Chanukah Thoughts

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  • #1630608

    laskern
    Participant

    There was a story with the Satmar Rov ztz’l where there was an individual who would find kashrus faults in everything, so the Rov told him, you know what was the neis the firts day that you were not there because if were there, you would have paseled the oil.

    #1630926

    laskern
    Participant

    The Meiri says that finding of the pure pitcher of oil was itself a neis which reflects the validation of the Oral Law by not having to use rabinically impure oil and the reflection of being able to be bechadesh new ideas by revealing hidden secrets from the Torah through heavenly help. The Hafloh says to be able to pose a question which helps in this endeavor comes from heavenly help. He demonstrates this with a parable where a simple person received a diamond. He says to himself, what am I going to do with a diamond when I happened to like gold. He goes to a goldsmith to get it covered in gold. He is not the best master of his trade, so he leaves some holes. The simple person sees the gold, but the smart clever person sees the diamond under the gold. Through our question we find the diamond. We find where the Jews in the desert found a bitter well. When they threw into a bitter tree it became sweet. How can we compare this to the Torah? I think, a person learns a piece of gemorah and it is so bitter when he doesn’t understand it. Hashem gives him heavenly help by providing him a question which without an answer is also bitter, but he finds an answerand it becomes sweet.

    #1632357

    laskern
    Participant

    As Beis Yosef asks what was a neis the first day since the pitcher was enough for the first day. He answers that they divided the oil for eight days so it was not enough for the first day. The Pnei Yeshuah in Shabbos explains that this is the reason for the Beis Shamai for lighting backwards from eight to one because the neis was recognized in the pitcher where the oil was seen to diminish from eight eights to one eight. The Beis Hillel holds that they used the whole oil the first day so the neis increased day by day. The Ksav Sofer explains that this is the argument if we have to relight it if it goes out. Those who hold that we must relight it also believe that they divided the oil. An eight part can burn a little so the neis was that it burned long so if we don’t relight it, we are not commemorating the neis. The Taz says that some oil was left over the first day and this is the meaning ומנותר קנקנים נעשה נס לשושנים, because the brocho cannot fall on nothing, as we find by Eliyahu that the oil only materialized as long there were pitchers.

    #1632383

    laskern
    Participant

    The Kol Aryeh gives us an interesting insight using the above stanza from Maoz Tzur. It says in Pirkei Avos אל תסתכל בקן קן אלה מה שיש בו the Midrash Samuel says in the name of the Arizal in the pasuk ונקה לא ינקה if you remove קן קן from ונקה and ינקה we are left with yud keh vav key, the shem Hashem, that is the meaning of the above stanza that neis happened through the name yud keh vav key of Hashem.

    #1632602

    laskern
    Participant

    There is an argument between Tosfas in Maseches Shabbos where he says that we don’t light for each individual because you won’t know how many days and individuals we have, so every day they all light one and the Rambam in begining of the 4th perek Hilchas Chanukah says that baal habayis lights ccording the days and people. The RMA SA O’CH 671 says that everyone lights according to the number of the current day. So why does the Rambam pasken that the baal habayis lights for everyone? The Bais Halevi explains that uf there is no main mitzva there is no hidur mitzva. He brings a proof from the halacha of the skins that are on the orlah. When it interferes with the milah you must return to cut it on shabbos, but it does not interfere with the milah then the milah is done already and this would be a hidur mitzva and ypu are not allowed to return for it. Similarly the lighting by each individual is a hiddur mitzva and therefore the one who does the main mitzva must light it. The RMA might hold that this is not a hidur in the candle lighting itself so this is how the chazal instituted the mitzva in the first place so everyone can light by themselves.

    #1632624

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    Thank you

    #1632896

    laskern
    Participant

    The Raavad says in 17th perek in Hilchas Shabbos that a לחי lechi does not need a shiur because it is for recognition, haker which even if we say כתוותי מכתת שעוריה a haker still exist. Similarly if we say this by נר חנוכה will depend if we pasken כבתה זקוק לה if it goes out, we have to relight it then the shiur is to burn. If it burns without it so be it. It is stll good. Whereas now that we pasken כבתה אין זקוק לה than why do we need a shiur because it is required as it was in Mikdash and we would say the above and the shiur would be missing. See the Kol Aryeh 34.

