Friday, December 10, 2010

Translating My Brother-in-law's Chapter on "The Law of Beautifying [the Mitzva] of Ner Chanukah" Part 3

Before you read this start at the beginning of the whole discussion found here.

Section 4: The Explanation of the argument (between Rambam and Rama) by the "GRIZ" (Rabbi Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik).

There is a third way to explain the argument between the Rambam and the Rama. See the SHUT (Questions and answers) of the Beis Haleivi (Second part siman 47) where he explains the argument between authorities by Bris Milah (circumcision) regarding [parts of skin that were missed by the Moel (circumciser), but are not considered to negate the Mitzva (commandment) if they are missed]. According to the Rambam, whether it is a weekday or Shabbos, once the Mohel removed his hand (finished performing the act of cutting) he is not allowed to go back and cut off these extra pieces of skin which is a hidur( beautification) of the Mitzva (commandment) [to have cut these extra pieces off]. The Beis Halevi explains that the root of the argument is how to view the relationship of the performance of the Mitzva (commandment) and the beautification of the Mitzva. According to the rambam it is impossible to separate the two actions [of the actual Mitzva and the beautification]. Therefore, once the Mohel removes his hand from performing the Mitzva there is no way to connect the cutting of the extra skin that is not preventative of fulfilling the Mitzva to the main part of the Mitzva because the Mitzva was already completed. However, the Tur and the Rama would say as long as the Mitzva is still around (as is the case by Bris Milah) it is possible to perform a beautification of that Mitzva even though it is not in the same action of, and therefore has no connection to, the main part of the Mitzva. Therefore, (according to the Tur and Rama) one would perform the beautification of the Mitzva (aka cutting off the extra skin), during the week [but not on Shabbos] even if the Mohel already performed the main Mitzva but left some extra skin.

According to this explanation given by the Bais Halevi, the GRIZ (The laws of Chanukah) tries to explain the argument [between the Rambam and the Rama] by Ner Chanukah (Chanukah lighting).  He says that the Rambam and the Rama are just holding according to their own opinions [spelled out by Bris Milah). The Rambam holds that it is impossible to separate between the performance of the main part of the Mitzva and the performance of the beautification of the Mitzva. So, when it comes to the man of the house lighting the main part of the Mitzva is fulfilled with his lighting. Therefore, he is the one that must be lighting for everyone in order to fulfill the beautification of increasing the number of candles. According to this opinion (Rambam) we see that the main part of the Mitzva and the beautification are performed in one action. This is not the case by the Rama who holds that it is possible to separate between the performance of the Mitzva and the beautification of the Mitva. Therefore, [since the Rama allows for two separate actions] it is possible for every person in the house to light for themselves [to fulfill the beautification of the Mitzva]. 

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