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Assuming one has an electric menorah in their window, but will not be returning home until well after dark, what is the appropriate thing to do?

  1. Activate the next night's bulb in advance, so that once night falls it is correct (but it's wrong during the day when it's harder to see)?
  2. Activate the next night's bulb after returning home and lighting candles (in which case it's wrong for several hours of night time)?
  3. Turn it off altogether until able to return home and activate the next bulb?

This would also be somewhat relevant if one was to be away for several days, but that's a more complicated situation.

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What's the purpose of the electric menorah is it to fulfill the mitzvah(which is very questionable) or it is for pirsumei nissa? –  sam Nov 28 '13 at 17:33
    
Pirsumei nissa, definitely. –  Bobson Nov 28 '13 at 18:36
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I'm not sure what the problem with misrepresenting days is? Are you worried someone may....what? –  Double AA Nov 28 '13 at 19:28
    
@DoubleAA - Actually, I'm not entirely sure I can articulate it. It just feels wrong to me for some reason. It might be because of the potential confusion it could cause, it might be because I don't want to seem to not know what night it is, it might just be my OCD tendencies insisting that I "get it right", and it might be something else altogether. So "It doesn't matter, any of the above would work" would be a valid answer to the question. –  Bobson Nov 29 '13 at 12:39
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'm assuming you're concerned about misrepresenting the number of days of the holiday.

Activate the bulb for that night, but use a timer to keep it off until the night starts. Then the timer will turn it on with the correct amount of lights.

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I had that thought after posting the question. It's definitely the best solution. Any opinion to offer for the time before acquiring a timer, though? You're right about the primary concern. –  Bobson Nov 28 '13 at 18:41
    
The only thing I can think of is individual timers for each light, but I doubt they come off the shelf that way, you'd have to design your own. –  Menachem Nov 29 '13 at 2:51
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