Translation:Arukh ha-Shulchan/Orach Chaim/677

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This chapter contains eight sections: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Section 1[edit]

The Talmud records (Shabbos, 23.1): "A guest is obligated in the Chanukkah candles, though he is able to 'partner' with the head of the household through a small monetary contribution." This is speaking of one who has no wife or household and lives alone in another location. He has only himself to fulfill the obligation of the Chanukkah candles. If he does not desire to light himself, he may partner with the head of the household. One of them recites the blessings, and the other answers 'Amen'.

If, however, he has a wife and home in another location they light on his behalf in his home and he fulfills his obligation through them. Note that some are of the opinion that the blessings of SheAsah Nisim and Shehecheyanu still apply to him should he see a lit Menorah. He would recite these two blessings on the first night and only SheAsah Nisim on every night thereafter. We have already written about this opinion in the previous chapter, in section 7, with our understanding leaning towards this position even in the face of the opposition (see there).

Section 2[edit]

The Rif and Rambam (at the end of the chapter 4) write that a guest who has his own entrance is required to light himself so as to avoid 'suspicion' [of ignoring the law] even though the members of his household are lighting on his behalf or even if he has partnered with the head of the household (see there).

It would appear that this only applies to the practice in the Talmud of lighting at the entrance of courtyards or homes. We, who now light within the home, would not have this issue of suspicion.

There are those who write that today, when we light inside, a guest who had his own room should still light inside (Magen Avraham, comment 3). I do not understand why this should be so. In the house there should be no concern for suspicion, for don't the members of the household know he has contributed a nominal sum to be included in their lighting, or that he has a wife or household lighting for him in another locale?

It therefore appears to me that if he partners through some small sum he need not light for himself. However, if he does not partner, and the members of the household think he has no wife or household then the concern of suspicion may indeed apply, although this needs further study.

There are those who add further: Even if one does not have his own room, since it is the custom for guests to light for themselves he is obligated as well to avoid suspicion, for who knows if he is married or not? (Eliyah Rabah,comment 1). If there is such a custom, he should surely comport himself according to it. However, even this language of 'who knows if he is married' is hard to understand, as this would only apply to one young enough to be assumed to be single. One who is already an adult would naturally be assumed to be married. This whole issue is therefore in need of additional study.

Know further that there is an opinion that if one lights solely to avoid suspicion would not require a blessing to be recited (Keneses Hagedolah). This is not correct, for since he lights for himself he demonstrates that he is not fulfilling his obligation through those that light in his home, so why should he not recite the blessings? (The Magen Avraham's agreement to this is implied in comment 4).

Know further as well that when the Talmud speaks of the need to light so as to avoid suspicion - which is predicated on one having his own entrance, as I have written - this applies even if both entrances [his and the rest of the household] are on the same side. This is not comparable to chapter 675, for there the suspicion is on the head of the household, and his neighbors know that both entrances belong to one person. However, when the suspicion is on the guest it would certainly apply even if both entrances were on one side, since his doorway is not a doorway that relates to the head of the household (comment 2). ['TO THE HEAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD'S USE', PERHAPS]

Section 3[edit]

The Tur and Shulchan Aruch write: "This law, that if one has his own entrance he is required to light at his entrance - this is true even if that house is only used for sleep, while his meals are at the table of the homeowner. The same law would apply to a son who takes his meals by his father." Until here is the quote. Even if the son always takes his meals at his father's table, since he has his own room to sleep in, he is required to light so as to avoid suspicion [of ignoring the Mitzvah].

Now even though one's abode is usually based on where he takes his meals, as our teacher the Rema has written, noting the opinion that states "that nowadays we light inside and one should light where he takes his meals" - nevertheless the law in the Talmud was based on the understanding that the guest's entrance creates a suspicion in the mind of passersby that he is not lighting, and they remain unaware that he eats his meals elsewhere [as an explanation for the lack of a Menorah]. Therefore, he is required to light [at his entrance].

