is the 80th day (of 383); the 12th Shabbat (of 55) of 5765
Z'MANIM - HALACHIC
TIMES - Correct for TT #645
Not everybody holds by
that timing. Some communities calculate Shabbat out at 33 minutes
after sunset. Some use the angle of the sun below the horizon to
“end Shabbat” (8.5 deg). Bottom line for now: until we get the chart
running smoothly, don’t rely on it exclusively. Cross-check times
with calendars and charts. Please report discrepancies to us, so
that we can improve our time table. Also realize that Sfardim and
Ashkenazim often has differences in minhag.
Sunset, on the other hand, is given for an elevation of 825m and, in parentheses, as if at sea level. There are different opinions as to which sunset time should be used for halachic purposes. We present both times.
The deadlines for the SH'MA and the Shacharit Amida can be calculated in two ways. Either considering the day to be from sunrise to sunset or from dawn to stars out. The first way of reckoning is known as the opinion of the GR"A, and is the first time given in each case. The second method is known as the Magen Avraham, and is presented in parentheses.
Aside from candle lighting and havdala, the times are presented as a range, from the current Thursday of the issue of Torah Tidbits until the coming Thursday, a span of 8 days. Days between the two Thursdays can be determined by interpolation (which means: a method by which to estimate a value of between two known values-this is something that people above a certain age might remember from high school trigonometry and logarithms, but younger people who went to school during the calculator era might not be familiar with).
It is usually wise to
"pad" the times with a minute or two in the "play it safe"
direction. E.g. Plag Mincha. Better to finish Mincha a minute or two
before the given time. But, better to not light candles until a
minute or two after the given time.
Chanuka is the only
holiday that spans two months. That means, of course, that Rosh
Chodesh Tevet falls during Chanuka. On the 6th day, to be specific,
and on the 7th if there are two days Rosh Chodesh (which there
usually are, but not this year). Kislev's usual number of days is
30, which it has during an "in order" type of year and in a "full"
year. Only in a "deficient" type of year, in which a day is removed,
leaving 353 days in a 12-month year or 383 in a 13-month, 2 Adar
year (such as this one - 5765). The day that is dropped in a CHASEIR
is the 30th of Kislev. Years are CHASEIR (353/383) 25½% of the time.
K'SEDER (354/384) 29½% of the time, and SHALEIM (355/385) 45%. Note
that "normal" is not most common - "full" is. There is no Yom Kippur
Katan for Rosh Chodesh Tevet because it would fall during Chanuka.
Chanuka is really no
exception. The most appropriate readings are borrowed from Parshat
Naso and B'haalotcha, which are far away from Parshat HaShavua.
We are talking about
hard times. Trouble from the Eisavs and Lavans of the world, who
would delight at our misfortune. And troubles among our- selves as
well. It's hard to know which is worse. They are both bad. They both
threaten our existence.
SDT These are the TO'L'DOT of Yaakov: Yosef... Should not the Torah have started with Reuven? This comes to show us, says the Gemara, that Yosef should have been Yaakov's firstborn, but G-d's mercy for Leah put her before Rachel in giving birth.
SDT Talmud Yerushalmi wonders what Yosef reported about the brothers to Yaakov. R. Meir says, that they ate "limb from a living animal"; R. Yehuda says that they belittled the sons of Bilha and Zilpa and mistreated them; R. Shimon says that they cast their gaze upon the local women. R. Yehuda b. Pazi quotes the pasuk from Mishlei: "The scales and weighing stones of justice are HaShem's..." (the name-pasuk for Pinchas), meaning that a person is punished (or rewarded) measure for measure. (Sources explain that the brothers did not do these things; Yosef misinterpreted what he saw.) In Yosef's case, the slaughter of a goat was instrumental in his abduction and the deception of his father; he was belittled and enslaved; he was accused of immoral behavior with Potifar's wife.
Yosef's second dream, of the Sun, Moon, and stars bowing to him, added fuel to his brothers' hatred. Yaakov pointed out the absurdity of the dream, since Rachel, the Moon, had already died and would therefore not be bowing to Yosef.
Rashi says two different things: (1) The dream was referring to Bilha who raised Yosef in Rachel's absence; and (2) even "true" dreams have an element of nonsense. These seem to be mutually exclusive statements - if the Moon represents Bilha, then the dream contained no nonsense. Yaakov seems to have purposely voiced the second option in order to diffuse some of the brothers' anger.
SDT Why did the
scholars of Bavel dress up so grandly? The Gemara in Shabbat asks.
And it answers that they were not "Bnei Torah". (External polish to
compensate for internal lack.) Says the Chatam Sofer, Yaakov gave
Yosef a fancy coat so that the brothers would NOT be jealous of him,
that they would view Yaakov's pampering of Yosef as a sign of his
inferiority. Others suggest that the brothers were supposed to
realize that the special treatment of Yosef was because his mother
had died, and they should be sympathetic, rather than jealous. (P.S.
It didn't work.)
A point must be made about the concluding pasuk of this Aliya, which gives credit to Reuven for saving Yosef. Commentaries say that Reuven could have talked the brother out of the whole thing; instead, he suggested the snake- and scorpion-infested pit. Nonetheless, Reuven is credited for his intention to save Yosef.
Rashi says that Reuven
truly intended to come back and save Yosef - that's good - but his
reason was that he, as oldest, would be blamed - that's not really a
nice reason. Nonetheless, he gets the credit for the good deed he
planned on doing - even though it wasn't accomplished AND even
though his motives were not pure. It gives us something to think
about. What credit must there be for proper motives, and for actual
When Reuven returns to the scene and discovers Yosef missing, he rends his garment and expresses his distress to the others. The brothers slaughter a goat, smear Yosef's multiolored, striped coat in its blood, and send it to Yaakov to identify.
SDT Commentaries point out that just as Yaakov had deceived his father with a goat and a garment (goat & coat), so too was he deceived with a goat and a garment. The dish prepared by Rivka for Yaakov to serve his father was made from goat-meat. Rivka dressed Yaakov in goat skins and in Eisav's special garment. The brothers took Yosef's special garment - the K'tonet Pasim - and smeared it with goat's blood. This is a stark example of "Mida k'neged mida" - measure for measure.
Yaakov is inconsolable. (This is considered an indication that Yaakov subconsciously knew that Yosef was alive; one naturally accepts consolation for the dead after a time, but not for the missing.)
Think of the terrible anguish of the families of Israel's missing soldiers. Because of Yosef's story, Vayeishev is designated each year as SHABBAT SH'VUYEI V'NE'EDAREI TZAHA"L.
SDT Rashi gives us another aspect of the "Measure for Measure" punishment of Yaakov. The pasuk says that he "mourned for his son MANY DAYS." Rashi says that it was 22 years! Yosef was 17 when he was sold. He was 30 when he stood before Par'o. That's 13. Seven years of plenty and the first two years of famine before father and son were reunited. That makes 22 years that Yaakov was without Yosef. This, says Rashi, is the exact length of time that Yaakov was away from Yitzchak. It includes the 20 years with Lavan, a year and a half in Sukkot, and six months in Bet El before Yaakov returned to his father's house. Remember that Yaakov had various good excuses, nonetheless...
The measure for measure
idea continues to the next generation. Baal HaTurim points out that
just as Yehuda asked his father HAKEIR NA, recognize this garment as
Yosef's, so too was he asked HAKEIR NA by his daughter-in-law Tamar.
He was deceived exactly the way he deceived Yaakov.
