Shabbat 21a – Hannukah Candles – Kavta Zakuk La

In this shiur we analyzed the opening sugya of the Hannukah material as it appears in the second chapter of Masechet Shabbat.  The first issue that the gemara addresses is the permissability of oils and wicks on Hannukah that may not be used on Shabbat.  The gemara gives us three positions:

1) Rav Huna – those oils that may not be used on Shabbat may never be used on Hannukah

2)Rav Hisda – those oils that may not be used on Shabbat can be used on Hannukah only during the week and not during the shabbat(ot) of Hannukah.

3) Rav – those oils that may not be used on Shabbat can be used through out all of Hannnukah.

Rava then proceeds to provide the conceptual framework for these three approaches.  We began by noting that there is no fourth shitta recorded which permits lighting with the sub-par oils and wicks on Shabbat and forbids during the week.  One of the goals of the shiur was to provide an explanation as to why that fourth approach is simply illogical or untenable.

The shittot were analyzed through the lens of Tosafot’s question – if Rav Huna holds that one is required to relight an extinguished flame (kavta zakuk la) isn’t that sufficient to prohibit usage on weekdays and Shabbat.  How, asked Tosafot, does Rava know that Rav Huna also holds that we are permitted to benefit from their light (mutar lihishtamesh l’orah).  This same question was asked by Ramban (and Rashba).  As is their way – Tosafot gives a structural answer and Ramban a conceptual answer.

The mekorot (Gemara and Rishonim) can be found at this link.

Kavta Zakuk La – Tosfot Ramban

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