Lighting on the Fly
Nathan Novelli wrote:
I'm a student of Chief Rabbi of Triest, Italy. My Rabbi ask me to send this question: A family want travel in return from USA to Europe in the 8th evening of Chanuka; they have to leave New York at 3:00pm - which is before the time to light. They plan to arrive at home only in the morning of the next day. At home there are nobody to made agent for lighting. What is the correct way for a fulfillment of mizvah? I'm sorry for my terrible english, thankyou for the answer.
Dear Nathan Novelli,
I asked your question to Rabbi Shlomo Fisher, shlita. He ruled that in your case there is no obligation to light Chanuka lights.
This can be explained as follows: The Talmud describes the mitzva to light Chanuka lights as "a candle for a person and his home" (Shabbat 21b). The obligation to light Chanuka candles applies only if you are based in a home at the appropriate time for fulfilling the mitzva.
But if you're riding with your family in a car or plane the entire night - and there's nobody residing in your home - you're exempt from lighting Chanuka candles.