SDT Why is the story of Yosef interrupted to tell us about Yehuda's situation? Rashi tells us that Yehuda was no longer looked up to by his brothers. After they saw the terrible effect on Yaakov of the Yosef business, they blamed Yehuda for not talking them out of the whole idea. Hence the term "And Yehuda went down from his brothers..." has a double meaning.
There he meets and marries the daughter of Shu'a, who bears him three sons. He marries off his eldest, Er to Tamar. When Er dies, the next brother Onan, marries his brother's widow. The Torah tells us that Onan refused to have a child with Tamar, because that child would "belong" (so to speak) to Er. This G-d took seriously (so to speak) and Onan also dies, Tamar is left to wait for the third son, Shela.
Then Yehuda's wife dies. Yehuda travels to the area where Tamar lives. When she hears of his arrival and realizes that she has not been given to Shela yet, she disguises herself. Yehuda, thinking she is a prostitute, sleeps with her. She asks and receives three items as security that he will send her payment (a goat). When it becomes known that Tamar is pregnant, Yehuda is summoned. Assuming that she has acted sinfully, he is prepared to have her punished. Tamar produces the three items and announces that she is pregnant by their owner.
SDT The Gemara teaches
that one must avoid embarrassing another at all costs - it is better
to be thrown into a fiery furnace than embarrass someone. We learn
this from Tamar, who did not denounce Yehuda, even though she would
have been considered guilty of immorality had Yehuda not owned up to
Yehuda recognizes that he is the guilty one, not Tamar, and he admits it. She gives birth to twins (one extending his hand first, the other actually being born first). They are named Peretz (ancestor of King David) and Zerach.
Note the repeat of the confused firstborn theme. It pervades the Book of B'reishit.
deceives his father with a garment (Eisav's) and fans the jealousy
of his son's against Yosef with the "coat of many colors". He is
deceived (and devastated) by that same coat when the brothers bring
it back to him all bloodied. Yehuda is "troubled" by his garment
which he gave to Tamar as one of theTree securities for his promise
to pay her with goats. (P'tilim, says Rashi, refers to Yehuda's
cloak.) Yosef, the victim (but not free of guilt in the matter) has
his coat grabbed by Potifar's wife. Yosef leaves it in her hands as
he runs from the house; the coat becomes the damning piece of
evidence against him. Interesting, no?
SDT The Midrash says that Yosef was aware of his looks and became too comfortable in Potifar's house. Things were going well, he had good food and drink, and he began "curling his hair". G-d (so to speak) said to Yosef: Your father is in agony over your disappearance and supposed demise and you are enjoying yourself?I shall make things rough for you too.
SDT The portion of
Yosef in Potifar's house is juxtaposed to the episode of Yehuda and
Tamar, and is further linked because the parsha of Yosef is S'tuma,
meaning it continues on the same line (in a Sefer Torah) as the
previous parsha (Yehuda & Tamar) ends. The standard explanation is
that the sale of Yosef caused Yehuda to lose the respect of his
brothers. Rashi gives another, intriguing, explanation. He says that
it is to equate Tamar and Potifar's wife - both of whom acted "for
the sake of Heaven". Potifar's wife, says Rashi, saw via astrology
that she was destined to have descendants that came from Yosef. She
thought that she was the one to produce them and so she tried to
seduce him. She was just a bit off; it was, in fact, her daughter
As'nat that would bear Yosef's children.
She grabs him on a day when no one else is in the house. Yosef flees, leaving his coat behind. (This is the second time his coat has been left in the hands of others!) Potifar's wife denounces Yosef to all who will listen, and Potifar has no choice but to have Yosef imprisoned.
G-d "favors" Yosef in
prison, and Yosef becomes well-liked and respected there too. Even
in his troubled circumstances, Yosef is watched over favorably by
Rashi tells us that Yosef was to spend another two years in prison for relying on the Wine Steward to get him out of prison. This raises the question in our minds of the line between BITACHON, trust in G-d, and HISHTADLUS, effort a person expends to get himself out of a tough situation. Could it not have been viewed that G-d set up the whole dream-situation with the Wine Steward and the Baker, so that Yosef would do exactly what he did, and the Wine Steward would then be in a position and willing state of mind to help Yosef and put in the good word to Par'o? Why is Yosef faulted for taking the opportunity to try to get out of prison via the Wine Steward, when one can claim that G-d had sent the Wine Steward to Yosef (so to speak) for exactly that purpose.
It is possible that the spiritual level of Yosef required different behavior than would be reasonable and proper for "the rest of us". It is possible that under the circumstances, namely that Yosef had just credited G-d repeatedly for his ability to interpret dreams, that the Wine Steward received the "wrong message" from Yosef when Yosef asks him to remember Yosef favorably. The specific situation can sometimes dictate or indicate that a specific behavior is called for, even though in other circumstances, the opposite behavior would be appropriate.
The last 4 p'sukim are
reread for the Maftir.
Amos was an early
prophet (and a sheep farmer - whatever that is), shortly after the
kingdom split into Israel and Judea. He lived in Tekoa, Judea, but
prophesied mostly in the Kingdom of Israel, where he tried to warn
the people of the tragic end they faced. Amos warns the people that
their behavior is repugnant before G-d and that He has already
destroyed some of the neighboring nations for their misdeeds. The
first pasuk is the perfect connection to the sedra; mentioning the
sale of Yosef by his brothers. Rabbi Jacobs in his A Haftara
Companion points to several other textual and conceptual
I have used the word destroys to indicate that the object can no longer be used by the owner for its intended purpose; the word spoils is used to indicate that the owner can still make use of the object for its intended purpose but not in the manner he wanted to.
Caveat: Throughout this and the next lesson, when the craftsman spoils or destroys the object, it is assumed that it is done without the intent to spoil or destroy the object entrusted to him by the owner.
Also closely linked to the job of the craftsman is that of the expert who gives advice, sometimes charging a fee and sometimes without charge.
This lesson discusses these special issues that may arise between (1) the craftsman and the owner, and (2) the expert rendering advice and the person to whom the advice is given.
Very often the craftsman posts notices limiting his liability in case of loss or damage to the object that is entrusted to him for repair or enhancement. The conditions so posted, if they do not contravene the laws of the land and are clearly stated to the owner, or clearly posted, are generally binding on the parties. There is one view that holds that one is included in the definition of a craftsman if he is an independent contractor, but not if he is in the employ of the owner of the object. Thus, if he is hired by the owner by the day to work on the object, he is an unpaid bailee regarding the object.
A second view holds that he is deemed to be a craftsman even if he is not an independent contractor if he is hired to work for the owner by the day and works on the object in his own home or place of business. However, if he is hired to work on the object by the day and works on the object on the premises of the owner, he is not a craftsman.
If it is anticipated that the craftsman is to get compensated for his work, absent any agreement to the contrary, from the moment that the owner of the object delivers the object to the craftsman, he becomes a paid bailee. He is deemed a paid bailee whether or not he has already been paid for the repair to the object. He is thus liable for loss, damage, destruction, or theft of the object, whether or not he is negligent in guarding the object. He is not liable if the object is lost, damaged, destroyed, or spoiled through force majeure.
The amount of the compensation is not determinative; any compensation makes the craftsman a paid bailee. This holds true even if the compensation is contingent; for example, a slaughterer of meat for kosher purposes is paid only if the resulting slaughter is kosher. If he has the possibility of being compensated, he is a paid bailee.
In addition to the other liabilities of a paid bailee, such as loss occasioned by the negligence of the bailee or his liability for loss or theft, the craftsman is liable for destroying the object. The owner gives the craftsman something to repair and the craftsman, in attempting to repair it, destroys it; the craftsman has full liability to pay for the value of the object at the moment of destruction. The amount he pays is for the entire value of the object as determined by Beth Din after hearing the testimony of appraisers. In many instances the parties will settle the matter by themselves since the amounts involved are usually small, for example, in cases such as dry cleaners who have lost or destroyed a shirt or skirt.
