Today we will be lighting the last for this holiday – eighth Chanukah candle and we would like to thank all our students and friends for their active participation in solving our Chanukah riddle.

Here it is again:

In the Talmud Beit Hillel and Beit Shamai argue about the sequence of candle lighting.

Beit Shamai’s opinion is: to start on the first day with eight candles and diminish the count every day ending on the last – eighth day with one candle.

Beit Hillels’s opinion is: to start on the first day with one candle and increase the count every day ending on the last – eighth day with eight candles. 

Eventually, the accepted sequence became that of Beit Hillel and this is the way we light the Chanukah candles now. 

But suppose, during the ancient times, when both methods were still in use, if you had seen from afar a lit Chanukiya on the fourth day of Chanukah. 

How would you be able to determine whether it was lit according to Beit Shamai or according to Beit Hillel?

We received many answers, but not all of them were correct.

Incomplete answers addressed other aspects such as direction, presence of wax etc…

People tend to think that on the fourth day the count of the candles is the same starting from 1 to 8 or from 8 to 1, since 4 is in the middle.
However, if you pay good attention, it is not really so…

Here is the correct answer: 

According to Beit Shamai:
Day #1 – 8 candles
Day #2 – 7 candles
Day #3 – 6 candles
Day #4 – 5 candles

According to Beit Hillel:
Day #1 – 1 candle
Day #2 – 2 candles
Day #3 – 3 candles
Day #4 – 4 candles

So, according to Beit Hillel there would have been 4 candles (plus shamash) 
and according to Beit Shamai there would have been 5 candles (plus shamash)

And …the winners, receiving free one month E-Tone subscription, are: 

– Batya Grunfeld

– Carmel Gainsford

– Eric Wessman

– James Mckeon

– Larry Englander

– Nicole Roberts

– Richelle Sherman

– Zev Gershon