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I recently saw this story about students at YU who lit up their dorm windows to turn the entire building into a giant chanukia (just the form, not a real one). That inspired a question:

Exactly how big can a chanukia be and still be kosher?

As seen in this question, a chanukia should not be placed higher than 20 amot (~30-40 feet) from the ground. There seems to be dispute about what exactly is the world's largest chanukia, but all the contenders are well over 20 amot. (a b c d)

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    Obviously, that YU menorah is not a kosher menorah. Just saying. – Shokhet Dec 18 '14 at 22:23
  • Scimonster, can you link to some of the contenders you refer to? – Isaac Moses Dec 18 '14 at 22:26
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    I strongly suspect that this question is the same as "Is the 20 amot to the base of the chanukiya or to the lights?" and that the answer to that is "to the lights." – Isaac Moses Dec 18 '14 at 22:27
  • @IsaacMoses I added a few links. – Scimonster Dec 18 '14 at 22:34
  • @Scimonster Here's another. It's amazing how many are the world's largest at the same time. :) – Isaac Moses Dec 19 '14 at 2:37
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According to Shulchan Aruch Orech Chayim 671:6, the maximum hight of a Menora, is 20 amot:

מניחו למעלה מג' טפחים ומצוה להניחו למטה מעשרה טפחים ואם הניחו למעלה מעשרה טפחים יצא אבל אם מניחו למעלה מעשרים אמה לא יצא:

One should place [the Hanukkah light] above three handsbreadths [from the ground]. It is a mitzvah to place it beneath ten handsbreadths. But if he placed it above ten handsbreadths, he has fulfilled his obligation. However, if he placed it above twenty cubits, he has not fulfilled his obligation.

The measurements are measured to the flame of the candle [Pri Megadim (M”Z 671:5]


There seems to be dispute about what exactly is the world's largest chanukia, but all the contenders are well over 20 amot. (a b c d)

Well, are they actually over 20 amot? Let's examine closely:

According to Rav Moshe Fainstein¹, 20 amos would be 35'5"

According to Rav Chaim Noeh¹ it's 31'6"

According to the Chazon Ish³ it's 40 ft

So let's examine the example you gave:

In the first article about the tallest menorah, it mentions that the menora is 32 feet. Too tall according to Rav Chaim Noeh but not according to the others.

The second and fourth article don't seem to give a size.

The third article says that the Menora is 33.5 feet tall. Again under 20 amos according to Rav Moshe and Chazon Ish.


  1. Measurements taken from Halachipedia one amah according to rav moshe, is 21.25 that times 20 and divided into feet, equals 35'5"

  2. Measurements taken from Halachipedia one amah according to rav chaim naeh, is 18.90 that times 20 and divided into feet, equals 31'6"

  3. Measurements taken from Halachipedia. One amah according to the chazon ish, is 24". that times 20 and divided into feet, equals 40 feet.

  • Your parenthetical statement from the Pri Megadim is the real answer here, that the important factor is that the lights be under 20. I would emphasize it a little more. – Scimonster Apr 20 '18 at 15:28
  • I'm pretty sure Maran is not talking about a Hanukkiah, but rather an oil lamp and is stating that one should not place this lamp more than 20 cubits off the ground. He has no comment on our Modern Hannukiot that themselves are 20 or more amot tall – Aaron Apr 20 '18 at 18:24
  • @Aaron maybe I'm misunderstanding your comment, but what's the halachik difference if one place the candles on top of a rock that's 20 amot tall, or if one places the candles on top of something that happens to have a design of a menora, and also happens to be 20 amot tall? – aBochur Apr 20 '18 at 20:40
  • @Aaron "He has no comment on our Modern Hannukiot that themselves are 20 or more amot tall‬" do you happen to have an example of a hanukia that's over 20 amot? Why would anyone assume that such a hanukia is kosher? – aBochur Apr 20 '18 at 20:47

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