The valuation is determined by the value of the object when it was destroyed. Most often this will be the same as when it was delivered to the craftsman. However, there are times when the value at the time the object is destroyed is greater, for example, when an owner delivers lumber to a craftsman to fashion into a closet, and the craftsman fashions the closet and then destroys it. The payment to be made is for a completed closet, because at the time he destroyed the object it was a closet belonging to the owner since the owner had supplied the lumber and the transformation of the lumber into a closet is for the benefit of the owner.
Reuven hires Shimon to plant trees for him on Reuven's land. The local custom is that the planter receives half of the improvement to the property. Shimon's planting results in improvements on some of the land and loss in other areas. Reuven and Shimon share the losses and the improvements.
There are special laws regarding the slaughter of animals for kosher meat. When it is not certain that the slaughtering was valid, the meat may not be eaten, yet the owner must prove that the slaughter was not valid.
In addition to his other liabilities as a paid bailee, the craftsman is also liable to the owner if he spoils the object or deviates from the instructions of the owner. This assumes that the work cannot be corrected to eliminate the spoilage or the deviation from the instructions of the owner. These laws also assume that the object as spoiled or deviated still has some market value, sometimes as high as or even higher than what would have been the value had the instructions been followed. If it is not of value to the owner, there may be a readily accessible market available to sell such second-hand or spoiled goods. That which is deemed spoiled to the owner is not necessarily spoiled to a third party.
The owner of an object may seek the advice of an expert. The expert may or may not charge a fee. His wrong advice may result in loss to the owner of the object who seeks his advice about the object.
A purchaser wants to pay for his purchase in cash. The seller does not know if the cash is genuine or counterfeit. He takes the money to his bank and seeks the advice of his banker, who advises him that the money is genuine. It turns out that the money is counterfeit. If the banker was paid for his advice, he is liable to the seller for the loss he suffers whether or not the seller told the banker that he relies upon him to make his decision to accept the money. If the banker was not paid for his advice, the banker is not liable if he is an expert in appraising if cash is genuine or counterfeit unless the seller told the banker that he relies upon him on whether to accept the money; if the banker is not an expert, he is liable to the seller for his loss. <to be continued>
The subject matter of
this lesson is more fully discussed in volume IX chapters 306 of A
Restatement of Rabbinic Civil Law by E. Quint. Copies of all volumes
can be purchased via email: email@example.com and via
website: www.israelbooks.com and at local Judaica bookstores.
Questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
However, many Rishonim from various communities mention the custom to light in Beit Knesset as well, and it seems that this lighting was widespread by the time of the earliest Rishonim (Tur and Beit Yosef OC 671:7). A variety of reasons are given for this custom:
1. This lighting is for
the benefit of wayfarers who are put up in the shul, just like
havdala in shul (See OC 269).
According to these explanations, the lighting in shul is fundamentally similar to lighting at home. It just happens to be the home, or street, of community members. However, an additional law mentioned in many Rishonim suggests that this lighting has a different character. The Semak mentions that the Chanuka light should be in the southern part of the shul, as a commemoration of the Menora which was in the southern part of the Temple. Trumat HaDeshen extends the likeness even further and says that the arrangement of the individual lights should be in the orientation found in the Temple (north-south according to some authorities, east-west according to others). (All sources as cited in Tur and Beit Yosef OC 671.)
The lighting in shul is also distinguished by the custom to light in the morning - something which is never done at home! This too is explained by many commentators as a commemoration of the Mikdash, where the lights were lit in the morning when necessary (Rambam Temidin uMusafin 3:10).
It seems natural to us that the Chanuka lights should be viewed as a commemoration of the Temple Menora. After all, they are meant to publicize the miracle of the tiny quantity of oil that illuminated the newly rededicated Beit HaMikdash for eight days. But actually we seldom find this likeness as a factor in other laws of Chanuka. In fact, Rav Kook suggests that we light eight lights at Chanuka specifically to differentiate these lights from the seven-branched Menora in the Beit HaMikdash. (Moadei HaRayah citing Mitzvot Rayah OC 670.)
Evidently this parallel is special to the lighting in shul. Indeed, the Mishna Berura (Shaar HaTziun 671) writes explicitly that the lighting in shul is a commemoration of the Temple.
We can explain this discrepancy as follows. The Chanuka holiday and lighting were initially established in order to celebrate the rededication of the Mikdash in Yerushalayim. It would have been inappropriate to demonstrate our joy at the renewal of the central Sanctuary by making miniature copies in every community! On the contrary, there was then a necessity to distinguish the private lighting from the Temple lighting, as Rav Kook suggests.
However, after the destruction of the Temple, the mitzva assumed a new dimension. As the Jewish people were sent into exile, we all become like wayfarers; likewise, in foreign lands our ability to publicize the miracle to other became limited and there was an increased need to publicize it among ourselves, particularly where Jews gather together. Finally, with the lack of the Temple there arose the need to recall and commemorate it. All of these considerations find expression in the custom to light in shul to honor the wayfarers, to publicize the miracle specifically among Jews, and finally to partially recreate the radiance of the Mikdashin each community.
Please note: The manuscript for Meaning in Mitzvot on the Kitzur Shulchan Arukh is in its final stages of preparation. The book will be distributed IY"H by Feldheim. There still might be an opportunity for anyone who would like to make a dedication or otherwise be a partner in the publication of the first printing of the book. Please contact Rabbi Meir by e-mail: email@example.com
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He restored the sanctity and beauty of the Mikdash, cleansed the country of idolatry, and organized the collection of trumot and ma'asrot to certain depots throughout the country, so that the Kohanim and Leviyim whether in those towns allocated to the Kohanim or not, could more easily benefit from them. "He hung a sword at the entrance of the Bet HaMedrash saying, 'One who does learn Torah may they be pierced by this sword'. Indeed, from Dan to Be'er Sheva there was not a boy or girl, man or woman, who was ignorant of the laws of tum'a and tahara [perhaps the most complicated areas of halakha]" (Sanhedrin 94b). All these were indicative of Chizkiyahu's devotion to the spreading and teaching of Torah and to G-d's worship. The text records this devotion: "And thus did Chizkiyahu throughout Judah, and he did all that was 'tov' [good] 'yashar' [right] and 'emet' [faithful] before HaShem… in Avoda, in Torah, and in mitzvot, to seek out G-d with all his heart; hatov - between Man and G-d, hayashar - between Man and Man, haemet - in his thoughts and philosophies" (2nd Chronicles 31:20-21 [Malbim]). It is not surprising that he, like all the righteous kings of the Davidic dynasty, had a close positive relationship to the prophets; in his case to Yeshayahu, who in addition to the books of Kings and Chronicles, is our source for the picture of Chizkiyahu and his many faceted personality.
Our Sages expressed
their opinion of this saintly king in a number of ways:
The verse from Eishet Chayil Chazal understood as follows: "Sheker HaChen, is the generation of Moshe; and vain is beauty is the generation of Yehoshua; a G-d fearing woman she should be praised is the generation of Chizkiyahu. The generations of Moshe and Yehoshua studied Torah but that of Chizkiyahu exceeded them" (Rashi).
"Bar Kapara of Tzipori [on the main road to Lavi of today] taught: HaShem considered making Chizkeiyahu Mashiach and Sancherev Gog and Magog [who will battle the last war before Mashiach]" (Sanhedrin 94a). They applied the verse (Isaiah 11:1), "There shall come forth a shootout of the tree [stock] of Jesse" to him; in reference to the Perfect King who will come in the End of Days. That prophecy was not fulfilled because of midot hadin, in view of 3 wrong things that Chizkiyahu did.
