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Megillah vChanukah - Chapter Four

Megillah vChanukah - Chapter Four

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1

How many candles should one light on Chanukah? The mitzvah is that a single candle should be lit in each and every house, regardless of whether there are many members of the household, or merely one person [lives] there.

A person who performs the mitzvah in a beautiful and conscientious manner should light candles for every member of the household, whether male or female.

A person who is even more conscientious in his performance of the mitzvah than this and observes the mitzvah in the most desirable manner should light candles for every member of his household, a candle for each individual, whether male or female, on the first night. On each subsequent night, he should add a candle [for each of the members of the household].

א

כמה נרות הוא מדליק בחנוכה. מצותה שיהיה כל בית ובית מדליק נר אחד בין שהיו אנשי הבית מרובין בין שלא היה בו אלא אדם אחד. והמהדר את המצוה מדליק נרות כמנין אנשי הבית נר לכל אחד ואחד בין אנשים בין נשים. והמהדר יותר על זה ועושה מצוה מן המובחר מדליק נר לכל אחד בלילה הראשון ומוסיף והולך בכל לילה ולילה נר אחד:

How many candles should one light on Chanukah? The - minimal requirement to fulfill the

mitzvah is that a single candle should be lit - on each night of the holiday

in each and every house - Significantly, the mitzvah of lighting Chanukah candles is connected with an individual's home as well as with his person. Therefore, as mentioned in Halachah 11, a person who is a guest at the home of others need not share in the lighting of the candles if he knows that candles are being lit in his own home.

regardless of whether there are many members of the household, or merely one person [lives] there. - Shabbat 21b states: "The mitzvah of Chanukah requires a candle for a man and his household."

A person who performs the mitzvah in a beautiful and conscientious manner should light candles for every member of the household - Shabbat 21a.

From the Rambam's statements, it appears that the additional light is kindled by the master of of the household and not by each of the members of the household themselves. Even according to this interpretation, however, the custom of each child lighting Chanukah lights is valuable as an expression of chinuch, training them in the observance of the mitzvot.

whether male or female. - As stated in Chapter 3, Halachah 4, women are obligated to fulfill the mitzvah of lighting Chanukah candles. Nevertheless, separate candles should not be lit for one's wife (Mishnah Berurah 671:9). Similarly, in some communities, even when candles are lit for every member of the household, they are not lit for girls under the age of Bat Mitzvah.

A person who is even more conscientious in his performance of the mitzvah than this and observes the mitzvah in the most desirable manner - Shabbat (loc. cit.) describes such a person as mehadrin min hamehadrin.

should light candles for every member of his household, a candle for each individual, whether male or female, on the first night. - i.e., these people also fulfill the practice of the mehadrin. See Tosafot (Shabbat, ibid.), who differ. See also the commentary on Halachah 3. In addition,

On each subsequent night, he should add a candle [for each of the members of the household]. - e.g., on the second night, he lights two candles for each of the members of the household, as explained in the following halachah.

"IR1100Shabbat (ibid.) mentions a difference of opinion between the School of Hillel and the School of Shammai. The School of Shammai maintains that eight candles should be lit on the first night, seven on the second, etc. The School of Hillel, in contrast, maintains that "one should increase in holy matters and not decrease," and one therefore begins with one candle and adds a new candle every night.

2

What does the above imply? When there are ten members of a household, on the first night one lights ten candles, on the second night - twenty, on the third night - thirty, until on the eighth night, one lights eighty candles.

ב

כיצד הרי שהיו אנשי הבית עשרה. בלילה הראשון מדליק עשרה נרות ובליל שני עשרים ובליל שלישי שלשים עד שנמצא מדליק בליל שמיני שמונים נרות:

3

It is common custom in all of our cities in Spain that a single candle is lit for all the members of the household on the first night. We proceed to add a new candle on each and every night, until on the eighth night eight candles are lit. [This practice is followed] regardless of whether there are many members of the household or only one man [is lighting candles].1

ג

מנהג פשוט בכל ערינו בספרד שיהיו כל אנשי הבית מדליקין נר אחד בלילה הראשון ומוסיפין והולכין נר בכל לילה עד שנמצא מדליק בליל שמיני שמנה נרות בין שהיו אנשי הבית מרובים בין שהיה אדם אחד:

4

When a candleholder has two openings, it can be counted for two individuals.

[The following rules apply when] one fills a bowl with oil and surrounds it with wicks: If one covers it with a utensil, each of the wicks is considered to be a separate candle. If one does not cover it with a utensil, it is considered to be a large fire, and is not counted even as a single candle.

ד

נר שיש לו שתי פיות עולה לשני בני אדם. מלא קערה שמן והקיפה פתילות. אם כפה עליה כלי כל פתילה ופתילה נחשבת כנר אחד. לא כפה עליה כלי נעשית כמדורה ואפילו כנר אחד אינה נחשבת:

When a candleholder has two openings - and a wick is kindled in both of them

it can be counted for two individuals. - Although both wicks use the same oil, since they protrude from separate portions of the candelabrum, they are considered to be separate lights.

This law is applicable to the mehadrin (see Halachah 1), who light a candle for each individual (Rashi, Shabbat 23b). Alternatively, this law is relevant for two people whose doorways are adjacent to each other or when two people live in the same house, but do not share in their household expenses (Maggid Mishneh).

