Thursday, December 10, 2009

rambam/ra'avad -- hadlakas hamenorah l'shitasam in philosophy

The debates over the merits of rationalism may be relevant to inyana d'yoma of Chanukah. The Rambam (Hil Bi'as Mikdash ch. 9) paskens that the menorah may be lit by a non-kohen and then placed in its proper spot in the heichel. Only the hatavah, the preparation of the menorah with oil and wicks, must be done by a kohen. The Ra'avad disagrees (as we discussed once before).

R' Moshe Amiel (parenthetically, you can read an essay of his in the Sefer haYovel for R' Shimon I mentioned last post) in his Derashos El Ami on Chanukah (first essay) explains the machlokes l'shitasam. The Rambam, who assimilated Aristotelian philosophy into Judaism, held that the "who" and "where" of lighting menorah does not matter -- the source of the light of chochma does not matter -- so long it is brought into the mikdash. The Ra'avad disagreed with the Rambam's view of philosophy and l'shitaso holds that it's not enough to bring the light of the outside world into the mikdash, but the source of the light must come from a hadlakah done in the mikdash itself. (It's derush, not lomdus.)


  1. >>>debates over the merits of rationalism

    I would take issue with your terminology. Doesn't the term debate imply that the other side has a ta'anah :)

  2. Except the Raavad was not really an opponent of philosophy himself.

  3. Anonymous5:55 PM

    This is geshmak.

  4. Daas Yochid9:20 PM

    Any chance you can write something about Rav Amiel and his seforim? What do you think of his Derashos El Ami?

  5. The only reason I know it exists is because I once heard R' Greenberg from Far Rockway mention it and he remarked on how beautiful the writing is. That put it on my radar screen. I have glanced at it no more than a handful of times on (I don't know if it is in print), so I don't have a real feel for it. The writing is not terse because it is derush.

  6. BTW, have you looked at his seforim on lomdus -- Darkei Moshe? Clear as day and deep as the ocean! Now that i found it I am going to have to bl"n make time to go through it.

  7. Daas Yochid9:22 PM

    I have the Darkei Moshe, though have not studies it at length. I know of his drosha style from that, as he has a few drushim besides the lomdus. One of your wife's relatives once told me that the lomdus was not that impressive, once you get into it. But I would not be able to judge ;-)

    I saw Derashos El Ami in a seforim store lately, so I guess it is in print.