1] Although HaShem warred against Sancherev through a great miracle, Israel's success in rebelling against Assyria, the dominant power in the Middle East, redounded throughout that world in the same way as the Six Day War of '67, making Chizkiyahu an international figure; as such he was paid state visits. "Now he had exceedingly much riches and honor" (2nd Chronicles 32:27-28). He showed all his treasures as well as those of the national treasury and of the Mikdash to the visiting king of Bavel, who was later to destroy the State and the Temple. This was unlike Shlomo HaMelech who only showed the Queen of Sheba the glories of his palace. Chizkiyahu, apart from the folly of revealing his wealth and thus arousing the jealousy, greed, and therefore the enmity of Bavel, sinned in that this showing off was a sign of his pride and arrogance. He was conveying that his own cleverness, hard work and abilities were the source of that wealth. It was a fundamental error in all people but especially in government with its natural tendency and unlimited possibilities for self-aggrandizement and contradicts the whole concept of Jewish kingship. "He [the king shall] write himself a copy of this law [Torah] that his heart be not lifted up above his brothers and he turn not from the commandments" (D'varim 17:18-20).
2] It is common practice for kings and heads of governments to seek out and conclude treaties of mutual protection and assistance with friendly states against a common enemy. Our Sages tell us that the prototype for our behavior political diplomacy is that of Yaakov when preparing himself for the danger of meeting his archnemy, his brother Eisav. "He prepared with prayer for Divine assistance, with gifts [i.e. appeasement] and for war" (Ramban on B'reishit 32: 4). However, having the benefit of the prophets of their day, the political leaders should have had enough faith in HaShem not to need or rely on allies. As Yirmiyahu said to the king and nobles when they plotted against Bavel, "What have you to do with Egypt or with Assyria" (Jeremiah 2:18). Chizkiyahu, however, busied himself in the intrigues, politics and alliances of the rulers of the surrounding state as a means of protecting himself, instead of trusting in the words of His prophets.
3] "In those days, Chizkiyahu became critically ill and Yeshayahu the prophet came to him and said 'you are going to die and you shall not live'; die in this world and not live in the world to come, because you have not married" (Berachot 10b). Chizkiyahu did not want to marry, fearing having an evil son. This is a strange punishment since we do not find a death penalty for non-observance of a positive mitzva. However, this happened only 3 days before HaShem defeated Sancherev and the whole people were in a turmoil of fear, defeatism and suffering; in such times there is such punishment even for such non- observance. People could learn from him to say that, "I cannot keep this or that mitzva because I or the results of my actions are not worthy". Throughout history and even today, Chizkiyahu's reasoning has been the basis for many social and religious movements frightened as they have been at the evil, tragedy or misfortune that exists in our world. Monasticism, zero birthrates and euthanasia are only some such applications of that reasoning. It is not for us human beings to question or doubt the wisdom and justice of HaShem's ways or their results and this is what Chizkiyahyu did.
In effect, Chizkiyahu's problem was that he did not busy himself solely with the task of Jewish kingship, government or leadership: "To establish it [the kingdom] and to uphold it through justice and through righteousness (Isaiah 9:6).
This is the 60th
installment in Dr. Tamari’s series on “Tanach and its messages for
Q I went to a private beach with friends during off-season, and the proprietor told us that the area was for men only. We paid 70 shekels for the whole day. After two hours of swimming, a group of women arrived. We left the water and went to find out what was happening. The proprietor denied having said it was a separate beach (I know he was lying). Instead of apologizing, he angrily returned our money in full, which we had not demanded, and told us to leave. Do I have to find a way to return part of the money, corresponding to the amount of time we enjoyed ourselves?
A This question involves many, complicated halachic issues. In this forum, we can only outline the basis for our ruling. Our analysis assumes your description of the events, as you need to know what to do from your perspective, and this does not constitute a ruling of a Din Torah.
Certainly your agreement to pay was a MEKACH TA'UT (a transaction based on misrepresentation) and does not bind you. However, even without an agreement, when one uses another's property for his benefit, it sometimes obligates him to pay. Your presence at the beach did not cause the proprietor loss, and there is a concept that one who benefits from his friend's property without causing him loss is exempt from paying (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 363:6). However, since the proprietor clearly disallows use of his beach without payment and since you agreed to pay for its use, there is logic to expect you to pay for the enjoyment you received (based on ibid. and ibid.:8). How to determine how much value to attribute to those two hours and how to factor in the upsetting circumstances of having to abruptly leave the beach are subjective and you can evaluate it better than we. The subsequent unpleasantness in the office does not factor in, because it occurred after the possible obligation took hold, just as the trouble of ajudication is not factored in.
The next question is whether or not the return of the money was a valid MECHILA (relinquishing of rights) or a present. (We are working on your assumption that the person you dealt with was the proprietor; otherwise, it is even less clear that MECHILA under these circumstances would be valid.) The Rama (CM 333:8) brings the suggestion of Rabbeinu Yerucham (neither seem certain on the matter) that MECHILA out of anger is invalid, as it is not done in a thought-out manner. From halachic discussion on the matter it appears that the halacha depends on the particulars of the case (see Pitchei Teshuva, ad loc.:17). In our case, MECHILA occurred with an action (see Shut Maharim 38) by someone who figured that he would not be able to get the money back. Also, despite his anger, the proprietor probably knew that, after deceiving you, the honorable thing was to refund all the money. Therefore, there is a strong case for assuming that this angry MECHILA was valid.
Even if you "owe" the money, the story is not simple. The K'tzot HaChoshen (104:2) says that when one owes money, but the creditor has not asked for it, there is no practical obligation to pay. Admittedly, some disagree (Netivot Hamishpat, ad loc.) and his logic does not seem to apply to a case where the creditor cannot ask for the money (i.e. he doesn't have contact information). However, even if we say that the mechila is invalid, it just means that he can reverse his refusal to receive payment. The status quo, though, is that until then, one is not obligated to pay. Thus, you may be able to rely on the likelihood that he has not actively decided that he desires payment. Since contacting him might ignite hard feelings, it is not necessarily a good idea to try to find out.
When one is holding someone else's money, he does not have to go to the other person's place to return it unless the money came to him as a favor or through a promise to pay (compare Shulchan Aruch, CM 74:1 & 273:1-2 and see S'ma 74:1).
Therefore, you can at least wait until you pass by the beach again. Due to a combination of factors we mentioned (and a couple, possible others which we omitted), we do not feel that you are required to make efforts to return the money.
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The Chassidic Rebbe, Rav Meir Yechiel of Ostrov, comments upon these poignant words of Yosef to Pharaoh's cupbearer. One who admits to coming from Israel merits to be buried there. One who does not admit his origins does not merit to be buried in Israel. This is the difference between Moshe and Yosef. Moses who was identified as an Egyptian by the daughters of Yitro does not make it to Israel. Yosef, who clearly identifies himself as a Jew coming from the land of Israel, is brought to his final resting place in Shechem.
But this is puzzling, says the Rebbe of Ostrov. Yosef was born in Israel, but Moshe really was born in Egypt. Moshe truly was an Egyptian. "From this we learn", says the Rebbe of Ostrov, "that from the time Eretz Yisrael was promised to Avraham, every Jew must see himself as a citizen of Israel."