The Magen Avraham 671:2 states that according to the Ashkenazic custom, in which each person lights his own candles, two people should not light candles using the same candleholder even on the first night. A passerby might see the two lights and instead of thinking they were lit by two different people, he might err and think that one person lit both candles because it is the second night of the holiday.

Since the purpose of lighting candles is pirsumei nisa, publicizing the Chanukah miracle, the impression created in an onlooker's mind is significant. Therefore, two people should not light candles in this manner.

[The following rules apply when] one fills a bowl with oil and surrounds it with wicks: If one covers it with a utensil - The flames from each of the lights will not merge together. Therefore,

each of the wicks is considered to be a separate candle - and is thus significant according to our custom of adding candles each night.

If one does not cover it with a utensil - The flames from each of the lights may merge together as a single flame. Therefore,

it is considered to be a large fire, and is not counted even as a single candle. - A large fire may be used for several purposes and hence does not necessarily serve as a sign of the commemoration of the Chanukah miracle.

In light of this halachah, the Ramah (Orach Chayim 671:4) discusses the use of a circular candelabrum. The Mishnah Berurah 671:18 mentions that in such a candelabrum, each candleholder should be at least one fingerbreadth from the other.

5

The Chanukah candles should not be kindled before sunset. Instead, [they should be kindled] at sunset. One should not light later or earlier.

Should one forget, or even if one purposely did not light at sunset, one may light afterwards until there are no longer any passersby in the marketplace.

How long a duration of time is this? Approximately half an hour or slightly more than that. Should this time pass, one should not kindle the lights.

One should place enough oil in the lamp so that it will continue burning until there are no longer any passersby in the marketplace. If one lit it and it became extinguished, one need not light it a second time. If it remained burning until there are no longer passersby in the marketplace, one may extinguish it or remove it if one desires.

ה

אין מדליקין נרות חנוכה קודם שתשקע החמה אלא עם שקיעתה לא מאחרין ולא מקדימין. שכח או הזיד ולא הדליק עם שקיעת החמה מדליק והולך עד שתכלה רגל מן השוק. וכמה הוא זמן זה כמו חצי שעה או יתר. עבר זמן זה אינו מדליק. וצריך שיתן שמן בנר כדי שתהיה דולקת והולכת עד שתכלה רגל מן השוק. הדליקה וכבתה אינו זקוק להדליקה פעם אחרת. נשארה דולקת אחר שכלתה רגל מן השוק אם רצה לכבותה או לסלקה עושה:

The Chanukah candles should not be kindled before sunset. - Most commentaries interpret the Rambam's intent as the time when the sun disappears from the horizon. The Tur and the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 672:1) interpret "sunset" in this context as referring to the time when there is no sunlight visible - i.e., the appearance of three stars. Many of the later authorities, however, accept the Rambam's ruling. (See the Be'ur Halachah 672.)

The candles should not be lit before sunset, since their purpose is to publicize the Chanukah miracles. During the daytime, no one will notice them and this purpose will not be served.

Instead, [they should be kindled] at sunset. - This is the ideal time to kindle them. Since the sun has already set, the candle's light will be noticed. On the other hand, since there is still some light outside, it is obvious that the candles are being lit for the purpose of publicizing the Chanukah miracle and not for one's individual needs.

One should not light later - At night, it is customary to kindle lights. Therefore, if a person lights the candles at this time, an onlooker may err and think that he is lighting for his own needs and not for the sake of the mitzvah. Nevertheless, on Saturday night, when there is no alternative, we light the candles after the appearance of the stars.

or earlier - The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 672:1) cites an opinion which states that from plag haminchah (an hour and a quarter before nightfall) onward, a person who is busy and will not have an opportunity later may kindle the Chanukah lights. He must, however, place enough oil within them for them to continue burning for half an hour after nightfall.

On Friday night, we all rely on this opinion and kindle the Chanukah lights shortly before sunset. (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 679).

Should one forget, or even if one purposely did not light at sunset - although the most appropriate time for fulfilling the mitzvah has passed

one may light afterwards until there are no longer any passersby in the marketplace. - Once the passersby no longer walk in the street, one will not be publicizing the Chanukah miracle by lighting candles.

How long a duration of time is this? Approximately half an hour or slightly more than that. - Thus, according to the Rambam, after half an hour past sunset, kindling the candles no longer fulfills a mitzvah. The Ramah (Orach Chayim 672:2) states that in the present age, since it is customary to light inside one's house (see Halachah 8 and commentary), the essential element of publicizing the Chanukah miracle is to involve one's own family in the candle lighting. Therefore, one fulfills the mitzvah as long as the members of one's household are awake.

The Ramah, nevertheless, counsels that at the outset, one should try to adhere to the stricter view. In light of these statements, the common practice of lighting the Chanukah candles well after nightfall should be examined. Is it correct to refrain willfully from fulfilling the mitzvah in the most desirable manner, and perhaps, according to the Rambam, not to fulfill it at all?

Should this time pass, one should not kindle the lights. - This appears to indicate that, according to the Rambam, it is undesirable to light the candles afterwards. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 672:2), however, quotes the opinion of the Tur, which states that if one did not light the candles at the proper time, one should light them throughout the night. (There is, however, a question about the recitation of a blessing.)

