Torah Riddles Test #54

  1. Question: According to the Pri Megadim what is the difference between a half slave half free person who can’t blow shofar or read megilla himself but could have someone do it for him and he fulfills those mitzvahs through the messenger but the Pri Megadim does not understand why a person can light Chanukah candles for another person who took on Shabbos early and forgot to light Chanukah candles?


A. The Pri Megadim did not understand how you can have someone else light Chanukah candles for you if you accidentally first lit Shabbos candles because there is a rule that whatever you can’t do your messenger can’t do for you. This is because the messenger of a person is like himself so if you can’t do it he can’t do it either.

B. The Mahara”m Shick (chelek 1, Even HaEzer, teshuva 129) answers the Pri Megadim’s difficulty by saying this rule that a messenger can’t do something the sender can’t do only applies if the job and the problem is the same, (for example someone asking a messenger to marry him to a relative like his own daughter or mother.) But in this case there are two different factors, Chanukah and Shabbos. The fact that it is Shabbos for this person now is a technicality so the messenger can act on his behalf.

C. This technicality concept is exactly why a half slave half free person can fulfill the mitzvah through others according to the Mahara”m Shick, meaning the only reason why he can’t do the mitzvos himself is because he is a half slave otherwise there is nothing wrong with him doing the mitzvah therefore someone else can do it for him.

The Pri Megadim obviously does not hold of this technical logic so why could others be a messenger for the half slave half free person but it does not make sense in his eyes why a messenger can light Chanukah candles after the sender took on Shabbos?

Answer: By the Chanukah candles case, granted it is a technicality which doesn’t allow him to light but he still can’t light because it is Shabbos and a technicality is no excuse according to the Pri Megadim. But the half free person side really can fulfill any mitzvah it is just that the half slave side is stopping him so a messenger can do the mitzvah for the half free side.

Torah Riddles Test #53

  1. Questions: The Beis HaLevi on the Torah in his section on Chanukah says one has to light a menorah at each of his entrances if he has more than one, so that people won’t suspect him of not lighting. According to the opinion that one does not have to relight his menorah if it blew out within a half an hour, why wouldn’t the same concern apply that people will think he did not light Chanukah candles?


A. There is an argument between Rav Huna and Rav Chisda in the gemara whether one has to relight the candles if they blew out within the half hour required time limit or since they potentially had the ability to stay lit for that long the mitzvah is fulfilled.

B. The concern of why one has to light in two entrances is a מראית עין issue.

Answer: By the case of two entrances there is really an obligation on the home owner to light in two places from the start because of this concern. But in the case where the light blew out he technically fulfilled his mitzvah already so we won’t force him to be obligated again just because of a concern that just popped up.