More Discussions for this daf
1. Chanukah 2. Chanukah Candles 3. Rambam
4. Madlik 5. Rashi about Eruvin 6. Candles Lit from Shabbos to Shabbos
7. Rashi's Midrashim 8. Berachah For Hadlakas Ner Shabbos 9. The Gra's Opinion On Ner Shabbos
10. Berachah On Ner Shabbos 11. Hadlakah Oseh Mitzvah 12. Berachah on the Tefilah Shel Rosh
13. DEMAI 14. Shabbos Candles 15. The Rabbinic institution of Chanukah lights
16. Brachos on Yom tov Sheini 17. Lo Sasur as a source for Chanukah 18. נר שבת קודם לנר חנוכה

Eli Turkel asked:

Two questions on chanukah:

1. Rashi explains that women were also involved in the miracle because

of decress against virgins and that Yehudit killed a general.

What didn't he just simply say that the whole fight of the Greeks

was against the jewish people and jewish practice and so the women were included as well as men. What is accomplished by stating that they

had a special role.

2. In discussing "cheshad" suspicion why didn't the Gemara just bring the

verse of "ve-heyitem nikiim me-hashem u-mi-yisrael" which is used for

marat ayin.

kol tuv,

Eli Turkel

The Kollel replies:

1. Excellent question. One the one hand, the decree against Milah and Chodesh obviously didn't affect the women as it did the men, but what about the decree against keeping Shabbos?

It could be that the Syrian-Greeks were not so stringent against the women in their decree that the Jews not observe Shabbos. What did the Greeks consider to be Shemiras Shabbos? Taking a day off from work on Shabbos! Women were not the wage earners for the family and usually stayed at home (in those days), so they were not in the same danger as the men. If the men were absent from work one day a week (Shabbos), it was clear that they were observing Shabbos. Therefore, it was necessary to point out a decree that harshly affected the women as well.

(The fact that Judaism itself was in danger, which obviously affects the women as well, was not grounds for establishing a festival, because Hash-m has promised that the Jewish people and the Jewish practice will never be wiped out, as Rashi says in Devarim. It was only the lives of the Chashmona'im and those who lived in their time that were in serious danger.)

2. If the verse that you suggest is the source, we might have thought that it applies only where the person himself does something to arouse the suspicion of others. Here, though, the person lit properly, but we are afraid that somebody who did not check this doorway to see whether one lit in it or not will suspect the occupant of not lighting. Therefore, the Gemara had to bring its proof from the case of Pe'ah, where we see explicitly that even one who did not do any act worthy of suspicion, nevertheless it is still possible that he will be suspect.

Be well,


David Leitner commented:

In reply to Mr. Turkels question regarding the Rashi and the special reason given for women to be obliged to keep Chanuka. Rashi holds (similar to what he says by Megilla) since women are not obliged to keep positive commandments which are linked to time, they need a special reason - a feminine reason - extra to the reason given for males to make them obliged to keep positive commandments as in the case of Chanuka and Megilla. If not for their special role in the miracle and salvation, they would not be obliged to keep a positive commandment.


David Leitner, BSc Manchester,

Jeffrey Kaufman asked:

Dear Rav Mordechai,Shlit"a I asked the same question as Eli asked and was given a different answer. I was told that we need a special reason for the women to light because lighting the menorah is a Mitzvah SheHazeman Geromah when women are usually exempt. This ties in well with the four cups of wine on Pesach and also reading the Megillah on Purim.

Yehudah Relis commented:

Rabbi Kornfeld AMV"S,

In reference to the question why did Rashi discuss aspects of Af Hain that were only applicable to women, Tosfos Pesachim 108b Hain asks why arent women Chaiv in Sukkah because of Af Hain. He answers that D"Oritah is different. Perhaps Rashi took a different approach. Since by Sukkah we see that even though Af Hain, they were not Chaiv, Af Hain is not sufficient. Rashi on the top of Pesachim 108b states by Purim, Chanukah and Pesach they are the prime causes of the Nais. Perhaps he means to address this question and only where they are a prime cause of the Nais is Af Hain applicable. Hence the reference to these aspects on 23. Note that Tosfos Megillah 4a Af Hain asks why arent women Chaiv in Matzos because of Af Hain ( rather than because there is a Hekish from Issur Hamotz to the Chiev of eatting Matzos). This would be a question on what I am saying however Tosfos answer that one might learn T"V T"V from Sukkah to Patur them could also be the answer in this case. Even though they were a prime cause of the Nais since there is a Gezerah Shavah from Sukkah it would over ride Af Hain hence the need for the Hekesh. In fact it is possible that the distinction between Pesach and Sukkah i.e women are Chaiv on Matzoh but Patur on Sukkah is the basis for distinguishing between Af Hain where women are a prime cause and Af Hain where they are just included along with others.

