Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitza 12 - Yahrtzeit Candles on Yom Tov

The Mishnah cites a dispute between Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel regarding transferring objects that are not food related from one domain to another on Yom Tov. Bais Shammai maintains that one cannot carry a child, a lulav, or a Sefer Torah into a public domain and Bais Hillel permits it. Rav Yitzchok bar Avdimi explains that Bais Hillel is of the opinion that since one can carry from one domain to another for the purpose of food related items, one is also permitted to carry items that are not food-related. Bais Shammai, however, does not agree with this concept. Rashi explains that according to Bais Hillel, it is even biblically permitted to carry items that have no purpose at all. The Chachamim, however, prohibited one from carrying stones or objects which serve no purpose on Yom Tov.

Tosfos disagrees with Rashi and Tosfos maintains that Bais Hillel only permits one to perform melachos that will either enhance ones enjoyment on Yom Tov or that will aid him in performing a mitzvah. According to Tosfos, it must be understood why Bais Hillel maintains that one who slaughters a donated olah on Yom Tov is not liable for the act of slaughtering. It would seem that there is no purpose in slaughtering a donated olah on Yom Tov because it is completely burned on the mizbeiach. Tosfos writes based on a Gemara later on Daf 20b that states that one cannot bear to see his own table full and the table of his master empty. If one is not able to offer a sacrifice to Hashem on Yom Tov, his own joy will be diminished.

The Teshuvos Ksav Sofer (65) rules that one is permitted to light a yahrtzeit candle on Yom Tov although the light does not serve a purpose for Yom Tov. If one would be prohibited from kindling this light, he would be grieved that he cannot honor his departed loved ones. This grief would significantly detract from his joy on Yom Tov and for this reason he is permitted to light the yahrtzeit candle.

The Biur Halacha (514:5) rules that it is preferable that one light the yahrtzeit candle prior to Yom Tov. If one was not able to light the candle prior to Yom Tov, he should light the candle in a room where he will be eating so that he will benefit from the light. The preferred approach is that one light a candle in the synagogue. The Biur Halacha concludes based on the Ksav Sofer that if one does not have available any of the aforementioned options, he is still be permitted to light the yahrtzeit candle because lighting a yahrtzeit candles has a semblance of a mitzvah as one is honoring his departed parent.


Chaim B. said...

The same issue (lichorah) could be raised regarding lighting Yom Tov candles (after nacht) in a room that has electric lights.

Avromi said...

theres less of a problem in your case since it is a clear mitzva to light the candles and therefore we for sure will say mitoch.