Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 139:13
Chanukah

13. We follow the principle that it is the act of kindling that fulfills the mitzvah ("Hadlakah oseh mitzvah") (1). Therefore, at the time [the Chanukah candles] are being kindled, they must be in their correct location (2) and contain sufficient oil [to burn for the requisite time]. In contrast, if the candles were lit below three handbreadths ("tefachim" (3)) from the ground or twenty cubits ("amos" (4)) above the ground, and then moved to their correct location while they were burning, they are not valid ("pesulim").

Similarly, if, at the time of kindling there was not enough oil [in the menorah to burn] for the required time, it does not help ("lo mehane") to add more after [they are lit]. Based on the same principle, if one positioned the Chanukah lights in a windy place, where it is likely that they will be extinguished, one has not fulfilled the mitzvah and is required to light again. One should not, however, recite a blessing when lighting the second time.

Conversely, if one put the candles in their correct place (that is, where they are not likely to be extinguished by the wind), and unexpectedly they were extinguished, one is considered to have fulfilled the mitzvah (5). Nevertheless, it is customary that one light them again.

It is customary not to light one Chanukah candle with another, but rather to use the "shamash" (6) or another ordinary candle.

FOOTNOTES:

(1) As opposed to those in the Talmud who rule that it is the act of placing the already lit menorah in its correct location that fulfills the mitzvah ("hanacha oseh mitzvah").

(2) For example, next to a window overlooking the street.

(3) Opinions among the authorities as to the exact length of a 'tefach' ('handbreadth') range between 8 and 10cm ( 3 to 4 inches).

(4) Opinions among the authorities as to the exact length of an "Amah" ("cubit") range between 48 and 60cm (20 to 24 inches).

(5) In other words, if one lit them according to all the halachic criteria, and they were extinguished before the requisite half hour, one is not obligated to relight them (although the custom is to do so). There are authorities who rule that even when the menorah was lit in the correct location, it should not be moved even to another valid location until after the candles had burned at least a half hour. Others are more stringent, maintaining that the menorah should not be moved at all while it is burning (See Mishna Berura 675:6 and Sha'ar Hatziyun 672:12).

(6) People generally set aside an extra candle called the "shamash" with which to light the other candles.

 

Back Paragraph 12 Table of Contents Paragraph 14 Next 

 

Halacha-Yomi, Copyright © 2003 Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON KI SISA AND PURIM:

View Complete List

Follow the Leader
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5763

Of Hands and Feet
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Who Knows?!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Inclusiveness
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

What's Bad is Good
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Allowing US To Leave The Light On For HIM
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Bucking the Trend
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

The Birthplace of Idolatry
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

The Golden Thread of Our Existence
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

> Delving into the Megila
- 5774

How to Pray
Shlomo Katz - 5762

The Cause of the Pause
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

ArtScroll

A Moment Too Long
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

The Oil Of Anointing Was Meant To 'Light The Fire' of the Kohanim
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

His Worst Nightmare Realized
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Going Up?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information