Kol Tov,

Yehudah Relis

The Kollel replies:

Rashi in our Sugya explains that there were two reasons that women were "also in the miracle." (1) They were instrumental in bringing about the miracle. (2) They were included in the decree.

Dr. Turkel was asking why Rashi, when explaining (2) that "women were included in the decree," (and not (1), as all of the above questioners undertood) had to give a additional explanation as to how the evil decrees affected the women more than the men. Why did it not suffice to say that they were affected by the decrees against keeping Shabbos and other commandments that affected everyone? Why did Rashi have to add that there was a special decree against the Jewish virgins?

Concerning Purim, in fact, we see that they are included in the Mitzvos even without a special decree against the women, since "they were also decreed upon to be killed" along with the rest of Yisrael, and they were saved by the miracle equally with everyone else (Rashi Megilah 4a). Why, here, would they not have been included in the Mitzvah if it were not for the special decree against them?


By the way, in each place that the Gemara mentions "Af Hen...", Rashi mentions both reasons why women are obligated: (a) they were included in the decree against the Jews, and (b) the miracle came about specifically through them. The Rishonim and Acharonim wonder why Rashi has to write both reasons.

It seems that Rashi learned this from the text of the Gemara itself, that says, "Af Hein" -- "even they were included the miracle." Tosfos (Megilah 4a, and elsewhere) asks that if Rashi is correct, that it means that they were the cause of the miracle, then the Gemara should not say "even" they were included, which implies a much less prominent involvement. Rashi, however, understands the word "Af" ("even") differently: "not only were they affected by the evil decrees, but they were even the cause of the miracle."

Be well -- I apologise for not getting back on this earlier!

M. Kornfeld

Yosey Goldstein commented:

Reb Moredchai;

I am not sure your answer is correct, because the gemmorah tells us that the clothes of the kohannim had no pockets, as was the case with Moshe Rabbenu's clothes. The reason the gemmorah gives is because IF a kohain gets rich then people will say "He took treasures from the Bais Hamikdosh" And if his fortunes take a "Nose dive" Peopl will say, "Well he is being punished FOR taking treasures from the Bais Hamikdosh." So we see that even when one does NOTHING wrong, Even if he is pawn of his Mazel or hasgocha protis to become rich or poor, he will transgress this Posuk. This posuk, therefore, tells us that one must stay so far away from the slightest hint of wrong doing that someone (who is not being dan lekaf zechus) will not be able to THINK that something wrong must have happened!

I await your opinion on this.

The Kollel replies:

It seems that that case cannot be compared to our case, because there it explicitly says that because of something that occurred (i.e. he becomes wealthy or poor), people are Choshed him. But here, on the other hand, (1) the person did not do anything; on the contrary, he is busily involved with the Mitzvah, and (2) we are worried that people who are too lazy to check out the facts (that can easily be checked out) will be Choshed him in vain.

Yehudah Relis comments:

>> Concerning Purim, in fact, we see that they are included in the Mitzvos even without a special decree against the women, since "they were also decreed upon to be killed" along with the rest of Yisrael, and they were saved by the miracle equally with everyone else (Rashi Megilah 4a). Why, here, would they *not* have been included in the Mitzvah if it were not for the special decree against them? <<

Rav Kornfeld AMV"S,

Perhaps the two reasons are needed because even if they were the one's through whom the Nais occured that would not have been a reason to be M'chuiv in the mitzvah since the mitzvah is essentially Hakoros H'tov for being saved. On the other hand if women were not instrumental in the occruance of the Nais, they would not have been M'chuiv because of Mitvah Asai Shazman Grumah.

Kol Tov,

Yehudah Relis