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Parshas Vayishlach 5774
Candle Lighting Time: 4:26 pm
November 15, 2014
Volume 10 Issue 6
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Dvar Torah

My Dear Enemy 


By Rabbi Shmuel Sussman



The verse in this week's parsha states, "HatzeileininameyadachimeyadEsav," "Save me please from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esav." Yaakov describes his brother in two ways: Achi (my brother) and Esav. The question that begs to be asked is, didn't Yaakov only have one brother? Once he said, "Save me from my brother," we automatically know he is referring to Esav. Conversely, had Yaakov just said, "Save me from Esav," wouldn't we know that he was referring to his brother? Why is it necessary for Yaakov to express both "Achi" and Esav?

The Beis Halevi (Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, z"l) answers both of these questions by explaining that there are two different ways in which our adversaries try to destroy us. The first way is through trying to kill us physically. Yaakov refers to this method as "meyadEsav," if Esav acts like an Esav. This method was employed by Haman when he tried to kill all the Jews during the story of Purim.

There is, however, another method through which our enemies try to destroy us. Namely through befriending us and trying to integrate us and our families into their society, thereby destroying us spiritually. Yaakov refers to this method as "meyad Achi," if Esav tries to act like a good brother. This method was used by the Greeks during the story of Chanukah, when they wanted to destroy us spiritually, not physically.

Based on this explanation the Beis Halevi goes on to explain the verse, "VayiraYaakov meodvayetzer lo." Vayira and Vayetzer are both ways of saying that Yaakov was afraid. Why does the Torah use two words to desribe that Yaakov was frightened? Based on the previous answer we can also explain this posuk. The Torah is telling us that Yaakov was scared of two different things. First, he was scared that Esav may kill him physically. Second, he was scared that Esav may harm him spiritually by coming close to him socially.

We know "MasehAvosSimanLabonim," meaning that whatever happened to our forefathers should be a lesson for us. We see from Yaakov Avinu that we should be afraid of being influenced by society around us who don't have the same values and morals of the Torah and its ways.

We find that Chazal made certain restrictions based on this concept. The Gemara in Avodah Zarah (35b) tells us that we aren't allowed to eat kosher bread baked by a non-Jew (unless it is from a bakery). The Gemara explains that Chazal were concerned that this may lead to dining together with non-Jews, thereby causing the families to become too friendly, which in turn could lead to intermarriage among their children. We see that Chazal understood this important message of Yaakov, and enacted rules to prevent such things from occurring.

We are now in the month of Kislev, the season of Chanukah. Let us hearken to the message of Chanukah and the message of Yaakov Avinu in this week's parsha. We should take measures to prevent assimilation and not be influenced by the ways of the non-Jews. If we take this message to heart, we will iy"H merit to see the final redemption in our days.







Dvar Halacha

 Halachos of Chanukah  part 4 


By Rabbi Yochanan Eskenazi


If a candle extinguished unintentionally, one is not required to relight it, since the lighting is the fulfillment of the mitzvah (Shulchan Aruch 673:2).  However this is only true if the candle had the ability to stay lit for the proper amount of time [i.e. it was set up with enough oil and in a place where it was not likely it would blow out] (Shulchan Aruch 673:2 & 675:2 & Be'ur Halachah 673:2 s.v. im kuvtzu).  If one of the candles went out while one was in the middle of lighting, it is proper to relight it (Be'ur Halacha 673:2 s.v. im kuvtzu).  If one extinguished a candle intentionally, one is required to relight that candle [without a brachah] (Shaar HaTziyon 673:32).  If in the middle of lighting, one of the candles extinguished, one may relight it even though he has not completed lighting all the candles (Koveitz Halachos 5:9).


Beginning 30 minutes before the time to light the menorah, it is prohibited to be eat a seudah [which means eating either hamotzei or a k'beitzah of pas haba bekisnin], learn, or get involved in any melachah which can be very time consuming.  The reason being, Chazal were afraid that one may get distracted and forget to light in the proper time (Mishneh Berurah 672:10).  Additionally, one should not go to sleep (Koveitz Halachos 2:1).


There is a machlokes haposkim if women who are fulfilling their obligation with their husbands' lighting are prohibited from these activities.  Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt"l, holds that they are also prohibited (Halichos Shlomo Moadim vol. 1 16:3), however ybl"c Harav Shmuel Wosner, shlit"a (quoted in Shloshim Yom Kodem Hachag pg. 265 ftnt. 42) & Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky, shlit"a (Koveitz Halachos 2:5) disagree.


Preferably one should not light neirosChanukah while it is still day, since it is not as recognizable that he is lighting for the mitzvah.  However, if one is preoccupied [and he will not have any time to light later], then b'dieved one may light from plag haminchah (Shulchan Aruch 672:1).


The Gemara [Shabbos 21b] says that the preferred time to light neiros Chanukah is at "shkiyas hachamah", in order that the candles are lit at the time when people are still outside which creates more parsumei neisa (publicizing the miracle).  In halachah, there are different times that could be known as "shkiyas hachamah"  (see Gemara Shabbos 34b- 35a, Gemara Pesachim 94a and Tosfos Shabbos 35a s.v. trei there are different parts of shkiyah- beginning, end, etc.).  In regards to lighting neiros Chanuka, there is a machlokes haposkim which time the Gemara is referring to.  The different opinions are shkiyah (sunset)(Gr"a quoted in Mishneh Berurah 672:1), 15 minutes before tzaitz hakochavim (nightfall)(Mishneh Berurah 672:1), or tzaitz hakochavim (Shulchan Aruch 672:1).  In Chutz L'aretz there is no universally accepted minhag and there are differing opinions as what to do [i.e. what would be the best time to time to try to be yotzeiall the opinions].  Harav Moshe Feinstein, zt"l, held that one should light 10 minutes after shkiyah (Igros Moshe OC 4:101:6).  Harav Aharon Kotler, zt"l, held 25 minutes after shkiyah (Shu"T Az Nid'baru 7:70).  The opinion of Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky, shlit"a, is to light approximately 20-30 minutes after shkiyah (Koveitz Halachos 3:1 & ftnt. 2).


The Gemara [Shabbos 21b] writes that if someone for whatever reason [i.e. whether on purpose or by accident] did not light the menorah during the proper time, he may [preferably] light until the time of "ad shetichleh regel min hashuk" (that people are coming home- i.e. people are still commonly found outside), because this is still parsumei neisa.  As an aside, this means at the time that most people have finished coming home from work even if they plan on going out again later (Shu"T Teshuvos V'hanhagos 2:342:4).  The Shulchan Aruch [672:2] rules this is approximately 30 minutes after tzaitz hakochavim.  However according to the reasoning that the time of "ad shetichla regel min hashuk" is later, this would affect 2 halachos, both as a leniency and as stringency.  The leniency is that the preferred time to light is extended until people practically are returning home.  The stringency is, one is supposed to have enough oil to last until that time.  Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky, shlit"a, holds there is no obligation to have one's neiros lit until people are returning home, however it is parsumei neisa to have them lit for that long (Koveitz Halachos 3:2).  Therefore, if one is going out to a Chanukah party, as long as it was lit for 30 minutes, one may blow them out even though people are still coming home.




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