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Mourning On Chanukah

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

The Daily Halacha Moment - Mourning On Chanukah 🕎


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן ‎העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

May one mourn on Chanukah?

What are some customs of mourning on Chanukah?


Answer:

Eulogies are not delivered on Chanukah. If the niftar was a talmid chacham, then it is permissible to eulogize him before his burial. [1]

An onen may not light the Chanukah lights himself, and should appoint one of his household members or another person as a shaliach to light on his behalf. If there is no one present who can light the Chanukah lights for him, he may do so himself without a berachah. [2]

An onen who was unable to light the Chanukah lights on the first night of Chanukah should recite a SheHecheyanu on the second night when he lights.[3]

All of the halachot of avelut apply on Chanukah.[4]

One should not erect a tombstone (hakamat matzevah) on Chanukah, but should wait until afterward. [5]

An azkarah (either for after the shivah, sheloshim, or a year) is permitted on Chanukah; however, one should discuss the niftar’s good deeds, and not the pain of the loss. [6]


Adapted From R' Yonatan Nacsons "Laws Of The Holidays"

Sources:

[1]. Shulchan Aruch 670 §3. See Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 41:3, which states that one should not deliver a eulogy for a talmid chacham’s wife. Regarding reciting Tzidduk HaDin, there are varying customs: see Kaf HaChaim 420:2; Shulchan Gavoha, Y.D. 401:16; Chazon Ovadia, Avelut, vol. 1, p. 91; Torat HaMoadim, Chanukah, p. 215; and Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 41:3, end of the footnote.

[2]. Mishnah Berurah 670 §12; Kaf HaChaim §20; Chazon Ovadia, Avelut, vol. 1, p. 177; ibid., Chanukah, p.

60; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 62, halachah 13. Chazon Ovadia states that the onen should also refrain from answering amen to the berachah that his shaliach recites. However, if the deceased was already given over to the chevra kadisha, then the onen may answer amen.

[3]. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 60.

[4]. Mishnah Berurah §12; Kaf HaChaim §19–20; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 62, halachah 12; Torat HaMoadim, Chanukah, p. 219; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 41:2, in the footnotes.

[5]. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 12, at the end of the footnote, which states that according to Kabbalah, a tombstone should not be erected on Chanukah.

[6]. Chazon Ovadia, Chanukah, p. 10; Torat HaMoadim, Chanukah, p. 217; Yalkut Yosef, Chanukah, p. 56.


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