Monday, December 22, 2008

Tumah Hutrah be'Tzibur and Chanuka: Never-Ending Dvar Torah on the Never-Ending Oil

 Please note: This piece has been edited, and sometimes incorporates, or anticipates, comments I received after the first version was posted.

Perhaps you've heard this question; Why did they need a neis of the Pach Hashemen, if Tumah Hutrah beTzibur.  The  פך השמן was entirely unnecessary if טומאה הותרה בציבור, and it was not essential even if טומאה דחויה בציבור.
The rule of Tumah Hutrah Betzibbur is this: Generally, the Kohanim who do the Avodah and the ritual objects which are used in the Avodah, must be Tahor. If, however, the majority of the Kohanim are Tamei, or if the Korban itself became tamei, or if no oil/flour/wine is available which is tahor, then we invoke the rule of Tumah Hutrah Betzibbur, which allows us to disregard Tumah problems. There are those that say Tumah Dechuyah Betzibbur, which means that the rule is only a last-resort safety net. But there are those that hold Tumah Hutrah Betzibbur, that under these circumstances, we can, lechatchila, ignore the tumah-- even if you could look around and find a Kohein that is not tamei, you don't have to bother.

HOWEVER: Please realize that there is a right way to ask the question and a wrong way. If you ask "why was there any need for a flask of shemen tahor, if tumah hutrah betzibur," the question is a non-starter, for the following reason:

When is Tumah Hutrah Betzibur? When the majority of the kohanim are tamei, in which case we don't need (if you hold hutrah) to even look for a kohen tahor; or if the korban itself is tamei, that you are allowed to proceed with the avodah. What if the kohanim are tahor, and there is shemen tahor and shemen tamei. In fact, what if the majority of the shemen available is tamei. Would there be a din of hutrah? NO. You would just go and look for Shemen Tahor. IF you couldn't find shemen tahor, THEN we would invoke Tumah Hutra Betzibur. So, the question is not "why did they bother to look for shemen tahor." The answer to that is, because if there was shemen tahor available, it would be assur to use shemen tamei. The question is "Why was there any need for "the miracle of the unconsumed oil" to enable the avoda of the Menora to proceed, since if the shemen tahor was burned completely the first night, and they had nothing left but shemen tamei, they would invoke Tumah Hutra Betzibur and use the shemen tamei." (Please note that Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank, in his Mikra'ei Kodesh, Siman 6, D'H BShu't Chacham Tzvi, addresses this question and disagrees with what I wrote here.)

Reb Yosef Engel wrote the Ayin Panim LaTorah and the Gevuras Shemonim comprising seventy and eighty answers respectively to certain famous questions- Taam Ke'ikar and pigul by Minchas Sotah..  To the best of my knowledge, nobody has written an Ayin Panim book to answer the above question, but rather there are scattered answers here and there-- Daas Zekainim, Pnei Yehoshua, Netziv, Reish Lakish's psul Hesech Hada'as, and so on and on....

I wonder how many GOOD answers we can put together here.

1. Pnei Yehoshua, Shabbas 21b.The Pnei Yehoshua is, to my knowledge, the first to ask this question: What is all the fuss about shemen? If you hold Tumah Dechuyah Betzibur, fine: they preferred to do lechatchila. But if you hold Hutra, what's the problem? He tries to suggest that since lighting the menora is not an avodah, the rule of hutra doesn't apply, but he rejects that. So he says the miracle was indeed unnecessary: they could have used Shemen Tamei. The miracle happened to present to the world a public testimony that the Shechina rested on Klal Yisrael, and that once again it was an Eis Ratzon and a renewal of a loving relationship between Hashem and Klal Yisrael.  (See below from the Munkatcher.)

2. Pri Chadash Hil. Chanuka 670 (and the Aruch Laneir Rosh Hashanna 24b).The Pri Chadash says that although Tumah Hutrah Betzibur would allow us to ignore the Tumas Meis, it it not mattir other Tumos at all; since there was a problem of Tumas Zivah here as well, Tumas Zivah is absolutely not muttar betzibur.
By the way, the Netziv in Ha'amek She'eilah 26:17 says that the Pri Chadash is 100% wrong.  He says that although this distinction does apply regarding the Kohanim who are doing the avodah, because it is a tumah that was generated from their bodies (Tumah yotzei mei'gufo) it does not apply to the items being brought as korbanos; so although Tumah Hutrah Betzibur would not be mattir where the kohen is tamei for example tumas sheretz, it would certainly be mattir where the korban or the oil was tamei any sort of tuma at all, including sheretz, zav, or meis. Or Metzora, or Nidah, or whatever. The Minchas Baruch also strongly disagrees with the Pri Chadash.)
However: Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank, ibid, defends the Pri Chadash with a befeirusheh Yerushalmi! He found the Yerushalmi says like the Pri Chadash in Pesachim, Keitzad Tzolin, at the end of Halacha 7.)

3. Rav Eliahu Mizrachi, the Re'aim.
The Re'aim in his pirush on the Sma'g on Hilchos Chanuka says the following. We know that by Millah, the cutting itself is docheh Shabbas. But other things, even if necessary to the bris, and not docheh Shabbas. For example, if the knife is dull, or was left in a different house, one cannot be mechallel Shabbas by sharpening or bringing the knife. The knife is not the mitzvah, it is a necessary element in doing the mitzvah-- it is a Machshir. Here, the mitzvah is lighting the menorah. The oil is not the mitzvah, it is a machshir that enables the lighting of the menorah. Therefore, the rules of dechiyah that we find in other avodos, i.e., tuma hutra betzibbur, will not apply, just as the dechiyah of shabbas that applies to millah does not allow dechiyah involving the knife.
The Chacham Tzvi in his teshuvos #87 says, respectfully, that this does not make any sense at all. If you can burn karbanos that are tamei, then you can light oil that is tamei. (He answers the kashe like the Pnei Yehoshua, that the miracle was not necessary for the avodah, and was intended only as a sign of Hashem's love.)
I would defend the Re'aim by saying that unlike korbanos, where the eimurim are themselves the cheftza shel mitzvah, and the mitzvah is that eimurim are supposed to be burned, the mitzvah of lighting the menora is to produce light. It's not a din that the oil needs to be burned, that there is a chiyuv on the oil that it be burned. The oil is merely the specific means by which the Torah directs that we produce that light. (This is Shittas Tosfos in Temura 14b. See also Reb Chaim on the Rambam in Ma'aseh Hakorbanos on the lighting of the Menorah, and the Mikdash David 21 toward the end.) That being the case, the oil is, indeed, more of a machshir than an element of the mitzvah.

4. Daas Zekeinim Miba'alei Hatosfos.The Daas Zekeinim Miba'alei Hatosfos in Parshas Shemini, on Bikrovai Ekadeish, says that a Kohen Hediot, on the day he is nimshach, is assur in tumas krovim JUST LIKE A KOHEN GADOL. On this basis, Rav Zevin suggests the following: When do you say Tumah Hutrah beTzibur? Only when there was already a matzav of kedusha, and then a breach of Tumah happened. But where we are now bringing a new matzav of Hashra'as Hashechina, like by the Milu'im in the Midbar, where there was nothing before, and now we were bringing Hashra'as Hashechina, then you don't say Tumah Hutrah beTzibur. The only reason the avoda continued after the death of Nadav and Avihu was because Hashem gave a special exception to this rule.  The Neis of the Chashmona'im was not just to continue the avodah; it was a chanukas habayis as if it were a totally new Hashra'as Hashechina. Therefore, you can't say Tumah Hutrah beTzibur.
This is like the Gemara that nevu'ach can't first come in Chutz La'aretz. A navi who had nevu'ah in Eretz Yisrael and then goes out can have nevu'ah outside also. But the first nevu'ah has to be in Eretz Yisrael. Here, too: If there was kedusha ve'tahara before, you can allow tumah betzibur. But this was a totally new matzav of kedusha, and it had to be inaugurated in a matzav of perfect kedusha, so we couldn't say Tumah Hutrah beTzibur in this case.
Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank, D'H Vegadol Echad, disagrees. Tosfos Ta'anis 17b says that if Kohanim now knew their mishmar, they would be prohibited from drinking wine, because Me'heira Yibaneh etc. and they'll be needed to do the avodah; and even though we're all tmei'ei meis, that's doesn't matter, because Tumah whatever betzibur. From Tosfos we see, Rav Frank says, that even though the avodah they would be called for would be to be mechaneich the new Mikdash and Keilim, we WOULD apply the din of Tumah Betzibur.

5. The SiteOwner, hereinafter referred to as yhs, for "your humble servant."
Reb Meir Simcha in the Meshech Chochma in the beginning of Be'ha'aloscha says that even though Hadlaka Ksheira be'Zar, that is only true for the Hadlaka ledoros. But to be mechaneich the Menorah, it needed Davka a Kohen and Davka Aharon Hakohein. She'ata madlik umeitiv, the kepeida on Atta, referred to the original hadlaka of chinuch. If so, we can say that this din of hadlaka of chinuch doesn't have the regular dinim of avodah: if it were avodah, it would kesheira be'zar. So if it's not kesheira be'zar, it must not be because of the dinim of Avodah. If it is not in the regular parsha of Avodah, we can't bring a raya from the regular avodah as far as whether it would be muttar be'tumah.
This is NOT the same teretz as the Daas Zekeinim. He's talking about the din of Tumah Hutra Betzibur, and he says it does not apply when you are bringing a new hashra'as hashechina. This teretz is saying a lomdus-- that the din that the chinuch hamenora required Aharon at the Milu'im shows that this requirement was not mitzad avoda at all. If it's not mitzad avodah, then you can't bring rayos about any hetter tumah from regular avoda.
I'll give you an example that will show the difference between the terituzim of yhs and the Daas Zekainim. Is there a din of Tuma Hutra BeTzibur for the first korbanos that are brought in a new Beis Hamikdash? According to the Daas Zekainim, there would not be, because these avodos are mechaneich and bring a new Hashra'as Hashechina. According to yhs, there would be a din of hutra, because they are just regular avodos, and by avoda there is a din of hutra.
A friend just delivered the Shalal Rav on Chanuka, and I saw that this teretz was said by:
The Chochmas Shlomo in OC 670; the Imrei Emes in Naso from the Kotzker; and Reb Yosef Engel in Shabbas 23a. See? If I had the sefer before, I wouldn't have said the teretz myself.

