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Parshas Vayeitsei 5775
Candle Lighting Time: 4:22 pm
November 28, 2014
Volume 11 Issue 5
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Dvar Torah


 It's All Good
By Rabbi Shmuel Sussman 


In this week's parsha, the Torah relates that Yaakov approached Rachel and Leah and told them that Hashem told him that it's time to leave their father's house. Rachel and Leah responded by saying "Haod lanu chelek venachala b'veis avinu", do we still have a share in our father's house? (A rhetorical question indicating that there was no benefit in them remaining with their father Lavan.) At first glance this seems to be a strange response. Why does it matter whether or not they stand to gain from remaining in Lavan's house? If Hashem said that it's time to go, then it's time to go, regardless of what one believes makes more sense.

R' Moshe Feinstein, in his sefer Darash Moshe, derives an important and powerful lesson from their response. He explains that Rachel and Leah are teaching us the proper way to view the mitzvos of Hashem, and in turn, how to educate our children. A person who has the attitude of "It's hard to be a Jew", may himself pass all his trials and tribulations, but his children may not stay on the Jewish path. Rather, one has to understand that whatever Hashem commands us is for our good, and following the ways of the Torah is beneficial for us. The attitude must be "It's wonderful to be a Jew". For example, a person must understand that his yearly income is decided on Rosh Hashana and he doesn't gain anything from working on Shabbos and Yom Tov, or engaging in dishonest business practices. Therefore, nothing at all is lost by following the ways of the Torah. Only with such an attitude can he be sure that both he and his children will stay on the Torah's path.


This is precisely message that Rachel and Leah wanted to teach their children. Of course we must do everything because Hashem commanded us. However, when encountering a difficult commandment from Hashem, one should portray its fulfillment in the easiest manner. Their response wasn't the reason why they were leaving their father's house, rather it was an explanation as to why listening to Hashem wasn't at all challenging. They made sure to not only demonstrate a positive attitude, but also to explain for the sake of their children why everything made sense. That there is always a reason for why each commandment for Hashem is one's benefit.


R' Moshe explains an earlier posuk in the Torah with this approach. The first posuk in Parshas Noach states, "These are the children of Noach, Noach was a completely righteous man in his generation". Only later does the Torah tell us who Noach's three children were. At first glance it seems that this is out of order. The Torah should first finish and tell us Noach's children and then mention that he was a righteous man. Why does the Torah first tell us that Noach was a righteous man and then tell us about his children? Rashi explains that the reason why the Torah specifically wrote it in this order is to teach us that the true "offspring" of righteous people are their good deeds and actions. What does Rashi mean? R' Moshe explains (in one of his three explanations) based on the idea stated above. A person's approach toward the mitzvos of the Torah must be similar to one's approach towards his children. A person loves his children even though he may incur some difficulties in raising them. So too, a person must love his mitzvos that he does, even though there are some rough bumps along the way.


With this approach, may we merit that both we and our children continue in the path of the Torah, and continue doing the mitzvos out of love, not out of mere obligation.




Dvar Halacha
Halachos of Chanuka part 3


By Rabbi Yochanan Eskenazi



We recite brachos before lighting the menorah (Rama 676:6). Each night two brachos [Lehadlik ner shel Chanukah and She'aseh neisim] are recited (Shulchan Aruch 676:2). On the first night one lights, a third brachah [She'hecheeyanu] is recited. If one forgot She'hecheeyanu on the first night he lit, he may recite it on the first night he remembers (Shulchan Aruch 676:1).


One should light immediately [within toch k'dai dibbur (a few seconds)] of reciting the brachos. The minimum mitzvas hadlakah is to light one candle on each night. It is preferable that the one who starts a mitzvah completes it. Therefore, the one who recited the brachos should light all the candles himself. If one did not, as long as he lit at least one candle it is not a brachah l'vatalah (Mishneh Berurah 671:48-49).


After lighting the first candle the minhag is to say Ha'neiros hallalu (Mishneh Berurah 676:8 & Aruch Hashulchan 676:8). Others say it only after all the candles have been lit (Mishneh Berurah 676:8). It is important to note, that if one talked before lighting at least one candle, this is considered a hefsek (interruption) and he would be required to recite the brachah again before lighting. Therefore, one has to be very careful not to start saying Ha'neiros hallalu until at least one candle was lit (Koveitz Halachos [Piskei Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky, shlit"a] 6:6). If a person, after reciting his own brachah but before he lit one candle, answered amen to someone else's brachah on the menorah, this is not considered an interruption and is not required to recite another brachah (Koveitz Halachos 6:9). One should have in mind that he is lighting to give thanks and praise to Hashem on the miracle of the war [of the Chashmonaiyim] (Halichos Shlomo Moadim 1:16:9).


There are different opinions as to which direction one should light the neiros. Whichever way one lights he has fulfilled the mitzvah; the difference of opinions is only which way is the most preferable (Mishneh Berurah 676:9 & Be'ur Halacha 676:5 s.v. k'day).   There is a halachah, ain maveirin al hamitzvos (we do not "pass over" mitzvos) (Gemara Pesachim 64b). Therefore, if one is lighting starting from the left, one should stand towards the left side, as not to pass over candles on the right side (Mishneh Berurah 676:11).   A lefty should light with his left hand (Koveitz Halachos 5:4).


It is prohibited to use any of the neiros Chanukah for personal use (Shulchan Aruch 673:1) in order that it should be recognizable that these are ner mitzvah (Mishneh Berurah 673:8). Another reason suggested is that the neiros are lit as a remembrance to the miracle that was done with the menorah of the Bais Hamikdash which was prohibited to use for personal use (Mishneh Berurah 673:8). In order to avoid using the light, the common custom is to light a shamash , so that if one accidentally does use the light we consider it as if he is using the light of the shamash and not of the mitzvah candles (Shulchan Aruch 673:1). It is preferable that the shamash be higher than the other candles (Rama 673:1). One should preferably not use the shamash when it is together with the other candles, for it appears as if he is using the mitzvah candles (Mishneh Berurah 673:15). It is prohibited to use the neiros starting from the time that they are lit through the time of the mitzvashadlakah [ad shetichlehregel min hashuk] (Mishneh Berurah 673:21). It is also prohibited to light other things from the neiros Chanukah (Shulchan Aruch 674:1). One may light other Chanukah candles from the shamash, because since it is the same mitzvah it is not considered a "disgrace" for the mitzvah (Shulchan Aruch 674:1). It is still prohibited to light other neiros shel mitzvah [for example, Shabbos candles] (Mishneh Berurah 674:9).





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