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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Shabbos 21



(a) The wicks listed in our Mishnah are forbidden because the flame does not remain static on such wicks, but jumps; - alternatively, the flame does not enter the wick, but only encircles it, creating the likelihood that will one turn up the wick.

(b) The prohibition of using such wicks is confined to the Shabbos-lights, and does not include any other kind of fires - such as one whose function is to heat.

(c) One may even light a bonfire in order to *see* by, using wicks that are not Kasher for Shabbos-lights, since such a fire does not require the wick to be turned up.

(a) 'Shemen Kik' can also mean cotton-seed oil.

(b) The 'Kikayon of Yonah' grows in pools of water, and one would find it (at least, one would have in the times of the Gemara) in front of shops, where they would grow them for their shade and dof their fragrant smell.

(c) The oils listed in our Mishnah are forbidden because they do not draw up the wick, and one is therefore likely to turn up the wick.

(a) The forbidden oils remain forbidden even if one adds a little Kasher oil, because they decreed the one because of the other (or because the oil will still not be drawn up the wick, and one will inevitably turn up the wick - Rosh, Si'man 2).

(b) The Gemara asks on Rabbah (who forbids the use of forbidden oil to which Kasher oil has been added), from Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel (whose family was accustomed to wrap a wick around a nut and to use it for Shabbos-lights), in spite of the Tana Kama, who permits it, because of the principle 'Ma'aseh Rav', which teaches us that we always rule like the opinion which practically applied the ruling which he issued.

(c) The Gemara explains that there is, in fact, no Tana Kama. Nobody argues with Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, and the entire Beraisa goes like him; the Reisha, which forbids the wick wrapped around the nut, speaks when his intention was to use the nut as part of the light, whereas when Rabban Shimon permits it in the Seifa, it is because he added the nut, not to light with it, but to thicken the wick.

(d) Melted Chelev itself draws after the wick, and it is only forbidden because we decree melted Chelev because of Chelev that is not melted. Consequently, says Rabbah, Rav permits melted Shmaltz and the melted innards of fish, to which a little oil has been added, because to forbid it (through a decree because of when oil has *not* been added), would be a Gezeirah li'Gezeirah.

(a) We learn from "Leha'alos Ner Tamid" that when the Kohen lights the Menorah, it should burn automatically, without any need of further amendment. In other words, the wicks and the oils that Chazal forbade to use for the Shabbos lights (because one may come to turn them up), are also forbidden to use for the Menorah in the Beis Hamikdash (which should burn without needing to be turned up).

(b) The Beraisa permits the wicks made from the belts of the Kohanim, which contained wool, to be used for the Simchas Beis Hasho'eivah. So we see that wicks which are Pasul for Shabbos lights, are nevertheless Kasher for the Beis Hamikdash.

(c) The 'Simchas Beis Hasho'eivah' is different, because it was not d'Oraysa, and "Leha'alos Ner Tamid" did not pertain to it.

(d) When the Beraisa permits worn-out Bigdei Kehunah to be used even for the Menorah, it refers to the clothes that were made exclusively of linen - like the pants, but not those that contained wool.

(a) Rav Huna forbids theuse of the forbidden wicks on a weekday of Chanukah, since he holds 'Kavsah Zakuk Lah' (because the Mitzvah is not completed until the light has burnt for half an hour), and we suspect that, if one uses inferior wicks and oils, the light will probably go out, and he will be lax in re-kindling it.

(b) He forbids them on Shabbos because he holds that one is permitted to derive benefit from the light of the Menorah, and, since the light does not burn properly, we are concerned that he will turn the wick higher.

(c) Rav Chisda agrees with Rav Huna on Shabbos, but permits their use during the week, because, in his opinion, 'Kavsah, Ein Zakuk Lah' (because as soon as he has lit, he has performed the Mitzvah).




(a) Rav Masna or Rav holds that one is permitted to use the Pasul oils and wicks both during the week and on Shabbos; because, in his opinion, 'Kavsah, Ein Zakuk Lah', and 'Asur Lehishtamesh le'Orah'.

(b) It is preferable to gain knowledge in one's youth, because it is more ingrained than knowledge that one gains only later. That is why Abaye was upset for not accepting the ruling in the name of Rebbi Yirmiyah many years before he actually accepted it in the name of Rebbi Yochanan.