6. The Avnei Neizer.My good friend, Reb Meir Don Plotzki, in the Kli Chemda at the beginning of Be'ha'aloscha, brings the following teretz from the Sochetshover, unrelated to the famous contemporary mechaber sefarim Harav Moshe Nachum Sochechewsky, although he's very much like Reb Meir Don, except for being a little more serious.
When is the din of Ner Tamid or the din of Korban Hakavu'ah lo Zman docheh? Only where there is a Kli you can bring it on. For example, bringing the Korban Tamid is, of course, docheh Shabbas. But if there is no mizbei'ach, there are two reasons that you can't be makriv the Tamid. First of all, building the mizbei'ach is not docheh Shabbas, since it's only a machshir. AND SECOND, since there is no mizbei'ach, there is no chiyuv to bring the Tamid at all. Similarly, since, after the week of the Milu'im, we aren't mechaneich keilim with Shemen Hamishcha, how are we mechaneich keilim? Avodasam mechanchasam. So until the new menorah was actually used, THERE WAS NO MENORAH. If, ahl pi din, there was no menorah, then lighting the menorah would not be docheh either Shabbas OR TUMAH. There is no din of Tamid when there is no menorah, and there is no menorah until it was mechumach through use, and you couldn't use it when all you have is shemen tamei.
Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank, ibid, in the section titled "Im Binyan Hamizbei'ach Docheh Shabbas Ve'Tumah, has a lengthy discussion on this topic; he brings opinions that even though binyan hamikdash is obviously not docheh Shabbas, binyan of the Mizbei'ach and the Menora WOULD be docheh Shabbas.

7. The Steipler, Teretz I.
The Steipler in 5:19 says the following:
Even if you hold that Tumah Hutra Betzibur, that's only together with the ko'ach hamattir of the Tzitz. And if you hold that the Tzitz is only mattir when it is on the Kohen Gadol, it could be that since the TUMAH of the shemen occurred when the Kohen Gadol was not wearing the Tzitz, this Tumah would not be hutrah. (This is Rashi's shittah, that it has to be on the Kohen Gadol when the Tumah occurs, and some say he holds it has to stay on the Kohen Gadol from beginning to end. Anyway, when he gathered the torah from the original print and reprinted them on the relevant masechtos, this is one of the few that he did not reprint. I'm not saying that proves anything, but there it is.)

8. The Steipler, Teretz II.
Even if you hold in other avodos that Tumah Hutrah, by the Menora it could be (why?) it's only dechuyah, and if it's dechuya, you need the Tzitz at the time the Tumah occurred. (Again, I'm not responsible for this; I'm just quoting what he says.)

9. Achronim, quoted by the Shalal Rav.
"Kamah min Ha'achronim" say that although there's a din of hutrah, kodshim that are tamei are not allowed to be burned at night. Therefore, there would be a side-issur in burning the oil in the Menora at night.

And you thought I wouldn't get to seventy. Look! I'm already at nine! And I didn't even have to start hakking a tshainik with the Ohr Hatzafun!

OK, it looks like I'm going to have to start with Drush. I will try to avoid hakking a tshainik. If I do, feel free to mention it.

10. yhs
The Sfas Emes in his drushim on Chanuka brings from his father that the Pach Hashemen symbolized the immutable, untainted faith of the Jew.

Having said this, we can say that the reason there was a miracle was because despite the epidemic influence of Hellenism, there remained an untainted purity in Jewish Nation's soul which enabled them to re-awaken and respond to the call to holiness and faith. This seed of the miracle was symbolized by the untouched Pach Hashemen.