One should place enough oil in the lamp - When one lights the candles, they should have the amount of oil mentioned. It is improper to light with a smaller amount of oil and add more afterwards. (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 675:2.)

so that it will continue burning until there are no longer any passersby in the marketplace. - At present, in deference to the opinion that states that the time for candle lighting begins after nightfall, even when a person kindles Chanukah candles at sunset, enough oil should be placed in the candelabrum for the candles to burn until half an hour after nightfall.

If one lit it and it became extinguished, one need not light it a second time. - The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 673:2) prefaces this law by stating the principle, "kindling fulfills the mitzvah." Although the Chanukah candles should burn for half an hour, one fulfills the mitzvah only when lighting them. Thus, one must light them in a manner that - barring any unexpected events - they will be able to burn for a half an hour - e.g., they must have a sufficient amount of oil to burn for that period and they must not be placed where they could be extinguished by the wind. Once a person has taken these precautions, however, he has no further obligation.

Note, however, the Mishnah Berurah 673:27, which states that it is proper to relight the candles so that they will burn for the desired time.

If it remained burning until there are no longer passersby in the marketplace - there is no longer any purpose in having the candles burning. Thus the mitzvah is concluded and therefore

one may extinguish it or remove it - While the candles are burning, however, they should not be moved. See also Halachah 9 and commentary.

if one desires. - Kinat Eliyahu notes that at the present time, it is customary for people to walk or travel at night after nightfall. For this reason, perhaps the Chanukah candles should be left burning for longer than a half an hour. For as long as they are burning, the intent of pirsumei nisa, publicizing the Chanukah miracle, is fulfilled.

6

All oils and all wicks are acceptable for use in the Chanukah lamps, even those oils that are not drawn after the wick and even those wicks that do not hold the light well. Even on the Sabbath nights of Chanukah, it is permitted to light with oils and wicks that are forbidden to be used for the Sabbath lights.

[The reason for this leniency is that] it is forbidden to use the Chanukah candles [for one's own purposes] whether on the Sabbath or on a weekday. It is even forbidden to use their light to inspect or count coins.

ו

כל השמנים וכל הפתילות כשרות לנר חנוכה ואף על פי שאין השמנים נמשכים אחר הפתילה ואין האור נתלית יפה באותן הפתילות. ואפילו בלילי שבת שבתוך ימי חנוכה מותר להדליק השמנים והפתילות שאסור להדליק בהן נר שבת, לפי שאסור להשתמש לנר חנוכה בין בשבת בין בחול ואפילו לבדוק מעות או למנותן לאורה אסור:

All oils and all wicks are acceptable for use in the Chanukah lamps - This is a contrast to the Sabbath laws. As explained in Chapter 2 of the tractate of Shabbat and Chapter 5 of the Rambam's Hilchot Shabbat, there are certain oils and wicks that are unacceptable for use for the Sabbath candles.

even those oils that are not drawn after the wick - This is the primary reason one is not allowed to use these oils on the Sabbath. Since they are not drawn after the wick, their light does not burn brightly. A person might inadvertently tilt the lamp for the light to shine brighter, and thus transgress the Sabbath laws. There is no reason for caution in this regard on Chanukah, as explained below. Hence, there is no difficulty in using such oil.

Although all oils are acceptable for the Chanukah candles, the Rabbis have suggested using olive oil, for this was the oil used to light the Menorah in the Temple (Ramah, Orach Chayim 673:1, Mishnah Berurah 673:4). If olive oil is not available, one should use beeswax candles.

and even those wicks that do not hold the light well. - Here also, these wicks were forbidden for use for the Sabbath candles lest one tilt the light.

Although all wicks are acceptable, it is customary to use wicks of flax or of cotton (Mishnah Berurah 673:2).

Even on the Sabbath nights of Chanukah, it is permitted to light - the Chanukah lights

with oils and wicks that are forbidden to be used for the Sabbath lights. - Needless to say, the prohibition against using these candles for the Sabbath lights still remains in effect.

[The reason for this leniency is that] - In addition to the reason cited by the Rambam in this halachah, Shabbat 21b mentions the principle stated in the previous halachah: If a Chanukah candle is extinguished, there is no obligation to light it again.

Thus, the reason these wicks and oils may be used on the Sabbath of Chanukah can be explained as follows: We are not worried about the candles being extinguished, because even in that eventuality, there is no obligation to relight the candles. Nor are we worried that one will tilt the Chanukah candles so that their light will shine brighter, because:

it is forbidden to use the Chanukah candles [for one's own purposes] - During the week, this prohibition applies only during the first half hour that the candles are burning. Afterwards, their mitzvah is completed, as stated in the previous halachah.

whether on the Sabbath or on a weekday. - The Sabbath candles were instituted to bring about sh'lom bayit, "peace in the home," through the use of their light. In contrast, the Chanukah candles were instituted for pirsumei nisa, publicizing the Chanukah miracle. To emphasize this purpose, the Sages forbade using them for any other purpose.

Furthermore, the Chanukah candles were instituted to commemorate the miracle of the Menorah in the Temple. Thus, just as it is forbidden to use the Menorah's light for any worldly purpose, so too, the light of the Chanukah candles is prohibited (Mishnah Berurah 673:8).

It is even forbidden to use their light to inspect or count coins. - Shabbat 22a relates that this prohibition was instituted so that the mitzvot would be viewed with respect. If a person were able to use the light of the Chanukah lamp for his own purposes, he would treat the mitzvah with little regard.

