Monday, December 11, 2006

Renting A House In Order To Light Menorah

I saw a teshuva from Rav Chaim Kanievsky regarding someone who doesn't have a house, does he have a chiyuv to rent a house so he can light the Menorah. Rav Chaim Kanievsky wantedto pasken you have no chiyuv and the rayah is from the fact that Chazal were m'sakein birchas haro'eh for someone not lighting (ayin Rashi). He then quotes his father in law Rav Elyashiv, that there would be a chiyuv. The rayah from birchas haro'eh is not a rayah because that is a case of oneis.

Rav Chaim Kanievsky then says it could be a machlokes Rishonim. Tosafos in Sukkah equates hadlakas menorah to mezuzah and there is no chiyuv to rent a house to put up a mezuzah. However, the Rambam in Hilchos Berachos writes there are two types of mitzvos. One catagory is a "chovah" that you are obligated to run after like tefillin and lulav. The other catagory you only do if circumstances dictate it like mezuzah or ma'akeh. Then the Rambam says these two catagories apply on a d'rabanan level as well and he puts hadlakas menorah in the "chovah" catagory. This seems to indicate you would have to go out of your way to light the menorah (including renting a house so you could light).

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