(c) 'Mitzvasah mi'she'Tishka ha'Chamah ad she'Tichleh Regel min ha'Shuk' could mean that one is obligated to light the Chanukah lights during that time, no earlier and no later. And it could also mean that when one kindles the Menorah, it must contain sufficient oil, and be placed in such a location, that it is able to burn for that period of time (half an hour) - irrespective if whether it actually *did burn* or not.

(d) The Tarmudai were people from Tarmud, who used to sell wood in the market-place. They would wait each night until everyone had gone home, and had had a chance to check whether they needed wood for their fires. The people would then return and make their purchases. As long as the Tarmudai were there, there were people walking the streets, and 'Pirsumei Nisa' still applied; the moment they left, the streets became deserted and 'Pirsumei Nisa' was no longer applicable.

(a) The minimum number of lights needed is one per family.

(b) The Mehadrin light one light per night for each member of the family.

(c) According to Beis Hillel, the Mehadrin min ha'Mehadrin light one light on the first night, two on the second, three on the third and so on (it is not clear whether the Mehadrin min ha'Mehadrin need to light progressively for each member of the family, or whether they light only *one set* per family - see Tosfos d.h. 've'ha'Mehadrin, and Rambam).

(d) 'Mehadrin' is the title given to people who make the effort to perform the Mitzvos in the best possible (or the most beautiful) way.

(a) According to the second explanation, Beis Shamai compares the Chanukah lights to the bulls of Succos (perhaps, like the bulls, Beis Shamai understands that the Chanukah-lights represent the downfall of the Greeks and all other nations that threaten our spiritual existence).
Beis Hillel, on the other hand, apply the principle 'Ma'alin ba'Kodesh, ve'Lo Moridin', since there is no tradition here to override that principle, as there is by the seventy bulls, which, the Torah writes specifically, must be brought regressively from the first day of Succos till the seventh.

(b) The Gemara expressly states that the Menorah must be lit outside, by the door leading from the house into the courtyard. (According to Tosfos d.h. 'Mitzvah', the Gemara means by the doorway leading from the courtyard into the street - see Maharam).

(c) It is only someone who lives in the attic, and who does not have any rights in the courtyard, who lights by his window.

(d) And it is only in the time of danger, that one is Yotze when one lights the Menorah on one's dining-room table.

(a) Since it is forbidden to benefit from the Chanukah lights, it is necessary, when lighting inside, to kindle another light, in order to demonstrate that the the Chanukah lights are not for one's personal use (this is the source for the Shamash).

(b) A bonfire removes the necessecity of lighting another light, since he can do his personal things by the light of the bonfire, and it is clear to all that he lit the Menorah for the sake of the Mitzvah, and not for his personal.

(c) An important person does not usually use the light of a bonfire for his personal matters. Consequently, it will not be clear that the Menorah was lit for the Mitzvah and not for himself, in which case, another light (the Shamash) will have to be lit.

(a) When the Gemara asks 'What is Chanukah' it means to ask for which miracle did Chazal institute Chanukah - that of the victory or that of the oil?

(b) The Gemara answers that it was only after (and because of) *the miracle of the oil* that they fixed Chanukah.

(c) The Kohen Gadol's seal was intact on the jar of oil which they found. In fact, it is possible that they found more than one jar of oil, but without the seal of the Kohen Gadol.

(d) Chanukah is a Yom-Tov both as regards the recital of Hallel, and as regards thanking Hashem in the form of 'Al ha'Nisim'.

(e) Chazal also forbade eulogising and fasting on Chanukah.

(a) The Gemara initially thought that it must be a Mitzvah to place one's Menorah below ten Tefachim (like Ravina), from the fact that Rebbi Yehudah exempts one from liability on Chanukah, if the flax that his camel was carrying caught fire on a Menorah and, as a result, somebody's mansion burnt. Now if it was permitted to place one's Menorah higher, then why is he not Chayav his negligence in not placing it higher than ten Tefachim (above the height of a camel and its rider)?

(b) It may be, argues the Gemara, that one is permitted to light one's Menorah above ten Tefachim. Nevertheless, the owner of the camel is not liable, because Chazal did not trouble a person to go to such lengths of organising a location in the street above ten Tefachim. Why not? Because this might result in many people not lighting at all.

(c) The maximum height of the Menorah is twenty Amos from the ground. And that is also the maximum height of a Sucah and the cross-beam marking the entrance to a Mavuy (a cul-de-suc) - in connedtion with the Din of Eiruv.

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