In this halachah, the Rambam is describing a situation when the Chanukah candles are lit outside the home (where it is unlikely that the light of the candles will be used for mundane purposes). In Halachah 8, he mentions the lighting of candles within the home (and it is likely that work will be carried out within the home at that time). Therefore, it is in that halachah that he mentions the custom of lighting another candle (the shamash) next to the Chanukah candles, so that if a person carries out an activity near the candles, he will be using the light of that additional candle.

See also the Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.), which questions whether it is permissible to use the Chanukah candles for a holy purpose - e.g., to study Torah by their light.

7

It is a mitzvah to place the Chanukah lamp at the outside of the entrance to one's home, within the handbreadth that is closest to the doorway on the left side as one enters the home, so that the mezuzah will be on the right side and the Chanukah lamp on the left side.

When a person lives in a second storey apartment, he should place [the Chanukah lamp] in a window close to the public domain. If [a person] places a Chanukah lamp more than twenty cubits [above the ground], his actions are of no consequence, because [the lamp] does not attract attention [at that height].

ז

נר חנוכה מצוה להניחו על פתח ביתו מבחוץ בטפח הסמוך לפתח על שמאל הנכנס לבית כדי שתהיה מזוזה בימין ונר חנוכה משמאל. ואם היה דר בעליה מניחו בחלון הסמוכה לרשות הרבים. ונר חנוכה שהניחו למעלה מעשרים אמה לא עשה כלום לפי שאינו ניכר:

It is a mitzvah to place - As is obvious from Halachah 9, the Chanukah lamp should be placed outside before being lit.

"IR1200the Chanukah lamp at the outside of the entrance to one's home - As mentioned previously, the mitzvah of lighting Chanukah candles was instituted for the purpose of pirsumei nisa, publicizing the Chanukah miracle. Therefore, the candles should be placed at the outside of one's dwelling to attract the attention of the passersby in the public domain (Rashi, Shabbat 21b).

In a spiritual sense, this points to the potential possessed by the Chanukah candles to spread light beyond the normal limits of holiness. Generally, mitzvot are performed within a home or synagogue. In this instance, the nature of the mitzvah is to spread light to the public domain, to illuminate the darkness of the world at large.

"IX within the handbreadth that is closest to the doorway - If the candelabrum were placed any further away, it would not be obvious that the owner of the home placed it there for the purpose of kindling Chanukah lights (ibid.).

on the left side as one enters the home - Generally, mitzvot are associated with the right side; the left side, by contrast, is identified with the forces of evil. Lighting the Chanukah candle on the left indicates a potential to refine and elevate the forces opposed to holiness (Likkutei Sichot, Vol. V).

so that the mezuzah will be on the right side - as is required (see Hilchot Mezuzah 6:12)

and the Chanukah lamp on the left side. - so that the person kindling them will be surrounded by mitzvot.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 671:7) states that if there is no mezuzah in the doorway, the Chanukah candles should be lit on the right side.

When a person lives in a second storey apartment - The Shulchan Aruch (ibid.:5) qualifies this to mean a second storey apartment that does not have a private entrance to the public domain or a courtyard. If the apartment has such an entrance, the Chanukah lamp should be lit at that entrance.

he should place [the Chanukah lamp] in a window close to the public domain. - For the sake of pirsumei nisa.

If [a person] places a Chanukah lamp more than twenty cubits - a cubit is between 18 and 24 inches, according to the varying Rabbinic opinions. Thus the Rambam is speaking about a height between thirty and forty feet.

[above the ground], his actions are of no consequence - i.e., he is not considered to have fulfilled the mitzvah

because [the lamp] does not attract attention [at that height]. - We see a similar concept with regard to the s'chach of a sukkah and the korah of an alleyway. If they are placed above twenty cubits, they are not acceptable (Hilchot Sukkah 4:11; Hilchot Shabbat 17:15).

Although the Rambam does not address himself to this issue, the Maggid Mishneh and similarly, the Shulchan Aruch (ibid.:6), state that the Chanukah lights should be placed between three and ten handbreadths high.

8

In a time of danger, a person may place a Chanukah lamp inside his house; even if he lit it on his table, it is sufficient.

[Therefore,] another lamp must be burning in the house to provide light for one's [mundane] activities. If a fire is burning in the house, an additional candle is not necessary. For a prestigious person who does not normally use the light of a fire, an additional candle is required.

ח

בימי הסכנה מניח אדם נר חנוכה בתוך ביתו מבפנים ואפילו הניחו על שולחנו דיו. וצריך להיות בתוך הבית נר אחר להשתמש לאורו ואם היתה שם מדורה אינו צריך נר אחר. ואם אדם חשוב הוא שאין דרכו להשתמש למדורה צריך נר אחר:

In a time of danger, a person may place a Chanukah lamp inside his house - Shabbat 21b mentions this leniency. According to Tosafot, the danger refers to the persecutions of the Jews of Babylon by the ruling Persians for lighting candles mentioned in Shabbat 45a. Needless to say, there have been countless other periods of persecution in Jewish history.

It is, however, significant that even in times when there was no obvious danger, the custom has been to light the Chanukah candles inside our homes. Even in the present day, when there is little danger of persecution in most places where Jews are located, it is not customary to light the Chanukah candles at the entrance to the home in most communities.

even if he lit it on his table, it is sufficient. - i.e., there is no necessity to light near a doorway. The Ramah (Orach Chayim 671:7) states that it is preferable that the Chanukah lights be positioned near a doorway.

