Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 671:5 rules that one places one's chanukah lights by the door that leads to the reshut harabim, and that if one has a courtyard between his house and the reshut harabim, then one lights at the entrance to the courtyard. If one lives on an upper floor without direct access to the reshut harabim, one places it in the window where it can be seen from the reshut harabim.

How does all this apply to one living in a modern apartment building? Is the entrance from the hallway to his apartment considered "a door that leads to the reshut harabim"? Or is the hallway considered a courtyard, so that the entrance to the building is the entrance to the courtyard?

Or maybe neither of these options work, in which case maybe he is considered like one who lives in an attic and should be lighting by the window? (Note that if that is indeed the solution, then modern tall apartment buildings may run in to the maximum height limit of twenty amot discussed in this question.)

  • Are you asking about someone living in Israel or the diaspora?
    – ASL
    Dec 9, 2019 at 15:15
  • 1
    @ASL Either (if it makes a difference - Shulchan Aruch appears not to differentiate).
    – Joel K
    Dec 9, 2019 at 15:18
  • This question is for Ashkenazi or Sefardi?
    – user6591
    Dec 9, 2019 at 16:07
  • 1
    @user6591 Either
    – Joel K
    Dec 9, 2019 at 16:22
  • @Loewian I don't understand how to use this new tag. Please add guidance to it, including a tag wiki and excerpt. Ambiguous or unclear tags may be removed or merged into existing tags.
    – Double AA
    Dec 9, 2019 at 19:58

1 Answer 1


If your apartment is above 20 amot from the ground level outside the building, then you should light your menorah at your apartments entry doorway leading to the hall.

See the following paragraph entitled, "Placing the Menorah 20 Amos from the ground:" from ShulchanAruchHaRav.com:

Placing the Menorah 20 Amos from the ground: The Menorah may not be placed higher than twenty Amos [9.6 meters or 31.5 feet] from the ground. If it was placed higher than twenty Amos from the ground, one does not fulfilled his obligation. This applies whether one is lighting outside the front door of the house, or inside his house. If one lit the candles above 20 Amos, and then placed it in the proper area, it is invalid. [When lighting outside the front door of one’s home which faces towards the outside, or by a window that faces the public, the above height is measured from the ground floor of the outside, and not from the floor of the home. However, one who is lighting inside his house and not by a window that faces the public, measures the 20 Amos from the floor of his house and not from the street level. Thus, one who lives in a very tall building, may light candles in his upper floor apartment, even though it is twenty Amos above street level.]

  • Please take note at the end of the footnotes to the linked page, the opinon of some mentioned in connection with the idea of publicizing the miracle, lighting at your window in an apartment above 20 amot and if your building is surrounded by other apartment buildings also at the hight of your apartment.
  • The question says explicitly that it is not discussing the 20 Ammah rule. Posts about that should be at the linked question which discusses that.
    – Double AA
    Dec 9, 2019 at 17:35

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