What can I add, dear readers. You are already citizens of Israel. That merit and privilege is yours. As the Rebbe of Riminov says regarding the verse "Eileh toladot Yaakov, Yosef…", a descendant of Yaakov should make every effort to increase his level of spirituality, add (literally "yosef") to his level of service and aspire to more and more in deed and thought in the observance of Torah and Mitzvot.
Upgrade your "citizenship" status by making the decision to live your life here. Be more than a card carrying citizen. Live the dreams of Moshe and Yosef. It is here where you will truly be able to be a "Yosef" or "Yosefa", one who will merit to observe additional mitzvot which are connected to the Land of Israel, and enjoy the added kedusha and holiness of Eretz Yisrael. Citizens of Israel, wherever you are, Aloh Naaleh.
Mordechai Reich, Efrat
Based on the Midrash, Rashi explains that this verse represents an ideal state: After Yaakov's long and bitter exile he finally wished to settle down in tranquility. But the anguish of Yosef's kidnapping suddenly erupted. The Midrash then adds: "Are the righteous not satisfied with what awaits them in the World to Come that they expect to live at ease in this world too?"
Rabbi Gedaliah Schorr suggests that the meaning of the above is not that Tzadikim do not deserve tranquility. In Yaakov's case, however, there was still work to be done. He and his offspring were to pave the way for the historical events to follow.
It seems then that not
only the preparations for living in Israel are fraught. So is the
actual "settling" that follows one's Aliya. In every instance
sacrifices are made and the Oleh acquires Israel with some pain (see
Brachot 5:1). However, from the Midrash we learn that every Oleh is
a potential Tzadik, shaping destiny and fulfilling Hashem's promise
to the Avot that their progeny will possess the Land.
Elsewhere in his Syria and Mesopotamia centered-empire, his policy was successful, but in Jerusalem and in rural Judea, he met unexpected resistance. Antiochus IV was the first foreign ruler since Shivat Tzion to actively interfere with the internal administration of the Beit HaMikdash. In the words of Elias J. Bickerman (The Jews in the Greek Age, p.129): "Jewish reformers led by the new High Priest, Jason, brother and successor of the pious Onias, convinced the young king to set aside the charter (granted by his father Antiochus III guaranteeing the Jews religious freedom) and to introduce new customs contrary to the Torah. The reformers wanted to assimilate: 'since we separated from the neighboring gentiles, they said, many evils have come upon us.'" But who were these reformers? According to the noted historian Eduard Meyer, they were the "representatives of enlightened reform Judaism" who fought against "petrified religious formalism". Paul Johnson, the author of several important popular historical works (e.g. Modern Times) assures us that the ranks of the reformers included "religious intellectuals… who wanted to improve Judaism, to push it along the logical road it appeared to be traveling. Could not the Greek notion of the oikoumene, world (Greek) civilization be married to the notion of the universal G-d? That was the aim of the reformist intellectuals they reread the historical scriptures and tried to deprovincialize them…. to drag the little temple-state into the modern era". Despite his erudite pontifications, to give credit where credit is due, Professor Johnson does have the grace to admit that we know very little about this mysterious reform movement "since its history was written by its triumphant fundamentalist enemies" (A History of the Jews, pp. 100,101).
But the "representatives of enlightened reform Judaism" were still unsatisfied. They proposed a new candidate for the High Priesthood, the even more extreme Hellenist Menelaus. For a price, Antiochus agreed and Menelaus fulfilled his financial obligations by selling off Temple vessels (171 BCE). Probably, at least in the beginning, the eccentric Antiochus did not even understand the enormity of what he had done. A temple priest in a Greek polis (city-state), which naturally would have been his frame of reference, was merely a municipal official and his term of office was one year. And it is more than likely that the priests in the Greekpolis paid for the privilege one way or another - a concept totally alien and repugnant to traditional Jews. Menelaus also "presumed to go into the most holy Temple in the world; Menelaus, that traitor to the laws, and to his own country… and taking the holy vessels with polluted hands, and with profane hands pulling down the things that were dedicated by other kings to the augmentation and glory of the place, he gave them away." (Perhaps Menelaus was acting as a representative of enlightened reform Judaism a la Eduard Meyer!) Most scholars today believe that Menelaus was of Mishmeret Bilga as noted in the Latin texts. The Gemara preserves a story about Mishmeret Bilga. During the Antiochean persecutions, Miriam, one of the women of Bilga married a Greek officer. "When the Greeks entered the sanctuary, she (entered with them and) stamped with her sandal upon the altar, crying out, 'Lukos, Lukos (Wolf, wolf,) how long will you consume Israel's money and not stand by them in their need?' (It is interesting to note the Gemara's description of David's success in finding a suitable location for the Mikdash by studying Sefer Yehoshua. "In Tehilim 132: 1-6, we find, '…We have heard of it in Ephrata, we found it in the forested field.' The Gemara continues, "'Ephrata' refers to Yehoshua who came from the tribe of Efrayim. 'We found it - i.e. the future site of the Mikdash - in the forested field'. The 'forested field refers to Benjamin as it is written, 'Benjamin is the wolf that tears.'" And as the Maharsha points out, wolves frequent forested fields (Zevachim 54b). Was the apostate Miriam acquainted with this unusual ancient tradition connecting the Mikdash and the Mizbei'ach to the wolf? I wonder.) After the Maccabean victory, the Sages downgraded Mishmeret Bilga and it was in disgrace for a long time (Sukka 56b). The plundering of the Mikdash caused a total break between the vast majority of the Jewish people and the Seleucid government.
The royal consent for the building of a gymnasium and an ephebeum (a Hellenist school) gave Jerusalem a new political status (II Mac. 4:8). These institutions, the hallmarks of a Greek polis, transformed Jerusalem into a new political entity called "Antioch in Jerusalem". The rota of the citizens of "Antioch in Jerusalem "included the extreme Hellenists and their rich friends, Hellenized priests, and non-Jewish migrants from other areas of the Seleucid kingdom purposely "imported" to dilute the Jewish population. The Torah- observant Jewish majority was simply disenfranchised, their position had become untenable. Brit Mila and Shabbat observance were prohibited; the mere possession of a Sefer Torah became a capital offense. The new gymnasium rapidly became the center of the social and cultural life of Jerusalem. Young Kohanim, "despising the Temple, and neglecting the sacrifices, hastened to be partakers of the unlawful allowance in the place of exercise…not setting by the honors of their fathers, but liking the glory of the Grecians best of all" (II Mac. 4:12). They informed Antiochus IV that 'they were desirous to leave the laws of their country, and the Jewish way of living... and to follow the King's laws and the Grecian way of living" (Antiquities Bk. 12, ch. 5:1).In desperate straights, the Torah-loyalists of Ir HaKodesh were forced out of their homes. Resistance was inevitable.
Catriel is in the
process of writing a book: The Temple of Jerusalem, A Pilgrims
Prospective; A Guided Tour through the Temple and the Divine Service
• Second chapter (114): RA-K'DU, not RAK-DU. We've done the SH'VA NA and NACH and which syllables they belong to a lot in this column. Same reason. Native English speakers (and others) are traditionally poor on this topic. In addition to which syllable a letter with a SH'VA belongs, there is also that fact that a SH'VANACH is silent and a SH'VA NA is sounded like a very short vowel. In the above example, not only is the K (KUF) part of the second syllable, but is heard more than the K in the second example. Say the English word rock. Now say commercial (the way a New Yorker says it, at least). Phonetically, it comes out K'MER -SH'L.The Opening sound of commercial has something on the K sound. The K sound in rock does not. Get the idea?