[Therefore,] another lamp must be burning in the house to provide light for one's [mundane] activities. - As mentioned in Halachah 6, it is forbidden to use the light of the Chanukah lamp for a mundane purpose. Since it is very likely that there will be some activity carried out in the house while the candles are burning, an additional light should be kindled. Note the Mishnah Berurah 673:14, which explains that the present custom is to kindle an additional light near the Chanukah candles, besides the light that is ordinarily burning in the room.

This light, called the shamash, should be placed apart from the Chanukah candles so that it can be distinguished from them (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 673:1). Often, many commercially produced Chanukah lamps fail to make a sufficient distinction between this candle and the Chanukah lights themselves.

If a fire is burning in the house - One can use the light it produces for one's mundane activities; therefore

an additional candle is not necessary. For a prestigious person who does not normally use the light of a fire, an additional candle is required - to serve the purpose of the shamash.

9

A Chanukah lamp that was kindled by a deaf-mute, a mentally incapable person, a minor, or a gentile is of no consequence. It must be kindled by a person who is obligated to light it.

Should the [Chanukah lamp] be kindled inside and then taken and placed at the entrance of one's home while it is still burning, it is of no consequence. One must light it in its place.

If one held a candle and stood in one place, it is of no consequence, since an observer will say, "He is standing there for his own purposes."

When a lamp was burning through the entire [Sabbath] day, one may extinguish the light, recite the blessings [for the mitzvah], and relight the lamp. Kindling the lamp fulfills the mitzvah and not placing it down.

It is permissible to light one Chanukah candle from another Chanukah candle.

ט

נר חנוכה שהדליקו חרש שוטה וקטן או עכו"ם לא עשה כלום עד שידליקנו מי שהוא חייב בהדלקה. הדליקו מבפנים והוציאו דלוק והניחו על פתח ביתו לא עשה כלום עד שידליקנו במקומו. אחז הנר בידו ועמד לא עשה כלום שהרואה אומר לצרכו הוא עומד. עששית שהיתה דולקת כל היום כולו למוצאי שבת מכבה ומברך ומדליקה שההדלקה היא המצוה ולא ההנחה. ומותר להדליק נר חנוכה מנר חנוכה:

A Chanukah lamp that was kindled by a deaf-mute, a mentally incapable person, a minor, or a gentile is of no consequence. - i.e., it does not constitute fulfillment of the mitzvah. All these four individuals are not obligated to fulfill mitzvot. Therefore, their kindling of the Chanukah lamp cannot fulfill the obligation instituted by our Sages.

Rabbenu Nissim mentions that a minor who is of the age when he is obligated to be trained in the fulfillment of the commandments may kindle the Chanukah lamps on behalf of the household. This opinion is not, however, accepted by other authorities, although they do mention that a child should be trained in the observance of the mitzvah of Chanukah candles as part of his process of education (chinuch).

Although the Rambam does not mention the latter concept explicitly, nevertheless, it is expected that he would agree. (See Hilchot Nachalot 11:10.)

It must be kindled by a person who is obligated to light it. - This and the laws that follow depend on the principle that "Kindling the lamp fulfills the mitzvah and not placing it down" (Shabbat 23a). Since the mitzvah is fulfilled when the Chanukah lamp is being lit, the person lighting the lamp must be obligated in the mitzvah.

Should the [Chanukah lamp] be kindled inside and then taken and placed at the entrance of one's home while it is still burning, it is of no consequence. - Shabbat 22b explains that even those opinions that do not accept the principle, "Kindling the lamp fulfills the mitzvah and not placing it down," would accept this law, because it would appear that one is carrying the lamp as a torch and using it to light the way.

One must light it in its place. - Furthermore, as an extension of this law, it is proper not to move the Chanukah candles at all for the half an hour that they are required to burn (Mishnah Berurah 675:6).

If one held a candle and stood in one place - The Turei Zahav 675:3 states that this restriction applies only when one holds the Chanukah lamp for the full half an hour that it is required to burn. If, however, one held it while lighting it and placed it down, one is considered to have fulfilled the mitzvah.

The Mishnah Berurah 675:7, however, quotes other opinions, which do not accept this principle, and states that one should light the candles when the candelabrum is positioned in its place.

it is of no consequence - i.e., one does not fulfill the mitzvah. This law differs from the others stated in this halachah, which depend on the principle, "Kindling the lamp fulfills the mitzvah and not placing it down." Indeed, Shabbat 22b cites this law in an attempt to refute this principle. Nevertheless, although the above-mentioned principle is accepted, this law is still valid. Thus, it can be assumed that the Rambam mentions this law in this halachah only because it is mentioned in this context in the Talmud.

since - another factor is involved

an observer will say, "He is standing there for his own purposes."

When a lamp was burning through the entire [Sabbath] day, one may extinguish the light - To fulfill the mitzvah for the present night, one must extinguish the light. The word "may" is used only because there is no obligation to kindle one's Chanukah lights in this manner.

recite the blessings [for the mitzvah], and relight the lamp. - Although an onlooker would not necessarily appreciate that this lamp was kindled for the purpose of pirsumei nisa, one is considered to have fulfilled the mitzvah. The rationale for this decision - and most of the other laws mentioned in this halachah - is the following principle:

Kindling the lamp fulfills the mitzvah and not placing it down. - Shabbat 23a derives this principle from the blessing we recite before lighting the candles, which mentions the commandment "to kindle the Chanukah lights."