However, today we light within, so the law turns completely on where he regularly eats. Therefore, a guest who eats with the homeowner - and certainly a son who eats by his father - does not need to light in his own room, for the members of the household know that he eats together with them and so falls under the categorization of a 'member of the household', which is the criteria for the obligation of the Mitzvah of Chanukka candles, as it says "a man and his household", which denotes "on behalf of his entire household".

(This is my humble understanding of the matter. It further appears to me that this is the intent of the Magen Avraham in comment 6 (see there). Attend to the sources and this will be clear.)

Obviously, one who eats by a friend occasionally should light for himself in the place he is currently dwelling or have his wife light on his behalf at his home. ( - This from comment 7. As for his comment that it is 'better to perform a Mitzvah himself than through his agent" - I am not sure what his intent was with this statement, for if so, why did Rabbi Zeira not do so (in the Talmudic account)? This requires further study.)

Section 4[edit]

Our teacher the Beis Yosef writes the following in section 2: "A child who has reached educable age is required to light." Until here is the quote. He should have recorded this ruling at the end of chapter 675, as did our teacher the Rema. However, he includes it here for another reason. In the former location the subject is regarding the custom that each member of the household lights for himself. Here, though, we are speaking of a different case, where a minor has his own house, and his responsibility arises out of the need to avoid suspicion, just as an adult. (This is implied in the Magen Avraham in comment 8, see there). There is one who exempts minors (see there as well), and his reason is that we are not obligated to train childen in a law that only arises due to the need to avoid suspicion (Machtzes Hashekel).

Section 5[edit]

Our teachers, the Rabbis of the Shulchan Aruch, write in section 3: "There are those who posit that though one has a household member lighting on his behalf at home he himself should still light with the blessings if he is in a place without other Jews." Until here is the quote. The reason is because one is still obligated to see a Menorah, due to the idea of publicizing the miracle, and here there are none to see. It is further written: "Even if one is among Jews, and sees the candles, if he wishes to be stringent with himself and light with the blessings he may do so, and so is the custom." Until here is the quote. This means to say as follows: even if he has a wife and a home, and a Menorah was surely lit on his behalf, one is nevertheless able to say 'I do not wish to fulfill the Mitzvah this way, I wish to light myself.'

Truthfully, this is our custom, allowing one who is on the road to light wherever he is even though they are lighting on his behalf back at home. This also fulls within the category of 'beautifying the Mitzvah' (comment 9 in the name of the Terumos Hadeshen). The Maharil understands this to be the case as well, writing "the widespread custom is for guests and students to light." (see there as well)

It further seems in humble opinion that nowadays, where many travel by train and encounter difficulties lighting aboard them, as is well known, that one may rely on the lighting in his home. Truthfully though, one will then not see a lit Menorah, so it is preferable if he is able to light one candle in the car he is in, and recite a blessing over it, for it may be possible to light one candle without encountering opposition from the other travelers. It is better to put aside beautifying the Mitzah (Mehadrin) and to fulfill the basic Mitzvah rather than not being able to see any candles at all. Certainly one who has no home is obligated to light on the train unless he will reach a destination that night [where there will be an opportunity.]

Section 6[edit]

The Tur writes:

"The leftover oil and wicks from the first night have oil [or wicks] added to them and are used again on the second night. The leftover of the second is added to and used on the third, and so on for all the nights. That which is left over from the eighth night is burnt up separately because of its status as restricted to Mitzvah use."

Until here is the quote, whose source is found in the legal Midrashic texts (Pesikta), as the Rosh writes in the name of the Sheiltos. On this the commentators demur, for in chapter 672 it was previously explained that oil left over after the required burning time is permitted to be used for any purpose. They therefore qualify that ruling as pertaining to the oil that is over the amount necessary for the required burning time, and the oil restricted to the Mitzvah is only the amount needed for the required time, and that which remains of this amount is certainly prohibited (Beis Yosef and Bach). It is along these lines that our teacher the Beis Yosef writes in section 4 that "That which is left over from the eighth night is burnt up separately because of its status as restricted to Mitzvah use." Amounts that are added in addition what is required become permitted if left over. The commentaries on the Shulchan Aruch are in agreement with this explanation (see there).

