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 NETZAVIM AND VAYEILECH:

View Complete List

God's Covenant
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

Duality of Emotion
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

Spaced Out!
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

> An Urge to Be Even Better
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

In Good Standing
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

The Three Books
Shlomo Katz - 5758

ArtScroll

Hide & Go Seek
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

So It Is Written
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Falsehood Has No Legs
Shlomo Katz - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

"G-d Is Not In Our Midst" Is An Inappropriate Response
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Shofar: The Court Summons
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Do It For the Kids
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Lessons to be Learned from the Jealousy of Moshe Rabbeinu
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Teshuva Must Take Into Account the Root Cause of Sin
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

Youthful Discretion
Rabbi Mordechai Kamentezky - 5760

No Excuse Not To 'Do Teshuvah'
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 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