    #1633020

    laskern
    Participant

    It is interesting that by a קורה a beam which is because of mechitza even though if we say כתותי we can still not see through is not good because it does not have a shiur.

    #1635744

    laskern
    Participant

    The Behag paskens that Purim and Chanukah are min Hatorah. The Chasam Sofer explains that it is based on a kal vechomer, from servitude to freedom we say shirah than surely from life to death. The Rokeach gives us an implication for Purim and Chanukah from Parshas Emor. After the Yomim Tovim the parshiyos of face bread and the menorah are mentioned. The first is refering to Purim where Memuchan was alluding to the malochim not sacrificing face bread and the Menorah to Chanukah.

    #1635801

    Yserbius123
    Participant

    Everyone knows the קשה of the Bais Yosef, but I want to know what your answer is to the lesser known question. If טומאה הותרה בציבור then why did they need a כשר bottle of oil to begin with?

    #1635816

    laskern
    Participant

    The Chasam Sofer explains that the Menorah which is placed above 20 amos is פסולה because the eyes are unable to see. The expression pesula applies to min Hatorah mitzvos which is understood with the above Behag. The Ksav Sofer says that placing it above is a problem because he is completely relying on help from the heavens when the Chashmanoim did not do that but fought to help themselves. Ruvein suggested to throw Yosef in the pit even though there were scorpions there but he did whatever he could to save him. They are in Hashem’s control but people have free choice so are dangerous to do bad.

    #1635856

    laskern
    Participant

    They say that the impurity was rabinical because of zav so really the miracle was not necessary but reinforced and validated the strength of the chachomim and the miracle was simply להאות חבתם to show the love that Hashem Yisborach has towards us. So the Yaaros Devash and the Chasam Sofer say that Chanukah is קבלת התורה על תורה שבעל פה the celebration for the acceptace of the the Oral Law. Some say that once they put in a shiur you can light it but if it was impure there was no shiur in the menorah and on that you cannot say that it is permitted in public.

    #1635872

    laskern
    Participant

    Some say that lighting with an electric menorah is a similar problem lacking the shiur.

    #1635892

    laskern
    Participant

    It says in Parshas Miketz אלקיכם נתן לכם מטמון מאמתחותכם כספכם בא אלי Hashem gave you a hidden find in your sack your money arrived to me. The Ksav Sofer asks should’t the fact that your money came to me come first? He says that from here we see as metioned above that the brocho cannot fall on nothing so the money had to be there when the blessing came. Similarly by Chanukah some oil had to be left over on which the brocho of the miracle should be able to fall.

    #1635916

    laskern
    Participant

    Rabbi Chaim says that the neis was in quality איכות and not in quantity כמות . The same oil was able to burn longer for eight days until new oil was made and not that there was a miracle with additional oil because then that would be miracle oil and not olive oil.

    #1635960

    laskern
    Participant

    There is a custom to light Chanukah candles in the morning without a brocho. The question is שרגא בטיהרא מאי מהני what is the need of light in the daytime? There Sheorim Mezuyonim Behalacha says that this is done to commemorate the view of the Rambam. There is an argument between the Rambam Hilchas Temidim and Musofim 3:12 says that if the candles go out in the morning you relight it when you clean it out because it is part of the cleaning process but the Rashba holds that we only clean it and light it in the afternoon. Maybe since we are doing it to remember the Rambam’s view, we light it in the morning even though no light is necessary and it cannot be seen as there was no need for light in the Mikdash, whereas if it iis for publicising the miracle, the candles need to be seen.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by  laskern.
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by  laskern.
    #1635979

    username123321
    Participant

    Rabbi Chaim

    That’s Reb Chaim Volozhiner, Reb Chaim Brisker, Reb Chaim Shmuelevitz, or Reb Chaim Kanievsky (am I missing other Reb Chaims)?

    #1636451

    laskern
    Participant

    I think it is Reb Chaim Brisker.

    #1636470

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    “Everyone knows the קשה of the Bais Yosef, but I want to know what your answer is to the lesser known question. If טומאה הותרה בציבור then why did they need a כשר bottle of oil to begin with?”

