HaGaon HaRav Shteinman, Z’Tl: Shailos U’Teshuvos On Hilchos Chanukah


The Torah world marked the fifth yahrtzeit of HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, ztl, on Sunday.

A few years before HaRav Aryeh Leib’s petirah, Attorney Natan Rosenblatt, the author of Shacharis, accompanied HaGaon HaRav Moshe Mordechai Karp, to ask HaRav Shteinman, z’tl, a number of shailos on Hilchos Chanukah.

“HaRav Moshe Mordechai asked several questions on inyanei Chanukah,” wrote Rosenblatt at the time, as reported by JDN. “I recorded some of it.”

HaRav Moshe Mordechai: What is the din of bochurim in yeshivah regarding hadlakah?

HaGaon HaRav Shteinman: Bochurim can rely on the hadlakah of their father at home. Mei’ikar HaDin, they are yotzei through their father’s hadlakah.

HaRav Moshe Mordechai: If nevertheless, they wish to light, do they have a din of an אכסנאי [guest] in yeshivah or perhaps a tenant or ba’al habayis?

HaGaon HaRav Shteinman: A yeshivah bochur is not even an אכסנאי since the Rosh Yeshivah can expel him from the yeshivah at any time.

HaRav Moshe Mordechai: Should bochurim light in their room or at the main entrance of the yeshivah?

HaGaon HaRav Shteinman: Every yeshivah has a din of one apartment, like a hotel. Here I am sitting here in a room in my house. Let’s say I light a candle here – do I need to light a candle in every room?! It’s the same thing in a yeshivah.

HaRav Moshe Mordechai: Still, is it preferable for bochurim to light in the dining room – to choose some type of makom kavuah there?

HaGaon HaRav Shteinman: The dining room in a yeshivah is like a restaurant. Bochurim eat and return to their learning. No one thinks that if he eats in a restaurant, he needs to light there.

HaRav Moshe Mordechai: Is the din of כלתה רגל מן השוק [the streets are empty of people] in accordance with the situation in our times or in the times of Chazal?

HaGaon HaRav Shteinman: The Brisker Rav lit until a late hour because he feared that people would still be leaving Edison Theater [which closed down in 1995] near his home. Today the world has completely changed from what it was in the days of Chazal.

HaRav Moshe Mordechai: One who keeps the chumrah of Rabbeinu Tam all the Shabatos of the year- does he also need to be machmir on Motzei Shabbos of Chanukah – or should he be meikel because of the ratzon to light the Ner Chanukah earlier – on time?

HaGaon HaRav Shteinman: Whoever does this and [ends Shabbos] earlier – it’s leitzanus – and leitzanus is assur!

HaRav Moshe Mordechai: Should one wake up their father for hadlakah so he won’t miss out on lighting on time?

HaGaon HaRav Shteinman: Kibbud Av is d’oiraysa and Hadlakas Ner Chanukah is d’rabbanan.

HaRav Moshe Mordechai: According to this, should one wake up their father for Kriyas Shema?

HaGaon HaRav Shteinman: It’s not pashut that zeman Kriyas Shema is d’oiraysa. Kibbud Av is definitely d’oiraysa – by all opinions.

The Rosh Yeshivah is absorbed in his thoughts and suddenly says: “B’etzem, by Kibbud Av, it says to feed him and dress him, etc. – it’s not mentioned that we don’t wake him. It’s true that we see by Dama ben Netina that he didn’t wake his father but that’s the seichel of a goy. A regular father would be very angry if he heard that someone came to offer him a million dollars and he lost the money because his son didn’t want to wake him up. And that’s the reason why he received the sechar in this world – because it was a mitzvah of a goy and the sechar is like that of goyim – in Olam Hazeh.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)