• And toward the end of the second passage of Hallel, we have another word we've presented often in this column - one of G-d's names. Technically, there are two syllables. The first is eLO, this is the one that gets the accent, and AHH (or WAH, in S'faradi pronunciation), but not HA. ELOHA is a mispronunciation of G-d's name. Shouldn't be done. No matter how used to it you are. No matter how hard it is for you to say eLO-ahh (that's ELO-AK rather than ELOKA). Hallel is a song of praise to HaShem. At least pronounce His name correctly.
And at the very end of
the second passage, we find L'MA-Y'NO, not L'MAI-NO. The MEM with a
PATACH is followed by an AYIN with a SH'VA NACH. That's the first
syllable (with the LAMED and its SH'VA NA prefixed to it. L'MA. No
effect from the YUD that comes next. That YUD is part of the second
syllable, Y'NO. <plenty more>
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The week began with a number of pre-convention options made available to the participants. These included shiurim at the Israel Center and a number of mens' and women's yeshivot, volunteering opportunities in various local institutions, and visits to yeshivot and seminaries on behalf of children planning to learn in Israel. Moreover, there was also an opportunity to participate in a pro-Israel Advocacy Training Seminar and in a number of tiyulim to near and faraway places. An appreciable number of people even took advantage of the blood drive arranged for the participants at the hotel.
The tiyulim were led in part by such prestigious leaders as Rabbi Zvi Hersh Weinreb, the Executive Vice President of the OU (to Hevron, Yad Vashem), noted historian Rabbi Berel Wein (Old City), and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman, Conference of Presidents of Major American Organizations (Strategic on-site briefings). Worthy of special note were those tiyulim that offered an opportunity to see and participate in the Israel Center's projects in the field. These included an informal study program in Gush Etzion with high school students (a "preventative" program, part of the Zula project for young people in distress), a hevruta-style study program with 10th grade chiloni students at the Giv'at Brenner regional high school (Lichyot Beyachad project) and a presentation by the children of our Makom BaLev NCSY-in-Israel program at the Amit School in Ma'ale Adumim.
The Opening Ceremony was impressive featuring, among others, the President of Israel, the Sefaradi and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbis, and the US Ambassador to Israel. There were engaging keynote subjects for every taste, discussed and debated throughout the Conference, from the OU policy towards an Israeli Government promoting Disengagement to "What can we do to promote cooperation between the Religious Zionist and Haredi camps?" Of particular note, Rabbi Dovid Cohen, Director-General of the OU in Israel, highlighted the sterling work of the Israel Center during a session devoted to coping with the generation gap.
We were particularly gratified when Mrs. Bonny Silver was presented with an original watercolor painting of the Israel Center replete with images of people engaged in Torah study. Outgoing OU President Harvey Blitz and Rabbi Sholom Gold made this award in recognition of Mrs. Silver's generous contribution towards the establishment of the Avrom Silver Jerusalem College for Adults at the Israel Center in memory of her husband Avrom z"l.
At the Gala Thanksgiving Dinner the new OU President, Steve Savitsky, outlined his vision of the OU's future. He emphasized bringing on board a new generation of OU officers representing large and small communities all over N. America. Salai Meridor, Chairman of the WZO and Jewish Agency for Israel lent his greetings to this occasion.
New officers were voted in and resolutions were voted on as the OU went about its business between sessions. On Erev Shabbat hundreds of participants made their way in a shuttle of buses to Kever Rachel bridging, as it were, the more mundane and hectic activity of the previous days with the Kedusha associated with that holy place and the incoming Shabbat.
For Shabbat over 250 additional guests arrived - the Israeli contingent that swelled the numbers to no less than 1100 participants in this grand Convention. It was especially exciting to see so many of our regular Israel Center family joining in the very special Shabbat tefillot. There probably has not been such an auspicious gathering of Orthodox Jews from Israel and the Diaspora joined for a Shabbat in Israel for as long as anyone can remember.
During Shabbat, we were privileged to hear words of Torah and Chizuk from our Israel Center President and joint Convention chairman, Yitzchak Fund. Other outstanding speakers included HaRav Yisrael Meir Lau, Rabbi Moshe Krupka, HaRav Hershel Shachter, and the Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Israel, HaRav Yona Metzger.
Besides welcoming the large kahal, Rabbi Weinreb rendered a beautiful Musaf Tefilla. The achdut that was felt when everybody sang Kedusha together left a profound impression that will long be remembered. During Se'uda Shlishit one could not but be moved by the singing led by a group of young yeshiva "chevra" who sat together with a number of dignitaries at the table with the Chief Rabbi.
Perhaps one of the highlights of the Shabbat was seeing participants from both North America and Israel mingling, some of whom had not seen each other for over 40 years. The Melave Malka - a tribute to terror victims organized by One Family and a stirring address delivered by Rav Motti Elon - was a fitting conclusion to a very profound and moving week.
Lastly we wish to thank
all those volunteers and Israel Center staff who joined the visiting
staff of the OU and who worked quietly behind the scenes to help
make the Convention such a resounding success. - MP
Sometimes in life we
feel jealous of what people have and that if we had what someone
else has, our lives would be better and happier. But the truth is
that God has given each of us just the perfect package of our inner
and outer circumstances in life, especially for each individual. The
Torah portion this week teaches us about all the damage people can
do to themselves and to others when they forget this important
secret. In this case the brothers were only able to focus on
Yaakov's relationship with Yosef rather than concentrating and
trying to strengthen their own relationship with their father. We
see from here the damage that jealousy can cause and how careful we
should be not to treat people in a way that will make others
LUNCH? When a tiyul says “bring your own lunch”, you can order one instead from the Israel Center Cafe. When you make your reservation for the tiyul, request a box lunch, or call the CAFE (ext. 257) up to the day before the TIYUL. 18nis will get you a sandwich (your choice), a refreshing drink (regular or diet) and a dessert. Your lunch will be ready for you when you board the bus.
CANCELLATION POLICIES We reserve the right to charge a cancellation fee in case of last-minute cancellations. Also... Price of tiyul is based on a minimum number of participants.
Students from Abroad Parents visiting you some time this year? If so, you want to speak to us! (566-7787 ext. 244). We have many attractive deals for them... and you. Let us turn an ordinary “been there, did it” visit into an unforgettable, special one!
KASHRUT POLICY Food for Israel Center In-House programs is supervised by OU in Israel - Mehadrin. Israel Center sponsored trips and programs are Mehadrin. Hotels, restaurants, and tiyulim advertised by the Travel Desk or by outside parties are not necessarily Mehadrin and are not endorsed by the OU or the Israel Center.
Calls from abroad:
People from abroad should fax 972-2-5660156 for the attention of The
Travel Desk or email to email@example.com
Note concerning times: The times contained in this review apply to Jerusalem. To adjust the times to your locale, go to the front page of TT, see how much later or earlier Havdala is, and add or subtract to the Jerusalem times stated. It would be better, of course, if you had PLAG, sunset, and stars-out time for your locale. The listed times are slightly padded.
Chanukiya during the afternoon so that there will not be a delay in lighting at the proper time. This is especially so on Friday, Erev Shabbat-Chanuka because things get hectic as Shabbat approaches.
Some have the custom of
preparing the Chanukiya in the morning for the evening (this goes
for every day, except Shabbat, of course). This not only serves the
practical purpose of being ready to light on time without delaying
to set up later, but it also commemorates the practice in the Beit
HaMikdash called Hatavat HaNeirot, whereby the Kohen (Gadol) tended
the Menora and prepared it in the morning for kindling in the late,
late afternoon. Since our lighting on Chanuka directly commemorates
the lighting of the Menora in the Beit HaMikdash, this suggestion
provides a nice "added touch" to the mitzva and symbolism of Chanuka
The other opinion (that of "the rest of the world") is to light when the "light of the sun has left the sky", i.e. Stars-Out a.k.a. Tzeit HaKochavim; also "the end of sunset"). Remember that there are different opinions as to when Stars-Out occurs. Except for Motza'ei Shabbat, most people will use an early-ish Stars-Out time (20-25 minutes after sunset) 5:00-5:05pm will work for this early Stars-Out time this Chanuka (except for Motza"Sh - see further). Those who light with Stars-Out should daven Maariv first (TADIR...), unless they have a fixed time later in the evening for davening with a minyan.