11. The Munkatcher in Rav Shulem
This really follows in the derech of the Pnei Yehoshua.
Sometimes, Hashem destroys the enemies of the Jewish People because they are wicked, and their sins earned destruction. When we, Klal Yisrael, benefit from such visitation of punishment on the wicked, it is not a reason to say Hallel, since we are only tangential beneficiaries. On the other hand, there are times that our enemies are destroyed because of Hashem's love for us. This is a reason to celebrate the vanquishment and to say Hallel. The miracle of Chanuka, while it certainly was a salvation for Klal Yisrael, was not clearly one way or the other. Chazal hesitated to declare the chiyuv Hallel because of this ambivalence. When, however, the nes of the Shemen occurred, Chazal saw it as proof that the miracle had taken place because of Hashem's love for Klal Yisrael. This was demonstrated by miraculously providing us with the Shemen Tahor and allowing it to suffice for the entire time it was needed. Thus, the Shemen was evidence of the nature of the victory-- that the victory stemmed from Hashem's approval of our abandonment of Hellenism and our teshuva and demonstrated Hashem's love for Klal Yisrael.

12. Based partially on Reb Tzadok
Reb Tzadok, in the first drash in his his Pri Tzadik on Chanuka, brings the Ramban in Parshas Vayechi, who states that the reason for the ultimate utter destruction of the house of the Chashmona'im stemmed from their usurpation of the monarchy from the descendants of Yehuda (Lo yasur sheivet mi'Yehuda). Reb Tzadok asks, but we find numerous kings who were not from Yehuda, such as Moshe Rabbeinu, Shaul, and Yeravam, who were kings on the basis of Nevu'ah. He answers that definitive mastery of Torah she'ba'al Peh enables a person to accede to malchus, no matter what his shevet. (Gittin 62-- Rabbanan ikru melachim, dichsiv "Bi melachim yimlochu.") That being the case, it was when Yanai, the great-grandson of Matisyahu, destroyed Torah she'ba'al peh, (BB 3b and Kiddushin 66a) leaving only his brother in law, the right of malchus of the Chashmona'im ended and they were destroyed. If so, the symbol of the Menorah was that the zechus of Torah of the Chashmona'im earned for them the right of malchus; the menora was no longer just a mitzvah, it was Torah. The Gemara in Sotah 21a says that a mitzvah is like a candle that exhausts its fuel and goes out, and Torah is eternal light itself. It was davka because of the great Torah defense of the Chashmona'im that the menorah, which in essence is a mitzvah candle, had to burn without stopping, because it now symbolized the Chashmona'i dedication to Torah, which never extinguishes. Torah, as Chazal say, and Tumah, are incompatible. Therefore, it was only with Shemen Tahor that the nes of Chanuka could have occurred.

13. Based on the other half of Reb Tzadok.
He also suggests that this right of malchus when based on Torah depends on matrilineal descent from Yehuda; this is found, for example, in Hillel, who was descended from Yehuda matrilineally, as opposed to the Reish Gelusa, who was of patrilineal descent (Sanhedrin 5a and Yerushalmi Kilayim 9:3). If this is true, then every last Kohen can claim this right, since Aharon was married to Elisheva bas Aminadav, who was, of course, from Shevet Yehuda. Again-- since this corollary malchus right is limited to those who are gedolei and machazikei Torah, once Yanai did what he did, their right ended and their family was wiped out. Thus, again, since the rights of the Chashmona'im are based on Torah she'Ba'al Peh, which was transubtantiated in the Menorah, it could not possibly have been Tamei, because Torah and Tumah are mutually exclusive.

14. The גרי'ט, whoever that is.
Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank, in his Mikra'ei Kodesh, at the end of the piece, on page 13, D'H Ve'haGri't, says that since the Gezeira was to be ma'avir on the dinei Torah, and they were metamei the shmanim intentionally to show that Tumah was not significant, the result is that Tuma becomes like Arkesa De'mesana, black shoelaces; the halacha is that although generally we choose martyrdom only when the alternative is one of the three great sins, AZ, GA, and ShD,
but when the oppressor's intention is to strike at the essence of Judaism in a mass attack on our laws, we are told to accept martyrdom for even trivial minhagim. If so, he says, under the circumstances, we would refuse to use Shemen Tamei even if Tumah Hutrah BeTzibur.

15. The Nesivos'es son in law, Reb Yoel Ashkenzai
At the end of his second chelek of Mahari'a, not the teshuva volume, he has drashos. At the end of the drashos, he says the following teretz:
Although hadlaka would be muttar on the basis of Tamid, once the neiros had been lit it would be assur to let them continue to burn, because at that point there is no mitzva being done be'po'eil. How this is different than eivarim and pedarim I don't know, but I didn't see it inside yet.

16. GJS
Rabbi Dr. GJS, in a comment, suggests that "Tim'u kol hashmanim" might use the word Tumah as a reference to use for Avoda Zara, just as wine can become Avoda Zara and assur through mixing or pouring. Of course, an object that is used for Avoda Zara is passul for Avoda in the Beis Hamikdash, even with an Eid Echad, so circumstantial evidence would also passel it. Only a sealed container, like a sealed wine bottle, could be known to be untouched and therefore never used for Avoda Zara.  (Consecrating would not be a problem: ein hekdesh le'AZ.)