There is also one who answers differently, positing that the oil referred to here was added without any intent and so becomes consecrated for Menorah use even if it exceeds the required amount, for its default intention is for the menorah. On the other hand, the previous ruling refers to one who expressly had intent to only consecrate the amount needed for the required burning time (see previous commentaries quote this in the name of the Ri Abuhav). There are those who dispute this answer, stating that adding without intent only consecrates the amount needed for the required burn time (Beis Yosef, Magen Avraham, comment 10, and Taz there as well).

Another opinion offers the solution that benefit is not really prohibited, but rather the idea is to 'remove it from the world'. This same idea would also be true of the previous ruling, where the Rabbis are treating the oil as an item used for holy purposes, in that it should be 'hidden away' in a proper manner, as is the rule for all items used for holy purposes that have completed their usefulness. The method of removal should be one that avoids denigration to the object. Be that as it is, this answer is not implied in the text of the 'Tur'.

Section 7[edit]

Now I wonder over the words of these Rabbis: According to the actual language of the Tur there does not appear to be any contradiction, as it is certain that there is no consecration for the amounts that exceed what is required. Rather, it seems clear that we are dealing with another subject entirely, for the leftover oil from the first night was chosen to be used used for the second night and so became consecrated and set aside for the candles, and similarly from the second to third, etc... , so that the oil of the seventh will be used on the eighth, and it is only the oil left from the eighth that is the oil of which the required amount is prohibited, [while the additional amounts are not]. However, who says that the oil left over from the eighth is the additional oil added after the seventh, maybe it is the extra oil consecrated from the seventh to the eight that remains? This is why the text specifies "left over oil from the first night has oil added to it for second...", instead of simply ruling that 'oil left over from the candles should be burned'. The point is that it is only this situation that requires burning [due to the possibility of consecrated oil being present from the previous day], while the additional oil added to a Menorah above what is needed is never consecrated.

Section 8[edit]

If oil that was consecrated for Menorah use became mixed with other oil, and the amount of other oil is not enough to effect nullification of the consecrated oil, the Tur and Shulchan Aruch both write that one should not add more oil to cause nullification. This is because prohibited material may not be intentionally nullified, even if the prohibition is rabbinic in nature. Though it is explained in Yoreh Deah (chapter 99) that intentional nullification is permitted with rabbinic prohibitions, the Menorah oil has the additional status of an object that will become permitted (Davar Sheyesh Lo Matirin) [a status which prevents the legal nullification of an object or substance], since it will be able to be used for the Menorah next year. Even though the Tur writes that oil should not be left over until the following Chanukka, so that one not mistakenly use it for something else - and even storing it in a dirty jar would not help, as that would not prevent someone from using it for burning - nevertheless as a matter of technical law it may be used the following year and so has the status as a substance that will become permitted. (This is the intent of the Magen Avraham in comment 12)

One may also not base a permit on the case of branches of date tree that detached from the tree on the festival [which are prohibited from use on the festival], where a permit was issued in chapter 507 to place additional wood that was set aside for burning before the festival together with them and use the combination for kindling. This permit for use is due to the fact that the benefit only accrues after they are destroyed by burning (Tur, sourced from Gemara Beitzah), while here the benefit is had at the time of lighting, when one adds enough regular oil to create nullification at a 60 parts to 1 majority.

(More study is required to determine why the Shulchan Aruch does not record the words of Tur, that one should not leave over oil for the following year so as not to cause its mistaken use in the future. Perhaps the reason was that basing the prohibition on the status of 'an object that will become permitted' must allow the oil to remain, for otherwise both position are mutually contradictory [for the oil to be considered 'permissible in the future' it must be able to remain until a future time]. Attend to the sources and this will be clear.) [NOT SURE OF THIS PARANTHENTICAL SECTION]