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We light one menorah at this point. I am a photographer and would like to take a photo with extra menorahs with candles (ours is oil) for the last night.

Do the extra menorahs need a brocha? Can this be done on Chanukah if the menorah is not for anyone in particular?

  • Welcome to MiYodeya Chana. Hope to see you around ! – mbloch Dec 19 '17 at 15:42
  • Please, guys, stop calling it Menorah, it is called Channukyah, Menorah was only used in the Temple and is forbidden to use elsewhere. – Al Berko Dec 3 '18 at 14:44
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    @al berko ,should we be more frum than the Chofetz Chaim ?! See MB 671:12,27 – sam Dec 3 '18 at 15:21
  • @sam Right. But we, Israelis, insist on Hebrewizing everything. I would say the same to CC himself. And I'm sure, he'd [finally] agree. – Al Berko Dec 3 '18 at 15:28
  • This forum isn't Israel only – sam Dec 3 '18 at 15:33
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A menorah that is lit for decoration does not get any blessing, as you are not performing any mitzvah. An analogy (somewhat) is that in many shuls, a menorah is lit during the day, but, as there is no mitzvah of lighting at day time, no bracha is made.

One solution, perhaps, is that if you want an extra family member to light his / her menorah at night, then that person would make a bracha on the lighting, and you end up having an extra lit menorah around.

There may possibly be a problem of benefitting from the lit menorah candles as you are using it in a picture. (Ask a rav about this, because a picture is viewed much later, so I don't know if this is called "benefit".) At any rate, to solve the doubt, wait the minimal 1/2 hour or until the candles are out. After that, light as many menorot as you wish without a bracha and take all your pictures. Feel free to upload one, here.

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    There is a common Ashkenazi minhag anyways for each family member to have a menorah to light. – ezra Dec 19 '17 at 17:47
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    Would the proposed solution work for sefaradim, who make one blessing for the whole family? Are they able to say a bracha where not required? I agree it would work for ashkenazim for the reason ezra mentions. – mbloch Dec 19 '17 at 18:47
  • @mbloch I'm not following your latest comment. My answer has two ideas. If Sefardim make one blessing for the whole family, then, obviously the other menorot don't get a bracha. Now, that I'm thinking this a bit more, there is a rule about not gaining benefit from the candle lights. I wonder if using even the one you made a bracha for violates the "hana'ah" concept? Why can't you just light multiple menorot after the initial lighting, then you have your picture? – DanF Dec 19 '17 at 23:53
  • @DanF my point was that sefaradim light one Hanukia for the whole family. If someone decides to light a second one it is not at all obvious they can say a blessing on it. Sefaradiot women typically do not do this. You bring an additional very good point that we should not use the lights except to look at them. So the solution is quite simple. Light a Hanukia at a time other than Hanuka without a blessing :-> – mbloch Dec 20 '17 at 4:32
  • @mbloch See latest edits. The solution is simpler. You can light as many menorot as you wish at any time after you have performed the mitzvah. Even during Chanukah. Another solution, perhaps (not ideal) is if you are at a friend's home and you light your menorot separately from them, and you already lit at home or plan to do so later, that will also work. – DanF Dec 20 '17 at 16:16

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