil?
A:  If the oil burns for more than one-half-hour, you can dispose of the rest. However, if the oil did not burn for one-half-hour, you can either use it on one of the following nights. It may not be used for anything else.

Q:  On Saturday Night, should I recite Havdalah first or light the Chanukah lights first?
This has been an ongoing debate for many centuries and there is no clear resolution. If you have a specific custom, you should follow your custom. If not, the custom in our congregation is to recite Havdallah first and then kindle the Chanukah lights.

Q:  What is the rule if I forget to insert Al HaNissim in Shemoneh Esrei or Birkat HaMazon?
 Does not necessitate the repeating of a prayer. If one realized the mistake before reciting God’s name at the end of the HaNissimAccidental omission of Al הרחמן יעשה לנו ניסים ונפלאות כשם שעשית לאבותינו בימים ההם בזמן הזה. בימי מתתיהו ... beracha, he may return to Al HaNissim. If not, one should continue and later on, one can recite הרחמן יעשה לנו ניסים ונפלאות כשם שעשית לאבותינו בימים ההם בזמן הזה.  בימי מתתיהו ... 
This can be added to Birkat HaMazon in the middle of the HaRachaman section or in Shemoneh Esrei before reciting "Yihiyu L'Ratzon" (at the end of Shemoneh Esrei).

And Chanukah is not just about rules, it is also about joyous celebration. Here are some links to songs to share with your family - (the Six13 group that came to Beth David for Simchat Torah)

Jewish Engagement Group

Chai Mitzvah come join us!

Chai Mitzvah is an adult Jewish engagement group that takes place over the course of 12 months. We meet once per month for conversation and learning. We welcome you to come and join a current group or if you have a group of friends you can start a new group. This is a great way to reconnect, recharge, and re-examine your jewish life.


Please contact Susan Fried at 203-606-4522 or


Our Community

A Guide to Jewish Resources and events in the Greater Hartford Area

Grow West Hartford

Mikveh Bess Israel

The West Hartford Eruv

Our Day Schools:

Bess & Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy

Solomon Schechter 

Hebrew High School of New England

Hartford Kashrut Commission

Brit Milah

Purim Party Pictures:
Pictures from Beth David's community Purim party. Click here

Grow West Hartford!

Rabbi Adler and Karen Benjamin represented Beth David at the Biennial OU Small Communities Fair. They were assisted by Alyssa Schwager.


We Love West Hartford

Thu, December 14 2017 26 Kislev 5778