We lost someone whom we loved dearly and we are also honoring the family's way of grieving. However, we'd like to light the Menorah we recently purchased in his memory this Dec 2nd. With much respect and reverence, I would simply like a yes or a no if doing so is dishonorable to your faith.


4 Answers 4


Thanks for your consideration in asking this ahead of time. It seems to me that, not only would it not be disrespectful to light a Chanukah menorah in memory of your friend, it would be fairly traditional. Although the idea behind a menorah is to remind people of, or advertise, the miracles that Chanukah celebrates, it is, after all, a burning lamp, which is used traditionally to memorialize the dead. Just make sure you light it in a safe place and manner.


Assuming you aren't Jewish, there would be no mitzvah (commandment) for you to light the menorah, but I don't see anything wrong with it. I will add that perhaps the best way to honor your deceased friend is doing good deeds in his name, like tzedakah (charity).

Take a look at this webpage to learn how to light the menorah. Just one catch, though - since you aren't Jewish make to sure to not recite the blessings.


Its a good Idea to do so, In my humble opinion instead of you lighting it donate the menorah to a jew who would light it with all the Prayers in memory of your friend and that would to a very big soul elevation of your friend 馃槈

  • We'd rather participate in his honor, but thank you for your humble opinion. Truly.
    – I I
    Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 14:24

The Short version:
Lighting a 7-hand Menorah on Chanukkah at home IS dishonorable in the Jewish Faith and it contradicts the Jewish Law.

THe Long version:

  1. We hold that the biggest remembrance and practical benefit for the soul of the diseased is TORAH and Mitzvot and good deeds.
    The best way to remember a person is by organizing TORAH learning in public in his/her name, do Mitzvot yourself or pay others to do Mitzvot, especially pay to learn Torah and say Kaddishim, promote positive activities like volunteering or helping the needy or Tzedaka etc.

  2. Lighting a 7-hand Menorah at home has no meaning and no tradition in Judaism since the destruction of the Temple and it is explicitly forbidden to light at home as it is 转讘谞讬转 讻诇讬 拽讜讚砖. See Rambam 讛诇讻讜转 讘讬转 讛讘讞讬专讛 讝, 讬 and Shu"A 讬讜"讚 拽诪"讗.

  3. Lighting a 8-hand menorah is dedicated to Chanukkah as a distinctive Jewish festival and can not be used for mourning. It is clearly forbidden for Jews to light a 7-hand Menorah for Chanukkah candles!

  4. If you don't care what Judaism says and want to do what you want, you're free to do it your way, but remember it would be a much more useful remembrance if you spend the money on Tzedakkah instead of the oil or candles.

  • 2
    This is not halachic truth for many reasons. (1) you're attaching too much significance to the menorah. Having one is a hiddur at best, all you need is candles (and maybe a kli to hold them but it doesn't need 8 branches). (2) "if you're Jewish you're doing that anyway, you need to add something for remembrance" Doing a mitzvah you were not otherwise going to do is most definitely a good way to remember someone, even if it's obligatory and you were supposed to do it anyway. (3) the menorah accomplishes pirsumei nisa, publicizing the miracle of Chanukah, which arguably fulfills your (1)
    – Heshy
    Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 14:23
  • @Heshy "you were not otherwise going " - exactly what I said but every Jew is commanded anyway, so it only counts if you ADD something, not do what you're ought to do anyway. 2. As I said Menorah is 讻诇讬 拽讜讚砖 and is forbidden from being used at home since the destruction.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 14:29
  • 3
    Are you saying people making an extra effort to daven with a minyan in memory of relatives are not doing anything, because they are supposed to daven with a minyan anyway??? And "menorah" just means a lamp. When people say menorah 99% of the time they mean an 8 branch one. I was taught in kindergarten that you're supposed to call the 8 branch one a "Chanukiyah" and "Menorah" only refers to the one in the Beis Hamikdash, but that's completely incorrect. sefaria.org/Mishnah_Sukkah.5.2 sefaria.org/Chayei_Adam%2C_Shabbat_and_Festivals.154.11
    – Heshy
    Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 14:45
  • 7
    While the question says "menorah", it's almost certainly talking about a chanukiyah. People, especially non-Jews, often say the former when they mean the latter. More importantly, I don't see how you have addressed the question of whether it would be inappropriate for presumed non-Jews to light this kind of lamp in memory of someone. The OP isn't asking about fulfilling a mitzvah but about not giving offense. There are things we try to hold as our own and don't want gentiles doing (like fully observing Shabbat), so it's not a baseless question. Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 20:03

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