Could the minhag (=custom) of lighting menorah in synagogues have developed from when guests would stay in the synagogue? Does anyone bring this as a source for the minhag? If so, would it not apply nowadays?

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There's an article on this by Dose of Halacha. Here's an excerpt:

While the Rema (OC 671:7) follows the Rivash that one can’t fulfil one’s obligation to light through the shul’s menora, the Kolbo (44) writes that one reason for this minhag is on behalf of those who don’t light at home. The Beis Yosef (OC 671:7) writes similarly that visitors can fulfil their obligation through the shul’s Menora. The Shibolei Haleket (185) writes that as visitors no longer sleep over in the shul¸ this reason no longer applies.

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    Visitors was one historical reason; another was that there should simply be a congregational proclamation of the miracle. Regardless, the practice is now the norm, visitors or not.
    – Shalom
    Dec 22, 2014 at 9:30
  • @Shalom I don't think you are using "historical reason" in the standard way. Regardless, the practice in many places is to discard customs started for visitors in Shul such as (Kiddush on Friday night) now that there aren't such visitors. So the origin of this custom (nice to visitors or enactment for pulicization of the miricle) seems very relevant indeed.
    – Double AA
    Dec 22, 2014 at 16:18
  • The custom of Kiddush in Shul is a topic of its own - arguably should never have been abandoned either! See doseofhalacha.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/kiddush-in-shul.html
    – Zvi
    Dec 22, 2014 at 18:45
  • @Zvi And arguably should have been abandoned by more people.
    – Double AA
    Dec 19, 2016 at 16:33

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