We present below several rulings of HaRav Elyashiv, Shlita, relating to Chanukah, as excerpted from the monumental Sefer Ashrei HaIsh (Volume III):
1. One should attempt to use the nicest Menorah and Neiros possible, even though the Chashmonaim themselves may have lit with broken earthenware vessels. The Mitzvah is to be performed based upon “Zeh Keili VeAnveihu”–and not to replicate that which Chazal did not instruct to replicate.
2. All oils can be used to light, but olive oil is a Mitzvah Min HaMuvchar. Pure olive oil is better than regular olive oil, and edible olive oil is better than non-edible olive oil–as the closer one gets to the oil of the Bais HaMikdash, the great the Hiddur Mitzvah!
3. One may use floating wicks LeChatchila, notwithstanding that at the moment that one lights the wicks he is actually lighting the flammable wax coating and not the oil.[Rabbi Webster in his Shiur pointed out that, according to other Poskim, it would be best to keep the lighting flame on the wick for a short while, so that the wax will melted off].
4. If one lit at home, and is then asked to light in Shul, he should not make a new Shehechiyanu in Shul, as the Brachos in Shul are based upon Minhag, and it is not a separate Mitzvah. In fact, even if there are many Minyanim in a Shul, the Menorah should only be lit with a bracha only once at the first Minyan, or in the Main Shul minyan only. Of course, the other Minyanim and/or the other locations should preferably have the Menorah lit, but without a bracha. A katan should not light in Shul; if he did so, it should be extinguished and relit with a bracha by a person of age so that there is proper Pirsumei Nissah.
5. It is appropriate for a katan who has already reached the age of Chinuch to be Yotzei with his father’s lighting(and for the father to have him in mind)–even if the katan will light again on his own [HaRav Elyashiv actually rules that it would be best for the katan who has reached the age of Chinuch not to light at all because he cannot fulfill the Mitzvah which is on the Bayis, so it is a Hadlakah Pesulah, MeIkar HaDin]. HaRav Elyashiv brings that this is also the ruling of the Kli Chemda (to Bamidbar 17:8). On the other hand, the other household members who are above the age of Bar Mitzvah should have in mind not to be Yotzei with the Ba’al HaBayis and be Yotzei the Ikar Mitzvah themselves.
6. What does one do when looking at the Neiros? In his Divrei Aggadah, HaRav Elyashiv writes that one should think about how close we had come to extinguishment of the Menorah–…and how the Chashmonaim did not sit back and wait as it was being extinguished. Instead, the Chashmonaim worked diligently to purify the oil so that after the Tekufah of the Chashmonaim came the Tenoim, the further development of Torah She’Be’al Peh, and ultimately the Talmud Bavli and Talmud Yerushalmi. Chanukah is a time to remind ourselves to take action on behalf of Torah–and to actually begin taking that action!
7. . If one cannot light on time, but either at P’lag HaMincha or later in the night–he should light at the time when there is greater Pirsumei Nissah. To a soldier, HaRav Elyashiv ruled that he should light when more Chayalim would see the Neiros.
8. When one is on a plane above an area where the time to light has arrived [ see chaitables.com], he too has a Chov of Hadlakah at that time. Of course, one cannot light on a plane, and if one would do so, it would be a bracha levatalah. If at this very time they are actually lighting in home, he can be Yotzei with their Hadlakah. If the neiros were already lit in the home, he would not be Yotzei because “Hadlakah Oseh Mitzvah”–the actual act of lighting is what counts –and no lighting was done at the time that his obligation to light occurred. Hakhel Note: We thus see how important it is to avoid being on an airplane if at all possible during this time.
9. Lighting must be done in a ‘Bayis’–accordingly one can light in the Bais Haknesses at the cave of the Kosel, but cannot light at the open area of the Kosel.
10. If a hotel does not allow a person to light by the doorway (but only in the lobby on a table), then one is not allowed to light at the doorway without the hotel’s permission for this is theft, and one is not Yotzei. Instead, one should make it his business to be elsewhere for Chanukah.
11. One is not permitted to fast on Chanukah. Accordingly, if one sees that his breakfast is being delayed, he should eat or drink something before Chatzos, so that he is not fasting.
12. If one forgot Al HaNissim in Shemone Esrei, he should recite “HaRachaman Hu Ya’aseh Nissim VeNaflaos Kisheim She’asissa LaAvoseinu Bayamim HaHaeim BaZeman HaZeh…Bimei Mattisyahu…” at the end of Elokai Netzor, just before Yeheyu LeRatzon. On Shabbos, he should start directly with Bimei Mattisyahu, since one may not add additional HaRachamans (personal requests) on Shabbos.
13. We recite full Hallel every day Chanukah because a new miracle occurred daily. If one mistakenly recited half Hallel, he should recite the entire Hallel anew gain. If he cannot find anyone to be Motzi him with the bracha, he should think the Bracha in his heart before reciting the full Hallel.
14. With respect to the Segulah of giving Tzedaka on Chanukah, it need not especially be before or after lighting–for it is a Segulah any time during the day. The Segulah also applies to distributing Ma’aser money on Chanukah. One should try to make sure that the tzedakah money actually gets to the poor person on Chanukah, so that he can derive benefit from it.
15. One should not put the words “HaNeiros Halallu Kodesh Heim” into an advertisement, because it is a part of a Ma’amar Chazal, and would require Genizah. Hakhel Note: Let us consider the sanctity of the words that we are privileged to know so easily and so well!
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