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 Yaakov Chaim Gavriel

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Hanukah – Where Does a Groom Light Candles on His Wedding Night?
If a man gets married during Hanukah, must he light Hanukah candles that night, and, if so, where?

When a person is single, he fulfills the Misva of Hanukah candles through his parents’ lighting. One he gets married, however, he becomes obligated to light his own candles. Therefore, in the case of one who gets married during Hanukah, the Halacha depends on whether or not he had already fulfilled that night’s obligation through his parents’ lighting. In New York City, the preferred time for lighting is approximately 4:45pm, and therefore, if a person is getting married at around 6-7pm, after his parents had lit Hanukah candles, he is covered for that night. Since he was still single at the time when his parents lit the Hanukah candles, he fulfilled his obligation through their lighting, and does not have to light on his own that night.

If, however, his parents did not have a chance to light before the wedding, or if the wedding begins in the afternoon, before the obligation sets in, then the groom is obligated to light Hanukah candles that night. Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv (contemporary), as cited in the work Ashreh Ha’ish (p. 263), rules that the groom in this case must light in his home that night. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Israel, 1910-1995) is cited as ruling that in this case a groom should leave the wedding, eat a small meal in his home, light Hanukah candles, and then return to his wedding. Of course, this will generally not be feasible, and therefore there is room to allow the groom to light Hanukah candles at the wedding hall. Since the hall is rented for his use for that evening, it is considered his "home" and he may fulfill the Misva by lighting candles there in the hall. This ruling is cited in the work Piskeh Teshubot (p. 499). This is also the ruling of Hacham Ovadia Yosef (Yalkut Yosef, p. 107; listen to audio recording for precise citation), who adds that as a measure of added stringency, the groom may, if he wishes, light again after the wedding in his home, without a Beracha.

Summary: If a man gets married during Hanukah, and his father lit Hanukah candles on the night of the wedding before the wedding, the groom has fulfilled his obligation through that lighting. If not, then the groom must light Hanukah candles on his wedding night, and he may light at the wedding hall. If he wishes, he may light again when he goes home after the wedding, but without a Beracha.