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Lighting Chanukah candles and crossing the International Dateline

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Topic: Chanukah Candles & International Date Line (Part 1)

Stuart@lovelace asks:

I will be traveling from Los Angeles, California to Melbourne Australia. I leave at 7:10pm on Monday 13 December and arrive in Melbourne at 1:00pm on Wednesday 15 December. I can light candles for the 6th night of Chanukah before I leave. The question is where do I light candles for the 7th night? I do not know if it will be light or dark when I cross the International Dateline.

Dear Stu,

For someone traveling on Chanukah who will be unable to light the menorah, the halacha is as follows:

You may appoint a "shaliach" (agent) to light a menorah for you in your own home. Any adult Jew (a male over 13 years or a female more than 12 years) may serve as an agent. If you are married, it is best to ask your spouse to light the menorah in the home, if possible, but any adult Jew is acceptable. When your agent recites the brachot when lighting his own menorah, he should have in mind that these brachot are also for the sake of his lighting of your menorah which he will do afterwards. If your agent is not lighting any menorah for himself, then he should recite the brachot when he lights your menorah.

I would not recommend trying to light your menorah on the airplane!

In the unlikely event that you are unable to find an agent, you are exempt from fulfilling the mitzvah."Ask The Rabbi" is a newsletter that answers questions you've always had about Judaism or Jewish practice but never had a chance to ask. Selected questions from our readers will be chosen and answered by a certified Rabbi in our newsletter.

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