There are two dimensions to every mitzvah: the performance of the deed itself (the po'al) - in this instance, the deed of kindling the Chanukah lights - and the effect of that performance (the nif'al), the fact that these lights are burning. This principle emphasizes that it is the kindling of the lights which is the focus of the mitzvah.

This is significant, for one might think that since the purpose of the mitzvah is pirsumei nisa, communicating the Chanukah miracles, what is most important is the fact that the lights are burning; how they are lit is of no consequence. This principle shows, however, that for pirsumei nisa to take place, the Chanukah lights must be kindled as prescribed by our Sages (Kinat Eliyahu).

It is permissible to light one Chanukah candle - The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 674:2) cites an opinion that states that this also applies to other candles that are lit for the purpose of a mitzvah - e.g., the Sabbath candles.

from another Chanukah candle. - Chanukah candles may not be used for any mundane purpose, for doing so is an act of disrespect for the mitzvah. Shabbat 22a states that using them to light another Chanukah candle is acceptable, however, since this is obviously not an act of disrespect.

The Rambam states this law in the present halachah, which deals with the principle, "Kindling the lamp fulfills the mitzvah and not placing it down," because Shabbat 22b associates the two. Since "kindling the lamp fulfills the mitzvah," the act of lighting the lamp is the essence of the mitzvah, and, therefore, using another Chanukah candle is not considered an act of disrespect. If, however, placing the Chanukah candles down constituted the mitzvah, the kindling of another candle would not be a direct fulfillment of a mitzvah. Therefore, it would not be proper to use another Chanukah lamp for that purpose (see Rashi, Shabbat, loc. cit.).

[Note, however, Tosafot (Shabbat 23a) and the Ramah (Orach Chayim 674:1), which state that it is customary not to light one Chanukah candles from another.]

Among the questions also discussed with regard to this law is whether one must light the second candle from the first, or if it is acceptable if one lights a match from the first candle and uses it to light the second candle. To state the matter in terms of a question relevant to us: If the shamash is extinguished and one intends to use it to light other candles, may it be relit from a Chanukah candle which is already burning or not? Both opinions are mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 674:1). According to the later authorities, it is definitely desirable to light only a candle to be used for a mitzvah itself from the Chanukah lights.

10

When a courtyard has two entrances from two different directions, it requires two [Chanukah] lamps. [Were one to light at only one entrance,] the passersby from the other direction might say, "A Chanukah light had not been placed down." If, however, [two entrances to a courtyard] are located on the same side, [it is sufficient] to light at only one of them.

י

חצר שיש לה שני פתחים בשתי רוחות צריכה שתי נרות. שמא יאמרו העוברים ברוח זו לא הניח נר חנוכה. אבל אם היו ברוח אחת מדליק באחד מהן:

When a courtyard has two entrances from two different directions - Rashi, Shabbat 23a, clarifies that the entrances need not be on opposite sides, as long as they are different - e.g, north and east

it requires two [Chanukah] lamps. - The Ramah (Orach Chayim 671:8 states that only one blessing should be recited, for the second candle is not being lit to fulfill the mitzvah per se.

[Were one to light at only one entrance,] the passersby from the other direction might say, "A Chanukah light had not been placed down." - At present, however, when it is customary to light inside one's home, it is sufficient even for a person with such a courtyard to kindle a single Chanukah lamp (Ramah, loc. cit.).

If, however, [two entrances to a courtyard] - and it is obvious they are from a single home (Ramah, loc. cit.).

are located on the same side, [it is sufficient] to light at only one of them. - For there is no possibility of such a mistake being made.

11

A guest [at another person's home, whose family] kindles [the Chanukah lights] for him at his home need not kindle [Chanukah lights] in the home where he is [temporarily] lodging. If, however, he has no home in which [Chanukah lights] are being kindled, he is required to light in the place where he is lodging. He should share in the oil [used by the owner of his lodgings].

If he is staying in a private dwelling, he is required to light in the place where he is staying, even though [Chanukah lights] are being kindled for him at home, because [of the impression created in the minds] of the passersby.

יא

אורח שמדליקין עליו בתוך ביתו אינו צריך להדליק עליו במקום שנתארח בו. אין לו בית להדליק עליו בו צריך להדליק במקום שנתארח בו. ומשתתף עמהן בשמן ואם היה לו בית בפני עצמו אע"פ שמדליקין עליו בתוך ביתו צריך להדליק בבית שהוא בו מפני העוברין:

A guest - i.e., a person who is not a permanent member of the household, even though he eats at the family table (Mishnah Berurah 677:4).

Shabbat 23a, the source for this halachah, concerns itself with yeshivah students. Rabbi Zeira states, "When we were students at the academy, I contributed pennies to my host's candles. After I took a wife, I said, 'This is not necessary.' The same laws, however, apply to other guests.

[at another person's home, whose family] kindles [the Chanukah lights] for him at his home need not kindle [Chanukah lights] in the home where he is [temporarily] lodging. - This halachah clarifies the expression used by the Rambam at the beginning of this chapter, "The mitzvah is that a... candle should be lit in each and every house."

This implies that the obligation of kindling Chanukah lights is associated with an individual's dwelling, as well as with his person. I.e., although as stated in Chapter 3, Halachah 4, the obligation to kindle Chanukah lamps is incumbent on each person, the mitzvah is that every Jewish dwelling should be illuminated. Therefore, if Chanukah lamps are being kindled in one's dwelling, one has no further obligation regarding the mitzvah even though one does not see those Chanukah lamps oneself.

