Someone said over today (in then name of the Sfes Emes) that the mitzvah of Ner Channukah didn't officially "start" until the 2nd Beis HaMikdash was destroyed, since it was established as somewhat of a zecher for the Menorah in the Mikdash (Holy Temple) (until then they were able to light the Menorah in the Beis HaMikdash, so why commemorate the event with lighting as well? — this I understood to be the intention of saying this), and the destruction of the 2nd Beis HaMikdash wasn't until 200 years after the story of Channukah (See SA Siman 670 and M"B Sif-Katan 1 there.) I want to know if the Sfes Emes or anyone else says such a thing?

  • The Bavli (:שבת כא) seems to purposely be vague about it: לשנה אחרת קבעום ועשאום ימים טובים בהלל והודאה - "at another year" they instituted it as a holiday... Commented Nov 1, 2012 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


Looking through the Sefas Emes on Chanuka it is clear that Ner Chanuka was established immediately the following year.

However I found that Sefer Yavin Daas - Chasdei Avos - Rabbi Yehoshua M'Katna Zatzal says that this may have been the case.

שבאמת כ''ז שבהמ''ק הי' קיים לא התקינו חז''ל מצוות הדלקת נ''ח

"That in truth the whole time the Bais Hamikdash was standing Chazal did not institute the Mitzva of lighting Chanuka candles."

(my translation)

  • That's certainly the answer I'm looking for. However I wish he had a source to provide for such a statement. The Sfas Emes I figured was the wrong mareh makom but that's how the person said it over.
    – Yehoshua
    Commented Oct 28, 2012 at 15:14
  • Did you mean "may NOT have been the case"?
    – Seth J
    Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 15:27
  • 1
    Even better than the first answer. However I would have said to leave it up as well what was originally written (it's nice to have a variety of sources and those that dealt with the shailo)
    – Yehoshua
    Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 16:01
  • How did you get to this mareh makom? Also can you tell anything about who the machaber was?
    – Yehoshua
    Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 16:48
  • I have no idea who he was. I heard a Shiur last night on this and looked it up. Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 16:53

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