Tuesday 30 October 2007
For Those Who Don't Not Watch TV (But Still Don't Watch It)
by Nishma Researh Assistant and Stern College student, Tikva Hecht,
appeared in Kol Hamevaser 1:2 and is available on line at: http://media.www.yucommentator.com/media/storage/paper652/news/2007/10/08/KolHamevaser/For-Those.Who.Dont.Not.Watch.Tv.but.Still.Dont.Watch.It-3021682.shtml
The article raises some important issues regarding the interplay of secular society, specifically culture, and Torah. We look forward to your comments.
Friday 26 October 2007
The willow which symbolizes the Jew without Torah learning and good deeds and also symbolizes the "mouth" is taken in our hands and beaten (havatat aravot) on the floor five times. There are many, many different reasons given for this obscure ritual. I would like to offer my own: I see the beating of the willows parallel to the azazel ritual. In other words, the willows become the scapegoat.
Why five times? Five is a significant number: Five senses, Five Books of Moses, Five pointed star, (this symbol of the five-pointed Star and the corresponding number five have been consonant symbols for Man for as long as there has been written record, dating back to the earliest centuries, Five fingers on each hand, Five toes on each foot and the word "quintessence" means the fifth essence. In physics, quintessence is a hypothetical form of dark energy postulated as an explanation of observations of an accelerating universe. The ancients saw a link of God to man in the number five. Geometrically it is a pentagon. In three dimensions it is a pyramid, like the Great Pyramids in Egypt. So as you can see, beating the willow 5 times may have greater meaning than meets the eye.
Another beautiful thought: The word for willow "aravah" also means "sweet," so that our prayers should be sweet before the Almighty.
So when you beat the willows, be sure to pray for a sweet year and a quintessence of Avodas HaShem.
-Cantor Richard Wolberg
Tuesday 23 October 2007
Q: So wasn't the nachash [snake] right? After all, what is so bad about knowing Good from Evil?
A: Because now we are stuck in a judgmental paradigm that we cannot escape.
Q: Whatcha mean?
A: I guess, before the "sin," we were all like Zen monks. Everything just IS. We only lived for the present moment. No discussion, no planning, no remembering, just being and experiencing.
Now, we are constantly stuck in the mind game
- Did I do the fight thing?
- Did so-and-so do the right thing?
- Were the Yankees GOOD to Torre?
- Was Torre's firing good for the Jews?
Q: Wow! So what can we do NOW?
A:Hashiveinu Hashem...Hadesh Yameinu kekdem. Restore us to our original state of ignorant bliss. But, please hurry, it has taken way too long already!
During my years at yeshiva, there was a small set of students who were interested in Torah but also had certain "voyeuristic" tendencies. In order to satisfy their hormones - and perhaps their intellect too - they would read the sections of Halachah that dealt with marital and sexual relations. For example, Rambam Hilchos Issurei Bia'h, or other related texts, became reading material in the Beis Midrash.
Was this a legitimate channel for the libido? Or was this merely to cover up for their voyeurism and was a violation of the spirit - if not the letter - of "Do not stray after your eyes" - lo sassuro acahrei ... eineichem?
- On the one hand, reading Shas/Rambam/Shulchan Aruch can be construed as better than staring at centrefolds.
- On the other hand, are they actually "faking" or "feigning" an interest in Halachah merely to cover-up what they are REALLY doing?
Monday 22 October 2007
Dear NishmaBlog Readers,
I have finally completed reading Marc Shapiro's book on the 13 Principles of the Rambam. I will do a book review BEH in several installments forthwith.
Thursday 18 October 2007
I want to focus on a Ri Migash. The Ri Migash is quoted as recommending that rabbis are better served by using Gaonic works [secondary sources] than by going back to examine the Talmud itself. This is a classic "midgets on the shoulders of giants" argument. The problem: The Ri Migash disregarded this rule himself.
Well, as the article goes on to say, such programmatic or formulaic statements are meant to be disregarded at times at the very outset. In other words, no one takes such generalities as absolutes.
What was the Ri Migash REALLY saying?
One explanation is simple. Unless one is a a master of the entire Talmud, it is better to use secondary sources. Secondary sources have already predigested the entire corpus and so can provide a more holistic point of view on any issue.
As such, as I see it, only the GREAT masters of Talmud have the right [maybe the obligation at times] to go back to the Talmud to render Halachah.
The Rosh seems to recommend that approach for everybody. IMHO the Rosh simply over-estimated the gravitas of the average or mediocre rabbi. Few of them are even CAPABLE of using this methodology. Many that do are likely subject to errors of omission or perhaps even hubris.
I would posit that even for masters of Talmud, it is a slippery slope to go back to the Talmud if it overturns precedent. Once a GREAT rabbi uses this method to overturn tradition, it becomes fair game for other rabbis - of admittedly lesser stature - to follow suit. Given that a certain Poseik may have the RIGHT to go back to the Talmud, he should not necessarily exercise that right.
Why? He is opening up a Pandora's box for other rabbis. Hachamim hizaharu b'divreichem. In this case, be careful of what techniques you use lest you send others on a problematic path.
Now I can think of 2 caveats where going back to examine the Talmud is desirable:
- New case law. Issues that have little "common Law" type precedent.
- Urgent issues or Hora'as sho'ah issues. E.G. to help out Agunos.
The Aruch Hashulochan limits himself in p'sak. Regarding the issue of al nekiyyus Yadayim he favors the logic of the Rashba to use the original formula of al netilas Yadayim and not to be meshaneh the matbie'a to al nekiyyus.
However, he submits himself to the rulings of the Rosh and Tur. This might be due to his humility. Or perhaps he sees precedent as binding in a way analogous to that of Common Law. This is the technique favored by Ashkenazim throughout the period of the Rema.
Shach YD 1:1 ratifies this. Lo Ra'inu IS a Raya in the realm of Minhag. Introducing new practices is contra-Tradition. The fact that women Halachically are ABLE to slaughter does not mean we should change the Minhag to allow them to slaughter. Why not? Since it is a time-honored tradition, granting this permission would break with common Law Precedent and act to repeal of 'settled case law "to do so."
If you were to ask why Ashkenazim refrained from permitting women to slaughter, and was this due to some misogynist agenda? The answer is, according to the Levush - it is due to women being subject to fainting. This kind of G'zeria is common to the Talmud. Something goes wrong, and if Hazal see it as a potential problem in the future, they then make a g'zeira not to do it in the future .[ e.g see Hullin regarding: omitting Mayyim aharonim might lead to eating hazir]
Primary sources would have ignored this g'zeira. So did Bet Yosef - probably because Sephardic communities did not have this situation as a precedent in Sephardic communities.
Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
- Noah lived 600 years before the Flood
- The Flood lasted 1 full solar year
- Noah lived 350 years AFTER the flood
- Noah's total life-span is 950 years.
- But - Since 600 + 1 + 350 = 951, Therefore Noah SHOULD have lived 951 years!
What Commentaries deal with this?
Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Tuesday 16 October 2007
|Originally published 10/16/07, 12:55 PM, Eastern Daylight Time.|
For the past century, attendees of Young Israel synagogues dotting the country have known what to expect: junior congregations that excite kids, congregational singing and a commercial-free environment which enliven adults and shomer Shabbat policies to ensure an Orthodox atmosphere for all.Read Full Article
Copyright 2007 The Commentator and College Publisher
Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Despite some controversies surrounding Chabad in particular and Hassidim in general, there is no question that they are "unapologetic" Jews. They wear their Yiddishkeit on their sleeves and have no problem dealing with the outside world on their own terms. Read on:
Have prayers and Packers, too
Orthodox Jews worship at Lambeau tailgate
By BILL GLAUBER
Posted: Oct. 14, 2007Green Bay - If you're going to have a kosher tailgate at Lambeau Field, you might as well go all the way. That means you light up the coals of the kosher grill and bring out the kosher hot dogs, beef, chicken and brats. And you recite morning prayers in Hebrew, even if a rock band is on a nearby stage blaring "Brown Sugar."So Sunday, Rabbi Shais Taub of the Chabad Lubavitch of Wisconsin led a group of 10 Orthodox Jews on a pilgrimage from Milwaukee deep into Packerland. They tailgated across the street from Lambeau, in a grass-covered parking lot, next door to Kroll's West, where butter burgers - definitely not kosher - are a specialty. And they prayed, with some of the men and their sons donning a prayer shawl called a tallit and phylacteries, two small leather boxes containing verses of Scripture....
For the rest of this story See:
Friday 12 October 2007
This week's parsha is Noach and the topic is the Noachide Code. Most individuals believe this Code to be an abbreviated form, a subset, of the Taryag Code that applies to Jews. In fact, the Noachide Code is a fully independent system which, at times, yields conclusions that are in conflict with the Halacha that Jews are suppose to follow. One example of this is found in the rules of judgement and justice and the noted Insight investigates this surpristing reality, for how can two moral systems originating in the Divine have such distinctions. The Question of Dual Moralities is at http://www.nishma.org/articles/insight/insight5758-01.htm
Tuesday 9 October 2007
Although the Yemenite Jews accepted as a whole the halachic rulings of Rambam, especially where Rambam came to contend with other exponents of Jewish law over difficult halachic issues, still, where they found contradictions between their own halachic traditions and those prescribed by Rambam in his Code of Jewish Law, the practices and customs bequeathed unto them by their forefathers were those that were generally upheld by the community- despite their great love and respect for Rambam. This only goes to show that the Jews of Yemen were not devoid of Torah in themselves, before the light of Rambam shone upon them in
. Rambam's epistle to the Yemenites, as also the following selection of thirty-two, so-called, anomalies found amongst them proves this fact beyond any reasonable doubt. By their persistence in their own particular customs, they showed thereby that halacha and religious observance did not begin for them with Rambam. Yemen
From the above we can clearly make the following observations::
From the Avodah list:
On 10/7/07, firstname.lastname@example.org:Never having read this sefer, I cannot comment on the specifics...
