Tuesday, December 23, 2008

zerizus vs. hidur in lighting chanukah candles

A few months ago we discussed the proof of the Shvus Ya'akov as to how to resolve a conflict between zerizus and hidur in a case where you can either do netilas lulav with a kosher esrog immediatly or wait until later and do netilah with a m'hudar esrog. A similar question can be raised with regards to hadlakas neiros Chanukah. If at the zman of hadlakah one has only enough oil to fulfill the basic mitzvah of lighting one candle, but later that same night one can obtain more oil and perform the hadlakah in a way that is min hamehadrin, is it preferable to light b'zman, or preferable to forgo lighting b'zman and light later to fulfill being min hamehadrin?
Something to think about while watching your candles burn.


  1. The lights have to burn for 30 min after tzeis.

    Do you light right at tzeis, to maximize your chance of success? Or, zerizim maqdimin -- light at sheqi'ah?

    I've heard (by practitioners) of minhagim to try for sheqi'ah (nearly universal in Y-m), 10 min after sheqi'ah, 30 min after sheqi'ah, and just before tzeis.

    Perhaps the above conflict is why?


  2. There is a machlokes whether shkiya means beginning of shkiya (what we call shkiya), and a further machlokes whether you use shkiya of GR"A or R"T, and finally a third shita that holds sof shkiya (or real tzeis). But these shitos all apply even if you have min hamehadrin and its just a question of the ideal time to light.