    Because that was the whole fight of the yevanim. They didn’t care if we do mitzvos or learn Torah – they cared about the fact that we believed in its kedusha. They fought against mitzvos that weren’t rational. So if we would’ve used tamei oil they would have won so to speak as they specifically defiled the oil as part of their war against kedusha and the irrationality of it. So we insisted on pure oil. And we got the nes of chanuka.

    #1636512

    laskern
    Participant

    CS, Why don’t we have a sefeka deyoma? Chazal wanted to show that the yevonim did not succeed, that they could not make even a safeka deyoma. Others say that they should have been nine days but there was no neis on the first day so only eight days were instituted.

    #1636516

    laskern
    Participant

    CS, They say that for your reason, better than necessary, we go after mehadrin which we usually don’t do.

    #1637121

    laskern
    Participant

    The Dreidel

    None – נ
    Ganz – Gantz – Whole – ג
    Half – ה
    Schtel Hinein – Put in – Pay – ש

    נס גדול היה שם – גשנה Gematria – 358 – משיח
    נס גדול היה פה – גפנה Gematria – 138 – צמח In Eretz Yisroel

    They both the first letters ר’ת add up to Moshiach.

    #1637134

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    Laskern forgive my ignorance what is safeka deyoma? A doubtful day? Can you explain that post I didn’t understand

    #1637139

    laskern
    Participant

    חנוכה – פדה – אז ימלא – ימלט they all add up to 89 it is the time of the גאולה

    #1637191

    laskern
    Participant

    In chutz laaretz outside of Eretz Yisroel we keep two days Yom Tov because when they designated Rosh Chodash by witnesses who claimed they saw the moon, there were places that were too far that the messengers informing this fact should arrive would make two days Rosh Chodash thereby making Yomim Tovim also two days for safeka deyoma. When it came to burrial of the dead, the first day, only non-jews could do it wheeas the second dau of Yom Tov, our chachomim were more lenient were Jews were able to perform the burrial. הזהרו במנהג אבותיכם דזמנו דגזרו המלכות גזירה ואתי לקלקולי the chachomim were afraid even though we currently use calculations, that a wicked king will arise again who will not allow us to calculate Rosh Chodash and we can end up eating chametz on Pesach. The keeping of our customs is one our most important tenant of Judaism for that the heavenly court will destroy a bad decree. Chanukah might have required to be celebrated an extra day for sefaka deyome.

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by  laskern.
    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by  laskern.
    #1637695

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    Beis Shamai says we should light eight candles on the first night, seven on the second night and so on. Beis Hillel says we should light one on the first night, two on the second night and so on. The halacha is like Beis Hillel, so we light one candle on the first night etc.

    What is the meaning of their argument?

    The light of the Menorah reperesents the light of the Mitzvos which do two things: They push away darkness and add light. Mitzvos Lo saase are the mitzvos that we push away darkness with. Like for example not eating food that isn’t Kosher. Mitzvos Asei are mitzvos that add light because they add good actions to the world, like giving tzedakah.

    All Yidden need to do both types of mitzvos. But some yidden focus more on pushing away the bad, like they are extra careful with the food they eat, and some Yidden focus more on mitzvos asei, doing good things.
    Now with pushing away the darkness, it requires a lot more strength in the beginning, and then it gets easier as time goes on. With adding light, you start with adding one more good thing, and then you add another and then another.

    Beis Shamai were more careful with pushing away darkness, so they felt that the best way to do mitzvos is to light eight candles the first night etc. Which means to be very very strong with being careful not to do the wrong thing, and then putting in less and less energy because it gets easier.

    Beis Hillel held of asei tov- adding light, so they held that we should light one candle and then two etc.
    The halacha is like Beis Hillel so today, we focus on increasing the mitzvos we do, adding more and more good things to our day, and by doing that we automatically dispel the darkness.

    #1637707

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    Laskern, you asked about safeka dyoma? There is a very interesting answer that the miracle of the oil was that it simultaneously burned but yet didn’t burn at the same time (like the burning bush if I’m not mistaken). So it was a constant miracle the whole 8 days.