The rationale for this decision is that the Chanukah candles were instituted for the purpose of pirsumei nisa. Thus, what is important is that the light of the Chanukah lamps is perceived by others.

Note the Ramah's decision (Orach Chayim 677:3) that if a person desires, he may light the Chanukah lamps in the place where he is staying. This is common practice in the Ashkenazic community at present.

The Ramah states that such a person may also recite the blessings. This ruling is not accepted by many other authorities, who suggest that he hear the blessings recited by another person (Mishnah Berurah 677:16).

If, however, he has no home in which [Chanukah lights] are being kindled - The Turei Zahav 677:1 states that a person must be certain that his wife is lighting the candles at home. If the possibility exists that she will not do so, one should kindle Chanukah lights and recite a blessing.

he is required to light in the place where he is lodging. - He need not, however, kindle his own Chanukah lamp.

He should share - He is not required to pay the cost of half the oil. It is sufficient for him to give a few pennies towards its cost (Shabbat, loc. cit.; Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 677:1).

in the oil [used by the owner of his lodgings]. - Similarly, two people sharing the same home who provide for their needs separately may share a single Chanukah lamp in this fashion (Be'ur Halachah 677).

If he is staying in a private dwelling - more specifically, if the dwelling where he is staying has a private entrance (Shulchan Aruch, loc. cit.)

he is required to light in the place where he is staying - This applies even when he eats together with another family and merely sleeps in his private dwelling.

even though [Chanukah lights] are being kindled for him at home - and thus, he would ordinarily have no obligation to kindle these lights

because [of the impression created in the minds] of the passersby. - As mentioned in the previous halachah, were passersby to see a Jewish house without the Chanukah lights having been kindled, the very opposite of pirsumei nisa will have been accomplished.

12

The mitzvah of kindling Chanukah lamps is very dear. A person should be very careful in its observance to publicize the miracle and thus increase our praise of God and our expression of thanks for the miracles which He wrought on our behalf. Even if a person has no resources for food except [what he receives] from charity, he should pawn or sell his garments and purchase oil and lamps to kindle them [in fulfillment of the mitzvah].2

יב

מצות נר חנוכה מצוה חביבה היא עד מאד וצריך אדם להזהר בה כדי להודיע הנס ולהוסיף בשבח האל והודיה לו על הנסים שעשה לנו. אפילו אין לו מה יאכל אלא מן הצדקה שואל או מוכר כסותו ולוקח שמן ונרות ומדליק:

13

When a person has only a single prutah and he [is required to fulfill both the mitzvot of] sanctifying the [Sabbath] day and lighting the Chanukah lamp, he should give precedence to purchasing oil to kindle the Chanukah lamp over [purchasing] wine to recite kiddush. Since both [of these mitzvot] are Rabbinic in origin, it is preferable to give precedence to the kindling of the Chanukah lamp, for it commemorates the miracle.

יג

הרי שאין לו אלא פרוטה אחת ולפניו קידוש היום והדלקת נר חנוכה מקדים לקנות שמן להדליק נר חנוכה על היין לקידוש היום הואיל ושניהם מדברי סופרים מוטב להקדים נר חנוכה שיש בו זכרון הנס:

When a person has only a single prutah - A prutah is worth .05 gram of silver, approximately 5-10 cents in today's currency. It is a significant commentary on the inflation in food costs to note that either a cup of wine or a measure of oil could be purchased for that amount.

and he [is required to fulfill both the mitzvot of] sanctifying the [Sabbath] day - reciting kiddush

and lighting the Chanukah lamp, he should give precedence to purchasing oil to kindle the Chanukah lamp over [purchasing] wine to recite kiddush. - In this instance, he should recite kiddush over bread, as stated in Hilchot Shabbat 29:9. If a person has the choice between purchasing bread for his Sabbath meal or oil for his Chanukah lamp, the bread is given priority (Mishnah Berurah 678:4).

Since both [of these mitzvot] are Rabbinic in origin - There is a Biblical commandment to "Remember the Sabbath to sanctify it" (Exodus 20:8). This commandment, however, involves merely making a statement of the day's holiness; the concept of associating the kiddush with wine is Rabbinic in origin (Hilchot Shabbat 29:1,6).

it is preferable to give precedence to the kindling of the Chanukah lamp, for it commemorates the miracle - fulfilling the purpose of pirsumei nisa.

14

If [a person has the opportunity to fulfill only one of two mitzvot,] lighting a lamp for one's home [i.e., Sabbath candles] or lighting a Chanukah lamp - or, alternatively, lighting a lamp for one's home or reciting kiddush - the lamp for one's home receives priority, since it generates peace within the home.

[Peace is of primary importance, as reflected by the mitzvah requiring] God's name to be blotted out to create peace between a husband and his wife. Peace is great, for the entire Torah was given to bring about peace within the world, as [Proverbs 3:17] states: "Its ways are pleasant ways and all its paths are peace."