Those who light with sunset should daven Maariv at the appropriate time, after candle-lighting.
Candles must burn at least a half hour after stars-out. This was the original time period after dark that people were still around outdoors and defined the PIRSUMEI NISA aspect of the mitzva. Although in our day, people are out later than this time, the halacha only requires the half hour after stars-out. However, it is recommended that one use longer candles or more oil to extend this time (one need not go overboard on this issue, but...), in recognition of the expansion of the current-day Pirsumei Nisa time-frame.
TACHLIS: If one lights at 4:40 or 5:00 or earlier than 4:40 (remember, not before PLAG, 3:35pm) or as late as 5:20ish, then the candles should burn until at least 5:50pm, preferably somewhat longer.
(Since Rabbeinu Tam's Stars-Out is around 5:55pm during Chanuka week (this year), one might try to have his Chanuka lights burn at least until 6:25-ish. This is not required, but it does cover the different opinions concerning Stars-Out.)
If someone lights after 5:20pm (and certainly if it is after 6:00pm), then the candles must last at least a half hour, regardless of what time one lit. (Preferably longer, as mentioned.)
For those who must light early, the earliest time one may light is PLAG MINCHA. This year, 3:40pm will work all over Israel and throughout Chanuka. This time is padded slightly to avoid someone's being off a bit and lighting too early. Those lighting early should remember that the candles or oil must be able to last until the minimum half-hour after Stars-Out.
If, because of one's work or travel schedule, one has to choose between lighting early or late, or between lighting early or appointing someone to light for you at the proper time, or between lighting late and appointing someone to light for you at the proper time - one should consult a Rav for a p'sak based on how early and how late, and any other relevant factors.
Sometimes a less-than-perfect performance of a mitzva is a fine, acceptable "second best". Sometimes, not. Lighting Chanuka candles early or late is a poor second, at best. Lighting early lacks an element of Pirsumei Nisa at the time of lighting - which is when the mitzva is performed - because a candle flame is not eye-catching during full daylight. Lighting late is not so good because of the opinions that the time-period for Pirsumei Nisa from the days of the Gemara remains the optimum time (and some say the ONLY time) for the fulfillment of the mitzva. Although we follow other opinions, and basically allow lighting any time of the night, it is far less than ideal to light late. A "good" excuse makes it okay, but not great. One should consult a Rav especially for recurring situations, such as coming home late from work or school, and the like. Remember that having someone light for you is a valid alternative to your lighting for yourself, and sometimes it is even the preferred alternative. Ask your Rav.
See further for other POINTS that apply to Chanuka-candle lighting.
FRIDAY, Dec. 10 - 4th
Be very careful not to get too close to sunset. Let 4:30pm be a "redline" for lighting candles (Chanuka or Shabbat) - otherwise, one runs the risk of encroaching on Shabbat. If you are late, be absolutely sure the sun is still in the sky - otherwise it is better not to light Chanuka or Shabbat candles.
TACHLIS: Shabbat candle lighting time for Jerusalem on Erev Shabbat-Chanuka is 4:01pm. Either keep to this time for Shabbat candles, with Chanuka candles right before, or wait until 4:15-4:20 to light Chanuka candles followed immediately by Shabbat candles.
Remember, if you are not in Jerusalem (or...), stick to the posted Shabbat candle lighting time - do not delay it.
In all cases, do not light either Chanuka or Shabbat candles before PLAG Mincha, 3:40pm.
Also, as mentioned earlier - and this is very important - whenever you light Chanuka candles, they must have enough fuel (oil or wax) to last until at least a half-hour after stars-out, that is, at least until 5:50pm (padded), preferably (somewhat) longer. For Friday lighting, this could mean 1½-2 hours. Standard (or even the prettier, longer) Chanuka candles will not make it. Recommended are the #16 or #20 Shabbat candles, which will fit most Chanukiyas and will last long enough. For oil users, experience will teach you how much oil you need. If you do not have the experience, it doesn’t hurt to experiment a couple of days before Chanuka so you will be ready.
Suggestion: If many Chanukiyot are lit in your home, and you usually have everyone gather for each lighting, you might want to speed things up on Friday by having people light close to simultaneously. (Just a suggestion.)
Suggestion: Hold MA’OZ TZUR for the Shabbat table as one of the Z’mirot, rather than sing it with candle lighting, so you can get to shul right after lighting. It also makes Friday night feel more like Chanuka.
Many shuls will sing L’CHA DODI to the tune of MA’OZ TZUR on Shabbat Chanuka. And, of course, at the table, especially if you have any GAN-age children or grandchildren present, there are many Chanuka songs to add to your usual Friday night repertoire of Z’mirot and other songs. Remember, although Chanuka does not require a SEUDAT MITZVA, any meal with songs, stories, and relevant Divrei Torah (especially, but not only, on Shabbat) becomes a special Chanuka Seudat Mitzva.
MOTZA"SH Dec 10 - 5th
Okay, it's Motza'ei Shabbat and Chanuka, we're home from shul as soon after Shabbat as possible, what now?
Two mitzvot to perform - Havdala and Chanuka candles. By the rule of TADIR (that which is more frequent should be done first), havdala should be said first. And by logic, one should "finish" with Shabbat and then light candles for the next day of Chanuka, which is Sat. night & Sunday. Many authorities hold that on Motza'ei Shabbat, one should say havdala first and then light Chanuka candles. This opinion is followed by the majority of Chanuka-candle-lighting Jews all over the world. The Maharal (among others) is vehement in his insistence that we cannot possibly consider doing something so "weekday-ish" as lighting Chanuka candles, unless we have first said havdala. He rejects any argument to the contrary.
ON THE OTHER HAND... there is a strong argument for lighting Chanuka candles before havdala. First of all, Shabbat is over when it is 5:16pm AND one has said Havdala in davening (ATA CHONANTANU in the Maariv Amida) OR at least said BARUCH HAMAVDIL BEIN KODESH L'CHOL. The Havdala with wine, spices, candle, is NOT what ends Shabbat - it is what honors the departing Shabbat (and permits eating and drinking). Even so, havdala should go first, except for one very important factor: The prime time (according to some opinions, the only time) for Chanuka candles is ticking away. We cannot, of course, light Chanuka candles when it is still Shabbat. But we should maximize the amount of time of the "half-hour after" once we are allowed to light. Havdala will wait; Chanuka candles will not. Therefore, the OTHER opinion is that Chanuka candles go first and then havdala. This procedure comes with the reminder not to use the Chanuka candles for havdala, since one may not benefit from the Chanuka lights, and the bracha in havdala is specifically upon using the light (hence the examining of fingernails, etc.). "Chanuka candles first" is the opinion of the Vilna Gaon and many others, and is Minhag Yerushalayim. (Remember that not everyone in Yerushalayim follows the practices known as Minhag Yerushalayim and some people elsewhere do.)
This dispute is one of the few in halacha that is resolved in the following manner: "Whichever opinion you follow, you have performed correctly". Either procedure may be followed. Family and community custom should play a deciding role in this issue. Again, a Rav should be consulted, especially if one is considering a change of his/her practice.
