The Rambam In Hilchos Chanukah (4:12) says:

מצות נר חנוכה, מצוה חביבה היא עד מאוד

(Loose translation) The commandment of the lights of Chanukah is a commandment that is very much adored.

Being that it is a Halacha Sefer what is the Halachic significance to this statement?

  • 1
    sources.......? – Menachem May 8 '12 at 17:41

The Sefer HaTodaa says that they are Chavivim as it is a Zecher V'Dugma to the menorah in the Bais HaMikdash, and the Menora in the Bais HaMikdash was equal to all the Korbonos.

And the greatness of these candles - both the Neiros Chanuka and the Neiros of the Bais HaMikdash is that they are witnesses to the Jews that all light comes from Hashem and that we are only interested in light from Hashem (Rabbenu Bachya).


The implication of the adjacent statement is that it requires one to sell off his belongings (even his clothing) to do it.

  • Yeah but that is because of Pirsumay Nissah not why the Rambam in a Halacha sefer talks about aa Non-Halachic required emotion. – SimchasTorah Dec 3 '10 at 7:17
  • The implication by juxtaposition is that the belovedness, pirsumei nisa, and this requirement are all in some way causally related. – WAF Dec 5 '10 at 5:13

The MT is much more than a halacha sefer; at least more than what we generally call halacha. Most of the first book; sefer hamada comprises "laws" outside of the normal definition of halacha, and in more than a few places he takes the opportunity to go on moral or philosophical tangents. For example his hilchos talmud Torah is clearly intended to inspire rather than just inform the reader. Hilchos matnos aniyim as well is full of non-halachic (in the strict sense) content.

  • R. Twersky z'l discusses this in his book, "Introduction to the Code of Maimonides", around pg 55-65. (Highly recommended, even though it wasn't written to be read by people who actually learn Rambam). However, while it's important in rejecting one aspect of the OP's premise, I don't think that this general observation accounts for the Rambam's comment regarding Channukah candles. The question can be reformulated as, "what did the Rambam intend to teach us by noting the beloved nature of this mitzvah"? – הנער הזה Jan 29 '15 at 7:01
  • I know. I own the book and wrote my answer based in part on it. I just dont have the book with me so I didnt remember the exact sources cited. – mevaqesh Jan 29 '15 at 17:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .