Learn & Play
Lesson Plan

Chanukah Candle Lighting in the IDF

How should candles be lit on Chanukah according to Halacha (Jewish law)? What adjustments to standard halachic procedures should be made for IDF soldiers? In this unit we will read an article from Ma’ariv concerning accommodations made for IDF soldiers during Chanukah. By reading and studying the article and relevant Jewish texts, we will discover key halachic concepts that are considered when rendering Jewish law and learn about the role of the military rabbinate.

When might lighting Chanukah candles be challenging? Learn about how IDF soldiers deal with that question.

Group Activity

In hevruta pairs, study the Sefaria Chanukah Candle lighting in the IDF source sheet.

Discussion Questions

  • When and where was the article written?
  • What situation is the article describing?
  • What difficulties is the article relating to?
  • What solutions are presented in the article?
  • What adjustments to standard halachic procedures must be made for IDF soldiers?
  • What is taken into account when making halachic decisions?
  • What other information appears in the article?
  • Can you think of any other situations when lighting Chanukah candles might have been challenging?
  • Have you ever lit candles in a difficult situation? What did you do?
  • What other halachic difficulties might soldiers face during their army service?

Creative Activity

Make a booklet for IDF soldiers explaining the laws of candle lighting and providing the blessings and songs for a Chanukah celebration.

Save/Print PDF

In hevruta pairs, study the Sefaria Chanukah Candle lighting in the IDF source sheet.