Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 139:16
Chanukah

16. Women are obligated to fulfill the mitzvah of kindling Chanukah lights, for they also had a share in the miracle (1). Thus, a woman may light on behalf of her entire household (2). A child who has reached the age when he is being trained in the performance of mitzvos ("Higiyah Le'chinuch") is also obligated [to kindle the Chanukah lights].

It is preferable for a blind man [to fulfill the mitzvah of lighting candles by purchasing] a share in a colleague's mitzvah for a "prutah" (3). If he is married, his wife should light for him. If he is not married and lives in an apartment without anyone with whom to share [in the mitzvah], he should light the candles himself, with the help of another person.

FOOTNOTES:

(1) A woman is usually exempt from a positive mitzvah that has to be performed at a specific time ("Mitzvas Aseh She'haz'man Grama"), Regarding Chanukah, however, women in particular benefited from the miracle, because the [Greek's] had decreed that any Jewish virgin who was getting married, must first have sexual relations with the Greek governor. Furthermore, a miracle during that period was brought about through a woman. Yehudis, the daughter of Yochanan, the High Priest, was very beautiful, and the enemy ruler proposed that she cohabit with him. She told him that she would accede to his wish. When she came to him she fed him dishes of cheese so that he would become very thirsty, drink a large quantity of wine, and fall asleep. Her plan worked, and while he was asleep she cut off his head and brought it to Jerusalem. When the leader of the Greek army saw that their ruler had been slain, he and his army fled. To commemorate this miracle, there are some who follow the custom of eating dairy dishes on Chanukah (See HY 139:3).

(2) That is, a woman may light the candles and recite the blessings on behalf of the males in her family. If her husband is present, the wife should preferably not light on his behalf. Even though nowadays all members of the household light their own menorah, a wife need not light herself if her husband is lighting, because a husband and wife are considered to be one individual ("Ishto Gegufoh"). However, if a wife desires to light separate to her husband, she may do so and recite the blessings.

(3) A "perutah" was the coin of lowest value in times of the Talmud. By contributing a minimal amount of money, the blind man acquires a share in the oil or candles (it is not necessary to contribute half the value). His friend will then light and say the blessings on his behalf (the blind man must be present to answer "amen").

 

Back Paragraph 15 Table of Contents Paragraph 17 Next 

 

Halacha-Yomi, Copyright © 2003 Torah.org


 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON PESACH AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

Introduction to Maggid
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

All The Days of Your Life
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Tarnished Treasures of Pesach
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Relating the Chain of Events: Part 3
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Pesach: The Obligation of Profound Appreciation
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

A Physical Song
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

ArtScroll

“Letter to my Son Akiva”
Jon Erlbaum - 5773

Prisms of Light - Reflections of Shattered Glass
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

Last Days of Pesach
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Symphony Of Life
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

"HaKol B'Seder!"
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5762

Significance of the Omer
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

> Pesach Weather
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

Ha Lachma Anya
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

Love of Money, or Money of Love?
Rabbi Gavriel Prero - 5761

Why Next Year in Jerusalem?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759



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