Wednesday, December 04, 2013

brachos on hadlakah b'tzibur

The Beis Yosef (671:7) paskens that the menorah should be lit in shul with a bracha.  Given that the gemara does not mention any chiyuv to light in shul, and apparently the lighting is only a minhag, how is one allowed to say a bracha?  The Riva”sh (one of the sources for this din) compares it to saying a bracha on hallel of Rosh Chodesh, which is also only a minhag.  The problem is, as the Chacham Tzi asks, is that the Beis Yosef himself holds that a bracha may not be recited on hallel of Rosh Chodesh because he holds that we don’t say brachos on minhagim.  How then can the Beis Yosef here pasken that one should say brachos on the lighting?

R’ Wahrman z”l suggested that we can use the chiddush of R’ Ya’akov Emden that we have been discussing (here and here) to answer this question as well.  Since in the case of ner chanukah the brachos are part of the definition of the cheftza shel mitzvah, they must go hand in hand with lighting -- a ner lit without brachos is not a ner chanukah.  In the case of other mitzvos and minhagim, the brachos are separate from the ma’aseh mitzvah itself.

The GR”A comments on this din in S.A. that the lighting of menorah is like hallel on leil Pesach, which is said even according to the Beis Yosef in shul with a bracha for the sake of pirsumei nisa (the Rama disagrees and says hallel is only said at home as part of the haggadah).  Apparently the kiyum of pirsumei nisa, even if done only as part of a minhag, warrants its own brachos. 

I once heard from a talmid chacham that the reason we do hadlakas neiros between mincha and ma’ariv in shul rather than wait until after ma'ariv is not simply because if we wait until after ma’ariv everyone will run out (see M.B.), but rather because we need a “shem tzibur” to accomplish pirsumei nisa.  Since ma’ariv is yet to be davened, that collective unit of a tzibur still exists at the time of hadlakah.  However, once ma’ariv is finished and people are prepared to leave, there is no halachic “glue” so to speak that defines the group as a tzibur anymore.  There may be 10 people standing around, but that does not mean they form a cohesive unit called a tzibur. 

5 comments:

  1. You said "once ma’ariv is finished and people are prepared to leave, there is no halachic “glue” so to speak that defines the group as a tzibur anymore"
    so when a askenaz shul creates an ad hoc hallel, post the pesach marriv they accomplish nil ?

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    1. I would say the difference is that hallel is by definition part of tefilah; hadlakah is not. You don't say, "I'm done davening -- now let me say hallel" -- hallel is part and parcel of tefilah.

      It's not the same type of hallel, but I think it still proves the point: the kaddish tiskabel in davening this morning comes after hallel, not in between the chazaras ha'shatz and hallel.

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  2. According to RAE what makes the candles a hanukiyah in shul at shacarit?

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    1. Who says they have to be?

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  3. The thing about chalos shem tzibur is from the Rav (I believe in the name of R Chaim, see Nefesh Harav and Harerei Kedem.) The Rav indeed made the point raised above, that the ad-hoc hallels are no good, and don't fulfill the requirement of tzibur.

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