Blessed be the Merciful One who grants assistance. This concludes the third book.3

יד

היה לפניו נר ביתו ונר חנוכה או נר ביתו וקדוש היום נר ביתו קודם משום שלום ביתו שהרי השם נמחק לעשות שלום בין איש לאשתו. גדול השלום שכל התורה ניתנה לעשות שלום בעולם שנאמר דרכיה דרכי נעם וכל נתיבותיה שלום

If [a person has the opportunity to fulfill only one of two mitzvot,] lighting a lamp for one's home [i.e., Sabbath candles] - Perhaps the Rambam uses the expression "lighting a lamp for one's home," rather than the expression "the Sabbath lamp" to emphasize that the focus is on how the Sabbath lamp leads to peace in the home.

or lighting a Chanukah lamp - or, alternatively, lighting a lamp for one's home or reciting kiddush - It is questionable why the Rambam mentions the latter law in Hilchot Chanukah when both the mitzvot concerned relate to the Sabbath. Although Shabbat 23b, the source for this halachah, refers to the two items mentioned in this halachah together, there is no necessity for the Rambam to do so. On the contrary, the Rambam structured the Mishneh Torah subject by subject. Seemingly, it would have been proper for him to mention this law in Hilchot Shabbat. [Indeed, the Tur and the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 263:3) mention this law in connection with the laws of the Sabbath as well.]

By structuring his text in this manner, however, the Rambam indicates that the priority of kindling Sabbath candles stems not from a particular law associated with the Sabbath, but rather from a general principle - the importance of peace - which relates to the entire Torah as a whole (Likkutei Sichot, Vol. XV).

the lamp for one's home receives priority, since it generates peace within the home. - Shabbat 23b associates the Sabbath candles with peace, explaining that they prevent the members of the household from stumbling over obstacles, and also allow them to avoid the discomfort of sitting in darkness.

Significantly, in Hilchot Shabbat 5:1, the Rambam mentions that the Sabbath candles contribute to the atmosphere of oneg Shabbat, Sabbath pleasure. Similarly, in Hilchot Shabbat 30:5, he mentions them as being associated with activities carried out in honor of the Sabbath (k'vod Shabbat). In the laws of the Sabbath itself, the Rambam does not mention the connection between the Sabbath candles and peace within the home.

This relates to the concept mentioned previously, that the peace generated by the Sabbath candles relates to the Torah as a whole and not to the Sabbath in particular (Likkutei Sichot, loc. cit.).

[Peace is of primary importance, as reflected by the mitzvah requiring] God's name to be blotted out - As mentioned in Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah, Chapter 6, blotting out God's name is a severe matter and constitutes a Torah prohibition. Nevertheless, this prohibition is waived

to create peace between a husband and his wife. - The Rambam is referring to the process of testing a sotah, a woman suspected of committing adultery. A curse against her containing God's name is written on a scroll. The text is rubbed out in water, and the water is given to the woman to drink. If she indeed committed adultery, she will die. (See Numbers 5:11-31; Hilchot Sotah 3:8-10.)

Peace is great, for the entire Torah was given - The Rambam's choice of wording is extremely precise. The Torah does not exist for the world. On the contrary, Shabbat 88b relates that the Torah existed even before the world came into being. I.e., the Torah represents spiritual truths that transcend our material existence. Nevertheless, the Torah "was given," drawn down into the context of our material frame of reference for a purpose,

to bring about peace within the world, as [Proverbs 3:17] states: "Its ways are pleasant ways and all its paths are peace." - This concept shares an intrinsic connection to Chanukah (and is therefore chosen as the conclusion for Hilchot Chanukah), because the Chanukah candles are intended for the purpose of pirsumei nisa. They project the light of Torah into the world at large and make the world conscious of its Godly purpose. The spreading of the awareness of Godliness is associated with peace, as reflected by the Rambam's statements at the conclusion of the Mishneh Torah:

In that era (the Era of the Redemption), there will be... neither envy nor competition.... The occupation of the entire world will be solely to know God.... "For the world will be filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the ocean bed."

May we merit the coming of that era in the immediate future.

Footnotes
1.

The Lechem Mishneh questions the custom mentioned by the Rambam. Since the Rambam maintains that the mehadrin min hamehadrin also observe the practice of the mehadrin, this custom seems inappropriate. It is not the custom of the mehadrin min hamehadrin, nor is it the minimum requirement of the law.

The Lechem Mishneh justifies the custom, explaining that since each night additional light is added, there is a positive intent even though it does not follow the practice of the mehadrin min hamehadrin.

"IX The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 671:2) quotes the custom cited by the Rambam as halachah. The Ramah adds that in Ashkenazic communities the custom is to fulfill the mitzvah in the manner of mehadrin min hamehadrin - i.e., each member of the household lights candles, and each night an additional candle is added. It is significant that with regard to this mitzvah in particular, it is common custom throughout the Ashkenazic community, for everyone - even those who are not fully observant - to fulfill this mitzvah in "the most desirable manner."

2.

Although the Rambam's ruling is accepted by all authorities, the commentaries question the Rambam's source. The Maggid Mishneh explains that since in Hilchot Chametz UMatzah 7:7 (based on Pesachim 10:1), the Rambam states that even a person who derives his income from charity should not drink less than four cups of wine on Pesach, we can conclude that the same concept applies with regard to Chanukah. Indeed, as explained in the following halachah, kindling Chanukah candles receives priority over the recitation of Kiddush.

The concept of selling or pawning one's clothes to perform a mitzvah is mentioned in Megillah 27b with regard to the mitzvah of Kiddush.

3.

The standard printed text of the Mishneh Torah also contains the line "And this concludes the first part [of the work]." We have omitted this line, for nowhere else is a division of the Mishneh Torah into parts mentioned.

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