Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Chanukah #4

An interesting question arises when a boy's Bar Mitzvah falls out on Shabbos Chanukah. The halacha is (OC 676:3) that someone who hasn't lit candles and knows that they will not be able to light candles can make a "Birchas haRoeh", whereby one makes the blessings of "Sheasa Nisim" and "Shehechiyanu" (only on 1st night) upon seeing Chanukah candles.

On Erev Shabbos we are forced to light candles for the impending Shabbos before the actual start of Shabbos; at this time, the soon-to-be Bar Mitzvah boy is still halachically 12 years old, and not fully obligated in the mitzvah. Even if it is the custom in one's house that minors light, the obligation is certainly on a lower level of one who is a full fledged Bar Chiyuva (13 for boys). Perhaps we would require him to say the Birchas haRoeh upon coming home, since at the time he lit, he was still 12 years old. Or, perhaps we say that since the lighting that was done before Shabbos covers that night, when the boy turns 13 years old, he does not recite Birchas haRoeh.

Interestingly, the Shearim Mitzuyanim B'Halacha quotes Shailos v'Tshuvos Pnei Mavin who says that he does not recite the brachos, as Birchas haRoeh is only said at a time in which it is possible to light candles, and since it is Shabbos right now, one cannot light. The Pri Megadim argues and says that he would make Birchas haRoeh, seemling rejecting the Pnei Mavin's theory.


Blogger Danny the Manny said...

What if while he is lighting he spots a rainbow in the sky? Is the bracha on the rainbow docheh the lighting of the Chanukah candles because it is tadir? Or what about a case where someone discovers right after their bar mitzvah that they are a tumtum and that the laws of Chanukah may not even apply to them? What then? What then...

4:07 PM, December 19, 2006


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