Some say that those who light outdoors should follow the custom of lighting before havdala. Those who light indoors can take their pick.
Remember that Shabbat is paramount. In case of doubt as to whether Shabbat is being encroached upon, one should NOT yet light Chanuka candles. It must be DEFINITELY after Shabbat before lighting. But one should not unnecessarily delay the fulfillment of the mitzva of Chanuka candles.
A note for Rabeinu Tam people: Those who follow the Shabbat-out time of Rabeinu Tam (72 minutes after sunset) and consider it to be the correct halachic time, must keep it on Motza'ei Shabbat Chanuka, even though it means losing "prime time" for Chanuka candles. Those who keep Rabeinu Tam time as a CHUMRA (a strict measure, but accept the earlier time as halachic), might end Shabbat earlier on Motza'ei Shabbat Chanuka, in order to fulfill the mitzva of Chanuka candles at their better time. It is advised to check this out with a Rav.
In shul, it is the universal practice to light Chanuka candles before saying havdala, this to maximize Pirsumei Nisa in a situation where everyone present will be leaving for home shortly.
At home, people will still be there for the Chanuka candles, so there is no need to light before havdala (according to those who follow the first opinion).
Those who say havdala first can light the Shamash for the Chanuka candles with the havdala candle before extinguishing it, thus dovetailing two mitzvot.
Those who follow the second opinion can light the havdala candle from the Shamash (but not from any of the mitzva candles), thereby dovetailing one mitzva into another.
On Motza'ei Shabbat, when we light after Stars-Out, it is sufficient for the candles to burn for half an hour. Still, it is preferable that they last longer. This has to do with the fact that in our time, people are out in the streets later than in times past and Pirsumei Nisa (publicizing the miracle) applies later than the original "half-hour after stars-out".
POINTS to keep in
• Opinions differ, but a common practice is to place the first candle (or oil cup) in the right side of the Chanukiya. If one lights at the doorpost, then the first candle should be closest to the doorpost, even if it is the left side of the Chanukiya. From the second night on, the custom (one of the customs) is to "load" the Chanukiya from right to left, but to light it, left to right. At the doorpost, one loads it from the doorpost out, and lights it starting with the candle closest to the doorpost. Loading and lighting direction is not crucial to the performance of the mitzva, but there are reasons for the various practices.
• The essential performance of the mitzva of Chanuka Lights is the lighting of a single candle each night, and the custom that we follow of increasing the number of candles each night is considered HIDUR MITZVA (enhancement of the mitzva). One practice that has developed because of this, is to begin reciting HANEIROT HALALU after the first candle is lit, while lighting the others. Alternatively, one can wait until the lighting is done to say HANEIROT HALALU.
• One should not just light the Chanuka candles and then go on to business as usual, but rather one should look at the candles for a while, ponder G-d's miracles, spend some time with the family talking about the message of Chanuka and how it relates to our time, play a little dreidel, sing a song or two, have a snack, have some Chanuka fun.
• It is recommended to learn some Torah, share a Dvar Torah, have a family shiur, or something like that, right after candle lighting. The decrees of the Greeks included a ban on Torah learning. Our celebration of Chanuka marks our freedom from Greek oppression, including the ability to learn Torah in public without fear. So let's do just that!
• Notice on the "Chanuka
Card" (part of this week's TT) that the word SHEL in the first
bracha is in parentheses. There is a dispute as to whether the
bracha ends NER SHEL CHANUKA or NER CHANUKA. One should follow his
own (or family) minhag, if you have one (and remember it). If not,
you might want to ask your Rav which wording you should use. (Those
who say NER CHANUKA have a bit of a problem if they sing the brachot,
but don't let that determine your choice of wording.)
The original place for lighting and displaying of the Chanukiya was out- doors at the entrance to one's courtyard or home. Over many generations in exile, where lighting outdoors was often inconvenient to say the least, and sometimes dangerous, the practice evolved to light indoors. In some circumstances, the lightingwas to be done at a window, so that the candles would be visible to passersby in the street. In other cases, the Chanuka lights were lit in a conspicuous location for the attention of the members of the household.
Many people who have come to Israel, still light inside, at the window, as they had in their countries of origin. Others have gone back to the original practice of lighting outdoors. It seems that this is the preferred method in Yerushalayim.
If you are considering changing any aspect of your Chanuka candle lighting routine, (candle to oil or vice versa, sunset to stars-out or vice versa, indoors to outdoors or vice versa, window to door or vice versa, each family member to one for the family or vice versa, etc.) it is advisable to consult a Rav.
AL HANISIM is added to
every Amida and all Birkat HaMazon through- out Chanuka. (There is
no reference to Chanuka in "AL HAMICHYA'" i.e. Bracha Mei'ein
Shalosh.) Forgetting AL HANISIM does NOT invalidate either the Amida
or Birkat HaMazon. That means that one does NOT repeat either
because AL HANISIM was omitted. However, if one realizes the
omission before the end of the Amida, AL HANISIM can be said right
before YIHYU L'RATZON. In Birkat HaMazon, an omitted AL HANISIM
becomes a HARACHAMAN, right before HARACHAMAN HU Y'ZAKEINU, as
follows... HARACHAMAN HU YA'ASEH LANU NISIM V'NIFLA'OT KA'ASHER ASAH
LA'AVOTEINU BAYAMIM HAHEIM BIZMAN HAZEH.BIMEI MATITYAHU...
Day 1 - One Sefer Torah. Three Aliyot. Kohein gets the introduction of the Dedication of the Mishkan portion, from the beginning of Bamidbar 7 (first 11 p'sukim). Some shuls begin the reading 6 p'sukim earlier, to include the Birkat Kohanim parshiyot with the Chanuka reading. This is appropriate because the Chashmona'im were kohanim. Levi and Yisrael Aliyot split the account of the gifts of the leader of Yehuda, Nachshon b. Aminadav, 3 p'sukim each.
Days 2,3,5,7 - One Sefer Torah. Three people to the "Tribal Leader" of the day (from Naso, Bamidbar 7). Each day's portion has 6 p'sukim. The first three are read for the Kohen, the next three for the Levi. The third Aliya is a repeat of the whole portion. (Outside of Israel, the third Aliya is the next day's portion.)
Day 4, Shabbat - Two Sifrei Torah are taken out. Parshat HaShavua - MIKEITZ (not always, but most often, including this year) is read from the first, and the Chanuka portion - gifts of Elitzur b. Sh'dei'ur of Reuven - is read for the Maftir in the second Torah.
Torah reading is followed by the special Chanuka Haftara, which preempts the regular Haftara of Mikeitz. The reading is from Zecharya, and includes his vision of a golden Menora. (More on this in next week's Sedra Summary.)
Day 6, Rosh Chodesh Tevet - Two Sifrei Torah are taken out. 3 people are called to the first Torah, and the reading is the weekday Rosh Chodesh portion (including the daily sacrifices, the Musaf of Shabbat, and the Musaf of Rosh Chodesh). In the second Torah, the Chanuka portion of Elyasaf b. D'u'eil from Gad is read.
(This year there is only one day Rosh Chodesh. Often there are two. It depends upon how many days Kislev has - it's usual 30 or it's occasional 29.)
Day 8, Zot Chanuka - One Torah. Kohein gets the first half (3 p'sukim) of the CHanuka portion of Gamli'el b. P'datzur of Menashe. Levi gets the second half of the Day 8 Nasi. The third Aliya gets days 9, 10, 11, and 12, the summary of all the gifts, and the beginning of B'ha-a'lo-t'cha, i.e. the portion of Aharon and the Menorah.