I recently played a Chanukah quiz game with friends. One of the questions was "is it permissible to light candles in a circle". The correct answer was "yes, b'dieved". I have always heard that the answer is no, so that it not look like a bonfire.

What is the source for the lighting counting (after the fact) when done in a circle? (And is the quizmaster's assertion actually correct?)

  • Would this be worse than lighting one candle per house? Perhaps a circle fails at being Mehadrin (min haMehadrin).
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 22:56
  • What candlelighting does this apply to? Only Chanukah, or any?
    – SAH
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 17:02
  • 1
    @SAH Question is about Chanukah. What other candle lightings would there be where this is a concern?
    – Scimonster
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 18:10
  • @Scimonster Shabbos candles, candles by the bimah... Are you sure this issue doesnt apply there too?
    – SAH
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 11:55
  • A) what candles by the bimah? B) do we ever see that we're supposed to light in a straight line elsewhere?
    – Scimonster
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 15:22

1 Answer 1


see משנה ברורה ס' תרעא ס''ק טז who brings from חי אדם explicit that so long as there is space like the width of a finger and you don't put a covering on top of all the flames even in a circle is kosher.


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