Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Bracha for Shechting Ben Paku'ah But Not for Extra Chanukiah

Right.  Having now established precisely (more or less) what a ben paku'ah is, we are now ready to understand why a bracha is required for the sh'chita of a ben paku'ah, but not bracha is required (nay! even permitted) when lighting a chanukiah in a second window that faces a different direction.  The source of our consternation is that in both cases it is Chazal who required the additional action and that action is required for the same reason; namely, to prevent onlookers from drawing a false conclusion based on our suspicious activity.  R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach gives four differences in the situations that help us to understand the difference in decrees of our Sages.

First there is a timing issue.  The second chanukiyah is usually going to be lit at the same time (or within minutes) of the first one.  The ben paku'ah, on the other hand, could very well be shechted even years later.  It is perfectly reasonable, therefore, to consider the lighting of the second chanukiyah as covered by the first bracha, which is not the case for our walking happy meal.

Second, the nature of sh'chita is that it serves a two-fold purpose: the fulfillment of a g'zeira and also permitting something that was here-to-fore forbidden; turning the animal into meat, in this case.  The lighting of the chanukiyah, on the other hand, is simply the fulfillment of a g'zeira; that action serves to remove suspicion, but not to permit anything that was forbidden before.  We do not find that Chazal established brachos for those activities.

Third, the g'zeira requiring sh'chita of a ben paku'ah is a real, live, full fledged g'zeira; even if there are no onlookers and even no possibility of onlookers, that ben paku'ah requires sh'chita.  The g'zeira requiring the second chanukiah is only operative as long as there is a possibility of suspicion from onlookers.  Now a days that we light inside with no concern that passers by should see our chanukiah at all, there is also no necessity to light a second chanukiah either (Mishna Brura 671, sk 54).

Finally, even if an onlooker would suspect a non-second-chanukiah-in-a-second-window-facing-a-different-direction-lighter of not lighting chanukah licht at all, he is certainly not going to conclude that no one in this town lights chanukah licht or that he doesn't need to light.  His suspicion is narrowly focussed on that one ba'al ha'bayis in that one house, because he is surrounded by lots of chanukios in lots of houses.  Shechting a ben paku'ah, on the other hand, could certainly be the only sh'chita going on right now; certainly that was the usual case before refrigeration.

There you have it.  I am sorry if I caused you a lot of distress over Shabbos trying to figure out what the differences might be.  Actually... no; I'm not sorry at all.  In fact, feel free to look into it more yourself, Halichos Shlomo, Mo'ed, chapters 13 - 17.  Don't skip the footnotes.


Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…

Thought for the Day: Prayer II -- How?

Now that we know that the obligation to pray is nothing more (nor less!) than a divine decree, we are going to also need instructions from heaven on how to implement that decree.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to have instruction from heaven how to implement heavenly decrees.  One only needs to look at the shambles that one modern ism has made of the very important Torah principle of תיקון עולם/improving and fixing the world.  They have taken words out of context and used them to support their own nefarious schemes.  (To the point that Google Translate actually translates -- not transliterates -- תיקון עולם as Tikkun Olam.  Amelia Bedelia would be proud; we are not amused.

The Torah teaches us how to pray in two complementary fashions.  One is the way in which the concept is presented as an obligation, the other is by giving us examples of how to practically implement those instructions.

The obligation is introduced in the second paragraph of "sh'ma" -- וּלְ…