Indeed, Avoda Zara is Tamei like a Sheretz, as it says in Avoda Zara 47b, and as thoroughly discussed in the Rambam 6 Avos Hatuma. (The Rambam says, kidarko bakodesh, that this din is Midivrei Sofrim with a Remez.) Thus, the use of the word "tim'u" to mean Avoda Zara would not only be on the basis of the generic concept of "sullied," but a legally precise reference to the state of Tum'a generated by use for Avoda Zara.

Avoda Zara, while additionally passul because of its tumah, would of course not be muttar on the basis of Tuma hutra betzibbur.

17.  Chidushei Maharach- חידושי מהרא״ך
The Tzitzi is only meratzeh on things that are kasher only if done by Kohanim, but not on things that can be done by non-kohanim.  Since Hadlakas Menora can be done by any Yisrael (Rambam 9 Biyas Mikdash 7), the tzitz would not be meratzeh on hadlaka.

18.  Rav Tzvi Hirsch Meizels, the Veitzener Rov, in his Dvar Tzvi Lechanuka p. 41.
Since the passuk says "Hamenorah Hatehorah," you see there is a specific need for tahara in the menorah.  Now, if you hold Tumah dechuyah, we can say that the passuk means lechatchila.  But if you hold hutrah, the passuk doesn't make sense at all, since every hadlaka is muttar gamur.  It must be, he says, that if you hold hutrah for every other avoda in the Beis Hamikdash, that din hutrah does not apply by the Menorah, and by the menorah it is definitely only dechuya.  So Lechatchila, they wanted Shemen Tahor.

19.  Also from R' Meisels.
If the menora went out during the day, it would be a mitzva (Tosfos Chagiga 26b DH Menora) to relight it so that you would be able to light at night from the fire that was burning there already.  That hadlaka is only a hechsher and would not be docheh Tumah.  I don't get this teretz, because if it's only a hechsher and not an avodah, who cares if the shemen is tamei?

20.  Rav Simcha Elberg in HaPardes, year 67 volume III answers with what must have been, for him, a self evident truth, because he brings no rayos at all.
ומה שנראה בזה לומר, דלא שייך כלל לומר ט ומאה הותרה בציבור שיכשיר לבנות בית מקדש ולומר דכמו שטומאה הותרה בהקרבת קרבנות ומותר להקריב לזרוק ולהקטיר ולעשות כל העבודות בטומאה בקרבנות ציבור או בקרבנות קבועים, אף שהם של יחיד, כמבואר בכמה דוכתי טובא בש״ס, כן א פשר לבנות בית המקדש בטומאה, זה אינו משום דכל הדין של טומאה הותרה נאמרה רק אחר שיש כבר ביהמ״ק, אז אמרי׳ שהוא מוכן להקריב בו קרבנות אפילו בטומאה אבל לעשות ולבנות ביהמ״ק בטומאה זה לא אמרי׳, דרק אם המקדש כבר בנוי אז אמרי׳ דאפשר כל הקרבנות גם בטומאה, אבל לבנות ולעשות המקדש בטומאה זה א׳׳א
His answer is like Rav Zevin's pshat with the Daas Zkeinim, and like the Avnei Nezer.  But they bring rayos, and he doesn't.  Maybe he was just referring to their bavusteh teirutzim.


