web analytics
August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Women And Hallel On Chanukah

Note to readers: This column is dedicated to the refuah sheleimah of Shlomo Eliezer ben Chaya Sarah Elka.

There are two mitzvos that the rabbanan instituted for Chanukah, lighting candles and saying Hallel. The Gemara in Shabbos 23a says that women are obligated in the mitzvah of lighting candles because af ha’eim hayu b’osah haness – they too were involved in the miracle.

It is implicit from the Rambam, in Hilchos Chanukah 3:14, that women are exempt from the mitzvah of saying Hallel on Chanukah. Many Acharonim were bothered by a simple question: the Gemara in Shabbos 23a says that women are obligated in the mitzvah of lighting candles on Chanukah as a result of: af ha’eim hayu b’osah haness. Why then should they not be obligated in the mitzvah of Hallel?

To make the question stronger, some Acharonim point to Tosafos in Sukkah 38a (d”h me) that says that women are obligated in the mitzvah of Hallel on Pesach because of the rule of af ha’eim hayu b’osah haness. Why then should they be exempt from the mitzvah of Hallel on Chanukah?

The sefer, Sdei Chemed, quotes from Reb Sholmo HaKohen from Vilna that in truth women are obligated in the mitzvah of Hallel on Chanukah – but are not obligated in saying the entire version that Chazal instituted. They can fulfill their obligation by reciting one short paragraph that mentions praise to Hashem for the miracles. This idea is similar to the opinion of the Rambam, who says that one is obligated min haTorah to daven once every day. However, one need not daven the Shemoneh Esrei to fulfill this obligation; rather one can simply make one bakashah to fulfill his obligation.

Not all, however, welcomed this answer for several reasons. First, we do not find that it is mentioned anywhere that women are obligated to say Hallel. The Rambam writes that they cannot be motzi a man in his obligation, and does not differentiate whether they had earlier said one line of Hallel. Second, the Beis Yosef writes that women should not recite a berachah on Hallel on Chanukah. If they are indeed obligated and they are saying the version that Chazal instituted, why should they not recite a berachah as they do on Pesach?

Tosafos, in numerous places, inquires why women are not obligated in several different mitzvos as a result of the rule of af ha’eim hayu b’osah haness. In Megillah 4a, for example, Tosafos asks why women are not obligated to eat matzah on Pesach as a result of the rule of af ha’eim hayu b’osah haness. So why does the Gemara need to find a drasha that obligates them? Also, Tosafos (Sukkah 108b) asks why women are exempt from the mitzvah of sukkah when the pasuk in Vayikra 23:43 says that we have the mitzvah of sukkah as a result of Hashem’s miracle of making sukkos for us in the desert. Thus, they should be obligated as a result of the same rule of af ha’eim hayu b’osah haness.

Several Acharonim ask why women are not obligated in the mitzvah of tefillin. The pasuk in Shemos 13:9 says that we wear tefillin because Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim. Based on that, women should be obligated in the mitzvah of tefillin as a result of af ha’eim hayu b’osah haness.

The Sefer Harirai Kedem quotes an amazing explanation from Reb Moshe Soloveitchik that answers all of these questions, including the original one regarding Hallel on Chanukah. He explains that there is a difference between when a mitzvah’s essence is to publicize the miracle and when the reason why we are obligated is to remember a miracle. There are only three times when the Gemara says that women are obligated in mitzvos as a result of the rule of af ha’eim hayu b’osah haness: lighting candles on Chanukah, reading the Megillah on Purim, and drinking four cups of wine on Pesach. All three of these mitzvos’ essence is to publicize the miracle associated with that holiday. The mitzvos of sukkah, matzah and tefillin are all connected to miracles; however, they are merely a remembrance of the miracles. The essence of these mitzvos is not to publicize the miracle (pirsumei nissa). The only time that the rule of af ha’eim hayu b’osah haness can obligate one in a mitzvah is when the essence of the mitzvah is to publicize the miracle. Since the essence of the mitzvos of sukkah, matzah and tefillin are not pirsumei nissa, the rule of af ha’eim hayu b’osah haness cannot obligate women in those mitzvos.

The mitzvah to recite Hallel that Chazal instituted regarding Chanukah was in fact a direct result of the miracle of Chanukah; however, its essence is not to publicize the miracle but rather to give thanks for the miracle. On the other hand, the mitzvah of lighting candles was instituted in order to publicize the miracle. Therefore we can apply the rule of af ha’eim hayu b’osah haness – thereby obligating women in the mitzvah of lighting candles but not in the mitzvah of saying Hallel on Chanukah.

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Women And Hallel On Chanukah”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Matt Lee of the Associated Press at the State Department press briefing.
ObameDeal Exposed: It’s not ‘Secret’ from Congress but not in Writing
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

By internalizing the Exodus, it is as if we ourselves were redeemed from Egypt.

Neihaus-073115

Each Shabbos we add the tefilla of “Ritzei” to Birchas HaMazon. In it we ask Hashem that on this day of Shabbos He should be pleased with us and save us. What exactly do we want to be saved from? Before we answer this question, let’s talk about this Friday, the 15th of Av. Many […]

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Amongst the greatest disagreements in Judaism is the understanding of the 1st of the 10 Commandments

Daf-Yomi-logo

The Day He Heard
‘One May Seek Revocation Of A Confimation’
(Nedarim 69a)

The director picked up the phone to Rabbi Dayan. “One of our counselors lost his check,” he said. “Do we have to issue a new one or is it his loss?”

Six events occurred on Tu B’Av, the 15th of Av, making it a festive day in the Jewish calendar.

Why would Moshe Rabbeinu have thought that the vow that disallowed him to enter Eretz Yisrael was annulled simply because he was allowed to conquer and enter the land of Sichon and Og?

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Snow in Jerusalem! For many New Englanders like me, snow pulls at our nostalgic heartstrings like nothing else can.

Man has conflicting wishes and desires. Man has forces pulling him in competing directions.

Perhaps the admonition here is that we should not trivialize the events of the past by saying that they are irrelevant to the modern Jew.

One must view the settlement of Israel in a positive light. Thinking otherwise is a grievous sin.

Reaching a stronger understanding of what Moses actually did to prevent him from entering the land

Anti-Zionism, today’s anti-Semitism, has gone viral, tragically supported globally & by many Jews

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Why would Moshe Rabbeinu have thought that the vow that disallowed him to enter Eretz Yisrael was annulled simply because he was allowed to conquer and enter the land of Sichon and Og?

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

In addition to the restrictions of Tisha B’Av, there are several restrictions that one may not perform during the week that Tisha B’Av falls in.

We do not find that Pinchas was chastised for what he did; on the contrary he was greatly rewarded.

The Shulchan Aruch in the very first siman states that one should rise in the morning like a lion, implying that simply rising form bed requires strength of a lion, in line with the Midrash.

Tosafos answers that nevertheless the sprinkling is a part of his taharah process.

Performing ketores outside the Beis Hamikdash, and at the wrong time is an aveirah.

Ten of the twelve spies returned with a negative report, stating that this would be impossible.

The flavor of the mon was not artificial; the mon would now consist of the actual flavors from the desired food.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/women-and-hallel-on-chanukah/2012/12/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: