Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hilchos Chanukah 670:1

Shulchan Aruch Chapter 770
The Laws of Chanukkah

Para. 1

“and ladies are accustomed not to partake in labor as long as the candles are lit, and some authorities rule that there is no room for leniency.”

Is this law applicable only to ladies?
The wording above tends towards applying this ruling only to women as the miracle was brought about through them[3], yet the Maharil mentions a custom that men also did not engage in labor during the prescribed time.

Till when is labor forbidden?
The Tur rules that the prohibition is as long as the candles are burning, but adds that if there are places where women have become accustomed not to do labor all day of Chanukah, there is no room for leniency, yet other authorities disagree and rule that such a custom must be protested as idleness leads to boredom and is sinful.

[1] יהודית בתו של יוחנן כה"ג האכילה גבינה את ראש הצוררים לשכרותו וחתכה ראשו וברחו כולם. (מ"ב ס"ק י')

[2] המג"א הביא שכוונת השו"ע לאסור לנשים לעשות מלאכה כל זמן שנרות בהכנ"ס דולקים דהיינו עד חצות הלילה והמ"ב פוסק שהכוונה לזמן שהנרות דולקות בביתו דהינו חצי שעה וכן המנהג

[3] Yehudit, the daughter of the Kohen Gadol fed the Syrian general cheese till he was drowsy, enabling her to behead him, upon which the enemy army fled.

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