21. December 2017: Someone sent this to me, from Rabbi Hershel Shechter.

Rabbi Hershel Shachter
Rabbi Hershel Schachter

Eilu V'Eilu

The gemara (Shabbos 21b) quotes the story of Chanukah from Megillas Taanis (Rashi, Shabbos 13b, explains that this work is referred to as a megillah because it was already written down at the time that the mishnayos were still being learned orally.) The Yevonim were metamei all the oil in the Beis Hamikdash and the Chashmona'im only found one small container of pure oil that should have only lasted for one night. Rav Yaakov Emden (Mor U'Ketzia #670)[1] raises the following major issue: the mishna tells us that liquids in the Beis Hamikdash are not mekabel tummah>[2] so the whole story does not make any sense! The olive oil was a liquid and could not become tameh, so why was there a need for a miracle if there is no such thing as shemen tameh in the Beis Hamikdash?
Some suggest the following answer. The psak of a talmid chochom is binding because he probably had divine assistance in developing his position[3]. And even when there is a machlokes in halacha each yeshiva is obligated to follow its own rebbe, and we assume that this is so because each rebbe was given the divine assistance to formulate his position. The story of Chanukah occurred in the middle of the period of the second Beis Hamikdash over two hundred years before its destruction. In that generation, the accepted psak was that even liquids in the Beis Hamikdash are also mekabel tumah. It was only several generations later, during the period of the zugos, that R' Yosi ben Yoezer's position that liquids in the Beis Hamikdash are tahor was adopted l'halacha. How can it possibly be that Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel each had a divine assistance to come to differing conclusions? The answer is: the gemara says that sometimes when there is a machlokes in halacha we assume eilu v'eilu divrei Elokim chaim[4]. The Ritvah[5] explains that when Moshe Rabbeinu was on Har Sinai and Hashem was teaching him the entire Torah, and Moshe Rabbeinu posed questions to Hashem regarding what the din is in various cases and under various circumstances. In some cases Hashem told him that the din is mutar; in other cases Hashem told him the din is assur; and in other cases Hashem told him that this is a grey area of halacha, with both elements of heter and of issur, and He leaves it up to the judgment of the chachmei ha'dor in each generation to decide based on their perspective of kol haTorah kulla whether the elements of heter outweigh the elements of issur or the reverse.
Every so often in the gemara we find that in different generations the consensus amongst the rabbonim shifted and the psak was changed. The two positions are often referred to mishna rishonah and mishna acharona. The gemara tells us[6] that for the four hundred and ten years of the first Beis Hamikdash the Kohanim fulfilled the mitzvah of nisuch hayayin in one fashion. When the second Beis Hamikdash was built (after the seventy years of galus Bavel), the chachomim of that generation decided to do the nisuch hayayin in a different fashion. The Sfas Emes in his commentary on that gemara raises a question, does that mean that during for all of the four hundred and ten years of the first Beis Hamikdash they were never properly yotzei the mitzvah of nisuch hayayin?! The simple answer is that eilu v'eilu divrei Elokim chaim. Since both groups of chachomim were knowledgeable in kol haTorah Kulah and both were working within the framework of the middos sheHaTorah nidreshes bohem, both positions were considered correct. During the Bayis Rishon period the correct halachic position was in accordance with the consensus of that time and during the Bayis Sheini period the correct halachic position was in accordance with the consensus of that era.
Similarly, if the story of chanukah would have occurred a few generations later, Hashem would not have caused any miracle to occur because the accepted psak was like R. Yosi ben Yoezer that the olive oil cannot become tameh. But in the generation of the Chasmona'im the Ribbono Shel Olam went along with the psak of the consensus of that generation and caused the nes to occur.


[1] See also She'eilos U'Teshuvos Beis YitzchokOrach Chaim #110
[2] See Pesachim 16a
[3] See Sotah 4b
[4] Eruvin 13b
[5] Eruvin ibid
[6] Zevachim 61b

28 comments:

  1. But essentialy he "Blaibs Shver" on the Kashe.

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  2. I'll tell you the truth: for all the teirutzim I've heard on this question, (who needs shemen tahor if tuma hutra betzibur), I'm still not satisfied either. I'd like a simple straightforward answer that makes the question into a not-question.

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  3. Rav Avrhoom Schorr has a Sefer on Chanukah; as a Brisker I think he has an Arichus on the Inyan.

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  4. I think The Shlal Rav on chanukah also has some answers.

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  5. I think I can get the Shalal Rav: I don't think I can get Rav Shor's sefer. But I haven't run out of teirutzim yet!

    Remember, if you have a teretz you like, feel free to post it here. I'll take anything-- good, bad or indifferent.

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  6. The pshat in the Da'as Zkeinim may be that the korbonos miluim were a one-time affair, and did not establish the beginning of anything in and of themselves: i.e., kodoshei sha'a. The korbon ledoros, on the other hand, was the beginning of a permanent sequence of se'irei rosh chodesh, and the l'doros had to be rooted in l'chatchila.

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  7. Your last 2 answers (so far) sound like R' Yosef Engel in Gilyonei HaShas Shabbos 23. Normally hadlakah is OK b'zar, but when a mitzvah is done the first time it must be done in the a perfect manner. For the same reason you can't say tumah hutra/dechuya.

    Re: whether burning the oil is a ma'aseh mitzvah, you can fit this debate into the R' Chaim al haRambam in bi'as mikdash that discusses the miztvah of hadlakah.

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  8. It does not Matter that tumah Hutra Btzibur Since the Job of the Menorah is to bring light into the world in a spiritual sense, Halachicly it would not be a Problem ,but Spiritually it would be lacking.

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  9. Anonymous 5:45-- I was thinking along those lines, and although I was bothered by the idea of elevating the beginning of a daily avoda over the milu'im, it probably is tolui in Todir Umedudash; again, only assuming that the avodas hamilu'im is me'kudash.

    Chaim-- I hadn't seen the Gilyonei Hashas.
    And, (crimson faced) I admit I didn't see Reb Chaim on Hadlakah. BUT I did see Reb Dovid Rapaport's torah in the Mikdash Dovid 21 towards the end, where he brings from Temura 14b and Menachos 89 a machlokes Rashi+Rabbeinu Gershon and Tosfos there as to whether the Shemen has a din Korban at all, or it's just a machshir to create light.

