All summaries below are done to the best of my abilities and are for the purpose of informing and not paskening. In all cases, a posek should be consulted.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Difficult Chanukah Situations - Igrot Moshe Yoreh Deah 3:15.5

In this brief section of a multi-part teshuva, Rav Moshe Feinstein deals with cases of people whose main domicile is not easily discerned insofar as it concerns where they should light Chanukah candles.

In terms of students living in a Yeshiva dorm, Rav Moshe rules that they should light in their rooms, where they at least have some sense of ownership, and not in the main dining room or other common area of the Yeshiva. As leaving the candles alone would constitute a fire hazard, the students within any one room should have a lottery to decide who has to stay in the room with the candles each night.

In terms of someone who is camping and thus away from home or who is travelling through the night, Rav Moshe indicates that such a person is exempt from lighting candles.

If someone is going out for dinner, such as for a family get-together, but will return home later that night, Rav Moshe is concerned that people will see him return home and suspect that he did not light if he lights in his host's home. Thus, such a person should either light at home before he leaves or come home while people are still out and about and light and home after the party.

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