Lighting candles outside

By Rabbi Julian Sinclair, December 22, 2011

In Jerusalem, most people light their Chanucah lamps outside their front doors or at the entrance to apartment buildings. They place them in pretty glass-fronted boxes, which allow the lights to be seen from the road, while protecting them from wind and rain. 

Halachic sources teach that we should, preferably, light outside the front door on the left. The core reason for Chanucah candles is publicising the miracle that took place and, more broadly, the miracle of Jewish survival. We want to light the candles in a place where the greatest numbers of passers-by will see them. The giant Chabad-sponsored chanuciot in public places make some people uncomfortable but are inspired by this basic idea. 

There is a dispensation to light candles indoors out of public view in "times of danger when they might draw hostile attention". 

Does Britain in 2011 count as "times of danger"?

Last updated: 11:38am, December 22 2011