    You know, it used to be that any decent knowledge of kodshim put you on a safe pedestal, safe from contradiction. Not anymore....

    Anonymous 2:33-- I agree. That is pretty much what the Pnei Yehoshua and the Chacham Tzvi say.

    PoemParts-- Ahh, I see you didn't know that Reb Yosef Engel actually published THREE volumes of Shivim Panim Latorah. Very rare. The other was on proofs that monogamy is merely a bourgeoisie invention to ensure that one's property is inherited by his own children.

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  10. BTW, in the sefer Tiferes Yosef, which has a bio of R' Yosef Engel, they quote a gadol (sorry, I forget who) as saying that R"Y Engel came up with 70 answers because he wanted to title the book "Ayin Panim". Had he titled the book something else (e.g. Gevuros Shmonim) he would have been able to come up with more teirutzim.

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  11. An interesting point for tonight, in the Emes Layackov on Shulchan Aruach
    on Siman Tuf Reish Ayin Reb Yackov says that Giving gifts on Chanukah is not Chukas Hagoyim it is a jewish Minhag and they took it from us,The reason is they sent with the children a gift to the Rebbeim and the children got to because they were the shluchim.

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  12. Very good. But I would point out that our minhag is, consonant with Reb Yakov's he'arah, to give Chanuka Gelt, not gifts.

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  13. Much like the Chayah Adam on Shavous who says we don't decorate the Shul on Shavous because of what the Goyim do in this season.

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  14. Even thought the Jews where doing it first.

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  15. Chanukas Hatorah a sefer the Magen Avrahom Quotes in Hilchos Chanukah speaks of giving Chanukah GIFTS.

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  16. Thank you all for your valuable comments, corrections, and Mar'ei Makom. I have corrected, added to, and expanded the post, and, I hope, made it clearer.

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  17. A simple explanation is that tamei doesn't mean in the usual sense but rather that it was used or designated for avodah zara which would pasul it for use in the menorah
    gjs

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  18. Thank you, GJS. I put your teretz into the post, and attributed it to you, even though it's very good.

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  19. I'm only 2 years late to the party.

    On Chanukah we learn, "We don't need to win wars. We need to fight them." (R. Matis Weinberg)

    In other words, we learn: don't try to control outcomes, don't resort to rama'ut, don't put Dina in a box, and don't sweep issues under the rug with neat denials punctuated by chas veshalom. Rather, attend to the means more than the ends, be tam, invest in life and people even if you don't know where it'll go, deal with issues even if the skeletons in the closet are terrifying, even if you think they might drag you down into death.

    I began checking out the issue of "tuma hutra betzibur" on the hunch that somehow it would confirm the insight. I was thinking something like this:
    We had to choose. Either we’d wait till we could do everything in Beit HaMikdash perfectly, according to our expectations and plans with no loose ends or interruptions, or we’d throw ourselves into the avodah, even if we couldn’t see how we’d keep it up after just one day (after that one day, we’d light with impure oil if we held "tuma hutra betzibur", or we’d have to wait for pure oil).
    We chose to throw ourselves into the avodah. The nes comes as a response to this choice. H’ shows us: You got it! Don’t imagine you can plan for perfection because you never know what’ll be, you don’t know how big and wild creation is, you don’t control where things go. (Just see how long the Chashmonean revival lasts…) When you work with emunah (= the pach hashemen, according to the Sfat Emet), when you stand for the eternal and infinite, for more than whatever your limited conception allows, – that’s everything.

    Thus the comment in Avot on the 10 maamarim of creation. Rashaim fail to engage in the process because they try to impose their ends and take the part for the whole. Tzadikim are completely engaged in the process. And so they’re zochim to the or haganuz, the light of Chanukah.

    This is also the difference between Torah and all that’s “tachat hashemesh” in Kohelet (according to Rashi). “Tachat hashemesh” creation is not integrated and nothing has significance. Torah doesn’t have different facts from a “tachat hashemesh” perspective. What’s different is that in Torah all the havelim of creation find meaning in the context of our relationship with H’.

    When we threw ourselves into the mitzvah, we were all about relationship with H’. That’s Torah. Tuma needs an absence of Torah, a breakdown in relationship. So Torah and tuma are mutually exclusive. And here "tuma hutra betzibur" is rendered irrelevant.

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  20. I'm only 2 years late to the party.

    On Chanukah we learn, "We don't need to win wars. We need to fight them." (R. Matis Weinberg)

    In other words, we learn: don't try to control outcomes, don't resort to rama'ut, don't put Dina in a box, and don't sweep issues under the rug with neat denials punctuated by chas veshalom. Rather, attend to the means more than the ends, be tam, invest in life and people even if you don't know where it'll go, deal with issues even if the skeletons in the closet are terrifying, even if you think they might drag you down into death.

