Hilchos Chanukah: Waiting for Your Wife

7

menorahIf one will not be home to light at the proper time, but plans to return at night while members of the household are still awake, according to Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Rav Chaim Kanievsky, it is preferable for one to appoint (a son over bar mitzvah or, if not possible) his wife as a shliach to light for him, rather than waiting to light when he returns home late at night (Shulchan Aruch w/ Mishnah Berurah 675:3, Kuntras Halichos Vehanhagos, Sefer Chanukah 13:14b).

Upon returning home, one should ask his wife if she understood that she was acting as his agent. If she is unsure, then one should light without the brachos (Kuntras Halichos Vehanhagos – Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, Sefer Halichos Yosef 672:1).

If one is prepared to light at the proper time, but his wife is not ready (or home yet), the p’sak of Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l and ybl”c Rav Shmuel Wosner is that one should wait for his wife even if this means that he will not be able to light at the preferred time. (We learn this from the fact that expense for ner Shabbos has priority over ner Chanukah because of shalom bayis.)

(Sefer Emes L’yaakov 677, Kovetz M’beis Levi Kislev 5757).

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Is this an actual “psak”, or just a good hanhaga in order to enhance sholom bayis? There’s a famous story with the Chofetz Chaim about this, that he waited for his wife. I’m pretty sure that it was due to mussar, and not as a halachic psak.

  2. Rav Elyashiv’s psak should be qualified by the fact that the Rav holds that one is only yotzei if he lights outside (at least here in Eretz Yisroel) and therefore the time for lighting is meakev, however according to almost everyone if one lights inside there is no inyan of “ad shetichle regel min hashuk” since the people outside don’t see the candles anyways, and therefore one can light later in the night. Also, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ZT’L held that it was bad chinuch not to have the father light with the family and therefore it is preferable to light later with everyone gathered together, even if they light after the proper zman.

  3. “If one is prepared to light at the proper time, but his wife is not ready (or home yet), the p’sak of Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l and ybl”c Rav Shmuel Wosner is that one should wait for his wife even if this means that he will not be able to light at the preferred time. (We learn this from the fact that expense for ner Shabbos has priority over ner Chanukah because of shalom bayis.)”

    THIS IS A QUESTION?

  4. I don’t understand. His wife should light without him if he is not at home, but he should wait for his wife if she is not at home? Sounds like a stira.
    Maybe we can answer it by saying that Rav Elyashiv and Rav Chaim always hold it is better to light at the zman, even if your spouse is not at home and Rav Yaakov and Rav Wosner always hold you should light with your family, even if it is later in the evening. Maybe we should ask the Gedolim for clarification. Three of them are BH around to ask.

  5. What does Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Rav Chaim Kanievsky say about shaylaa # 2?
    What does Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l and ybl”c Rav Shmuel Wosner say about shaylaa # 1?

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