    #1637721

    laskern
    Participant

    CS, The Alalolas Ephraim from the` Klei Yokor explains that we either look at elevating the spiritual or lowering and diminishing the material. The elevation of tzadikim or the destruction of the reshaim. The question also comes up on Purim ארור המן and ברוך מרדכי. Do we look at the הצלה of tzadikim or the מפלה of the rashaim? The Magen Avraham explains they both have the same gematria but in the first the firts part is bigger than the second part so Haman went from high to low wherea Mordechai went from low to high/ Do we emphasize the positive or the negative? The Haflla says ובחרת בחיים do mitzvos from life and not vice versa. Your explanation also reflects this well.

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by  laskern.
    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by  laskern.
    #1637728

    Avi K
    Participant

    Laskern, as Chanuka is rabbinic a safek would be l’kula.

    #1637731

    laskern
    Participant

    I also heard once that light reflects knowledge and learning of the Torah. The Bes Hilel had good memory but where missing sharpness which comes at a later age, so they were going forward in time, whereas the Beis Shamai was sharp ithey were mssing memory which comes at an earlier age going backwards in time.

    #1637773

    laskern
    Participant

    Avi K, first the Behag paskens as above that Chanukak is min HaTorah, second safek does not apply when something is instituted from the outset. It only applies when it comes after it was established.

    #1637834

    laskern
    Participant

    The Sefer Peninim Yekorim brings an implication when they complete halel. It says שנים שנים באו אל נח the first 2 days of Pesach, 2 days of Shavuos, 9 days of Succos as the gemaria of באו, and Chanukah the gematria of
    אל נח like Chanukah 89.

    #1637927

    Avi K
    Participant

    Laskern,

    1. The Behag paskens that the Torah requires us say Hallel on a day when the deliverance occurred but the other observances are rabbinic. If Jews in Chul do not observe an extra day of Rosh Chodesh, which is completely d’Oraita, they certainly will not in the future (if there are Jews in Chul after Mashiach comes). Actually even the second day of Yom Tov is actually a minhag being that we have a fixed calendar (Beitza 4b).

    2. a. Who says it only applies if it comes later? b. Actually it was never a safek as the shlichim certainly reached Bavel by the 25th.

    #1637958

    casper
    Participant

    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing this Laskern.

    #1637964

    laskern
    Participant

    Avi K, The etzem Chanukah according to the Chasam Sofer is d’Oraita but the way you commemorate is rabbinic. You are required some kind of commemoration when you were saved from servitude and certainly from death including spiritual. It is based on a Magen Avrahan in the begining of Hilchas Purim. If the chachomim considered it a safek, from the outset they can institute two days and it does not apply ספיקא דרבנן לקולא because of לא תסור. There is no safek in the begining of a establishment of a new takonoh.

    #1637981

    laskern
    Participant

    The Chasam Sofer (Shabbos 22) says that Chanukah עיקרו מן התורה ופירושו מדרבנן the main origin is d’Oraita but its explanation is rabbinic.

    #1637993

    laskern
    Participant

    Avi K, I think it is the Pri Chadash’s kashye about safeka deyame. You said that it has nothing to do with witnesses anymore so anything newly instituted can follow the rule in order the old should not be desecrated.

    #1638411

    Avi K
    Participant

    Laskern, the obligation is fulfilled by saying Hallel. There is no Torah need to light candles. Regarding safeka d’yoma there is a problem, maybe even bigger than that occurs on the eighth day of Sukkot in Chutz laAretz regarding sitting in the Sukka. One who says Hallel every day blasphemes. Therefore if the “ninth day” is not part of Chanuka (and now that we have a fixed calendar we know that it is not), then it is prohibited to say Hallel.

    #1638542

    laskern
    Participant

    Avi K, what you are saying is correct. The Meiri ? by Purim quoted by the Chasam Sofer says that whoever has no megila should read halel. Saying halel to be blasphemes, if he follows the chazal I don’t think would apply as the Rashba in Rosh Hashana 15 says that their no baal tosif on the takonoh of the chachomim.
    Besides they say that this blasphemy is on the stanza כי לעולם חסדו not halel because says the Ksav Sofer he is only praising Hashem on miracles and not on everyday occurences as Leah said wonderouly ‘הפעם אודה את ה
    In halel we say ‘מה אשיב לה which apply for every day.

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