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  21. (cont.)
    I began checking out the issue of "tuma hutra betzibur" on the hunch that somehow it would confirm the insight. I was thinking something like this:
    We had to choose. Either we’d wait till we could do everything in Beit HaMikdash perfectly, according to our expectations and plans with no loose ends or interruptions, or we’d throw ourselves into the avodah, even if we couldn’t see how we’d keep it up after just one day (after that one day, we’d light with impure oil if we held "tuma hutra betzibur", or we’d have to wait for pure oil).
    We chose to throw ourselves into the avodah. The nes comes as a response to this choice. H’ shows us: You got it! Don’t imagine you can plan for perfection because you never know what’ll be, you don’t know how big and wild creation is, you don’t control where things go. (Just see how long the Chashmonean revival lasts…) When you work with emunah (= the pach hashemen, according to the Sfat Emet), when you stand for the eternal and infinite, for more than whatever your limited conception allows, – that’s everything.

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  22. Thus the comment in Avot on the 10 maamarim of creation. Rashaim fail to engage in the process because they try to impose their ends and take the part for the whole. Tzadikim are completely engaged in the process. And so they’re zochim to the or haganuz, the light of Chanukah.

    This is also the difference between Torah and all that’s “tachat hashemesh” in Kohelet (according to Rashi). “Tachat hashemesh” creation is not integrated and nothing has significance. Torah doesn’t have different facts from a “tachat hashemesh” perspective. What’s different is that in Torah all the havelim of creation find meaning in the context of our relationship with H’.

    When we threw ourselves into the mitzvah, we were all about relationship with H’. That’s Torah. Tuma needs an absence of Torah, a breakdown in relationship. So Torah and tuma are mutually exclusive. And here "tuma hutra betzibur" is rendered irrelevant.

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  23. Hello, mS. So you're a talmid of Reb Matis? He's a few years older than me, though my stay in Ner Israel overlapped his.

    Your insight is very moving. Thank you for sharing it.

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  24. I try to hear as many of his shiurim as I can. :-)

    I still don't quite understand what I'm talking about here, but reading your blog and commenting certainly helped... Yashar koach!

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  25. A number of these tirutzim rely on the concept of the menora needing a chanukas of 8 days...

    I've heard of the mizbayach needing such a chanukas, but (prob in my ignorance) I have not heard of other keilim (of which the menora would be included) needing more than an initial or 1-time inauguration.

    I'll assume that I'm wrong until proven right, but if a source could be found I'd appreciate it.

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  26. A freilachen Chanuka, lesser unknown. The idea of connecting the miluim of the Mishkan to Chanuka is interesting. In Yoma 2a and 3b the Gemara says that a leap in Kedusha requires seven days of meditative preparation and isolation from worldly things. Reb Yochanan learns this from the Mishkan and Reish Lakish learns it from Moshe Rabbeinu's preparation for Matan Torah. Is there any such requirement for the Beis Hamikdash? This is a machlokes Rambam and Bahag/Ramban, found in Sefer Hamitzvos Shoresh III and the Ramban there. But even according the Rambam that there is no such mitzva after the Mishkan, we know that Shlomo Hamelech voluntarily brought similar korbanos.

    So yes, I agree that there is certainly an Inyan of Chanukas Hamizbei'ach for the Bayis as a whole, but, as you say, not for the menora specifically. But the Terituzim here that mention it are not talking about eight days worth of chinuch, they're talking about the one time event of Avodasan mechanchasan.

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  27. A freilachen Chanuka to you as well, and thank you for the quick reply.

    However, I feel that perhaps I was not clear in the point I was trying to make.

    If the menora just needed a one time event of Avodasan Mechanchasan, then the single cruse of oil would have sufficed without the oil lasting for 8 days.

    Then, once properly inaugurated with the shemen tahor, let tumah hutra b'tzibur kick in and allow tamei oil...

    Therefore, I conclude that those tirutzim held that the menora needed 8 days of chinuch (and exactly 8, otherwise why did the oil have to burn for exactly 8 days)

    Which is what motivated my question in the first place of where is the source that the menora would need such an inauguration.

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  28. It's only the Daas Zkeinim that says that there's no din of hutra or even dechuya when you're being mechaneich. And I have seen people that ask your question, that who needs the nes if they had enough for day one to be mechaneich, because afterwards for sure dechuya/hutra applies. But I never saw anyone that said that you need seven days of chinuch for the menorah. But maybe it's a mehalach according to the Ramban, because it wasn't just the menora that was new, they also had to build a new Mizbei'ach (which we know because the Gemara in the end of Shvuos says the stones from the old mizbei'ach were in a chamber on the side.) So maybe they were mechaneich the entire structure and therefore were subject to the Ramban's din, and so the Daas Zkeinim would apply to the entire week. Still don't know why they needed eight days, though.

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