Friday, March 5, 2010

The KAJ - Breuer's Tachanun Lights

On days when Tachanun is not said it is the minhag in K’hal Adath Jeshurun to indicate this omission by illuminating lights on special sconces installed for this purpose, located on the mizrach wall. The two sconces, one on either side of the Oron, consist of seven lights which can be lit in combinations of one, two, three, four or seven lights depending on the importance of the day. The greater the importance the more lights.*

The following is the official chart of which non-tachanun days warrant how many lights:

One Light - Bris, Chosson

Two Lights - Chodesh Nissan, Lag Bo’Omer, 2 Sivan – 4 Sivan, 15 Av, 15 Shvat, 12-13 Tishrei, 25-29 Tishrei

Three Lights - Rosh Chodesh, Chanukah, Erev Yom Tov, Shushan Purim, Purim Koton, Shushan Purim Koton, Isru Chag, 11 Tishrei

Four Lights - Chol Hamoed

Seven Lights - Shabbos, Yomim Tovim, Hoshanoh Raboh, Purim

*On those days when three or more lights are lit, Lamnatzeach (between Ashrei and Uvo L’Tziyon) is also not said.


efrex said...


Why more lights for Purim than Hanukkah?

Anonymous said...

What are the lights below the Tachanun lights?

Yekkishe Bekishe said...

Those are lights Lzecher Nishmas various Niftorim.

Avram said...

The set of lights below on the left side of the Oron Kodesh are in memory of people during their ovel year. They are actually only lit for 11 months and then again on the first yahrtzeit (just like saying kaddish).

The set of lights below on the right side of the Oron Kodesh are for yahrtzeits during that month. The names are changed every month. There are also standard memorial plaques for yahrtzeits in the back of the shul and in the lobby.

Yehudah said...

Thank you very much! I always wondered what the rules were.

P.S. What happens from 4 Sivan until Shavuos?

G6 said...

Yehuda -
The fifth of Sivan falls out under the category of "Erev Yom Tov", hence - three lights.

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, in the '60 and '70, there was a different Tachanun lamp with only 4 lights. Is that accurate?

Avram said...


You sure are dating yourself. You are correct that the current tachanun lights are not the original ones that were in place when the shul was built in 1952. I recall seeing them in a picture of the inauguration of the shul. I myself don't remember them as I was not born yet. However my father z"l told me that they were only temporary and he himself had to paint the original ones as they weren't the right color. The current ones have been there as long as I can remember which probably dates back to the early 60's. They were donated by and are now dedicated to the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Katzenstein. Perhaps there is amongst the readers of this blog someone who has a better recollection.

Just another point of information. There is no particular significance to the number seven for the maximum amount of lights. In the IRG (KAJ) shul in Frankfurt AM, Germany located on the Friedberger Anlage there were two large marble pillars on either side of the Oron which had a much larger number of lights embedded in them for the non-tachanun days. I have a copy of the blueprints of the shul and from what I can see there were at least thirteen lights on each pillar. There was also a candelabra on top of each pillar which was only illuminated on Yom Tov.

BLD said...

Easily Purim has partial Bitul Melacha and it is Medvrei Haneviim, thats why it has more lights. Actually they should be called anti-Tachanun lights.

efrex said...


That still doesn't explain why Purim should have more lights than Rosh Chodesh or Chol Hamoed (the latter having a possible issur melacha (okay, issur tircha) mi'deoraita).

BLD said...

OK Here goes: Yom Purim-KiPurim so it has 7 lights like YK. Hoshana Rabbah is similar to Yom Kippur as well; so also it has 7 lights.

Thats all folks...I am here all week.