Ask The Rabbi

Colored Chanukah Candles

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Topic: Candles, Chanukah, Color & Placement

Bob & Jeannie Roemmich wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

If one has a mixed colored set of small red, green, blue, and yellow Chanukah candles, does it matter as to the order that they are placed in the menorah?

And from which side do you light them, as you look toward the menorah?

Dear Bob & Jeannie Roemmich,

There's no tradition regarding the color of the candles; so any color is okay, including plaid and infra-red! And the color order is up to you.

Although there are other customs, the most common one for placing the candles in the menorah is as follows: On the first day place one candle on the right side of the menorah. On the second day put a candle there and another one to the left of it. On the third day add the third candle to the left of those. And so on. Each night another candle goes on the left side of the last one.

But when lighting, you start with the new one, the one furthest on the left. You then move towards the right, lighting each one in order, the last candle being the one on the far right.

Note that the small colored Chanukah candles aren't long enough to use on Friday, because the candles must be lit before sunset and must remain alight for a half hour after dark. So Friday afternoon you should use big white Shabbat candles, or wicks and oil. The candles don't have to be placed in a menorah, but should be in a straight line.

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