The sefer, [i.e. Vayoel Moshe] in my humble opinion, is full of these misrepresentations; can someone guide me as to how I can understand a Godol Hador's writings?
Thank You.Binyomin Hirsch
- "As soon as passionate advocacy enters, reasonable judgment and fair-minded balance exits"
- "One can be either an advocate for a position, or be a dispassionate objective observer but it is well-nigh impossible to serve both causes justly."
- "Hevu masunim bedin"
- and al Tadin Yehcidi, etc.
Example: The Rambam was a Gadol but he stated many controversial positions. AFAIK only Teimanim accept his positions [almost] wholesale. Certainly, R. Yosef Karo did not. The beauty of the Beis Yosef and the Rema is that generally they surveyed a wide-consensus of "gedolim" and rarely relied upon a single idiosyncratic view. I endorse that methodology wholeheartedly. In that sense I would state of myself that I am accepting of Gedolim in general and a skeptic regarding any specific Gadol 's pronouncements.
Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
I generally see three schools of Judicial thought:
NB: Since I first authored this, I have been informed that there can be more than 3. For Example: "reactionary" - where one would do things OUR way as opposed to the ways of other cultures.
BEH I will stick with these 3 American Models for now. When I do a Jewish parallel, I will add a 4th Jewish/Religious Model.
Kol Tuv / Best Regards, RabbiRichWolpoe@Gmail.com
While it is true that many bloggers, propagandists etc. seem to appeal to human's lower, baser nature - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem.
Nishmablog, on the other hand, is doing its best to appeal to our higher nature. Our meta-goal is V'chal dracheha darchei no'am.
Monday 8 October 2007
Recalling earlier posts on Nishmablog about Faith and Doubt, I decided to relate this story to our readership.Once upon a time, three people discussed the history of Megillas Esther
- Rabbi W
- Mr. X
- Rabbi Y
Mr. X felt intrigued. He listened to hear more.
Later on, Rabbi Y came along. He stated firmly that Megillas Esther never actually happened and, like "Iyyov," was merely a religious story, a myth, a legend to teach a lesson.
Furthermore, Rabbi Y asserted the following: "If Rabbi W were so certain about the authenticity of the literal existence of Megillas Esther, he would need not speculate about Herodotus etc. this PROVES that Rabbi W. is just as skeptical as I am." Then Rabbi Y left the discussion.
Mr. X felt shaken, He liked what Rabbi W had to say but now he had doubts himself. He wondered if ANYONE believes The Esther story to be true.
"Say it ain't so Rabbi W! I want to believe that the story of Esther REALLY happened. Do YOU harbor any doubts?" asked Mr. X.
Rabbi W. thought for a few minutes. He then proceeded to explain his position.
"I'd like to believe it is true, too. And it is true that Rabbi Y and I do share a sense of skepticism about certain events and texts. We can both be critical of "conventional wisdom" and we both enjoy to promote a new angle on old ideas. BUT - and I must emphasize this - you must NOT confuse our very different positions re: Megillas Esther!"
"Rabbi W, you are a skeptic, and so is Rabbi Y! So how are any different after all?"
"You ask a good question Mr. X! I will explain. You see Rabbi Y is not JUST skeptical, he is also a bit cynical. It is not like he finds historical problems on Megillas Esther, and therefore has a doubt about its authenticity. Rather, he has FIRMLY MADE UP HIS MIND, that Megillas Esther CANNOT be historical! And following that conclusion he is now adamant about not listening to any proofs to the contrary! On the other hand, I have some doubts. I am not certain it IS historical and I am not certain it is NOT historical. But as a skeptic - and NOT a cynic - my mind is far from made up. I am researching and looking for more and more points. In fact I would prefer to find solid evidence that it IS historical after all. On the other hand, I do share some of Rabbi Y.'s doubts about some of the accounts. So my mind is not 100% certain that this book is to be taken literally! Can you see the difference?"
Mr. X pondered it a bit. "I think I can understand a distinction... but it seems neither of you are believers!"
"Well, it seems that way. I am actually saying that I AM a believer to an extent but that I harbor some doubts. Let's say I keep my options open."
Mr. X persisted: "What's the point of that?"
- Almost 100% historical
- Almost 100% non-Historical
- Somewhere in between!
- 100% righteous people
- 100% evil people and
- The vast majority in between.
Mr. X tugged at his chin. Rabbi W.'s points were sinking in after all It had been a bit of a shock for him to see any Rabbi as not having 100% faith, but now he kind of understood that faith can allow for some doubt, and that not everyone was 100% filled with faith. He also realize that Rabbi Y in a way WAS filled with a strong faith, but his was a faith in the negative sense. And he could see how Rabbi Y.'s cynicism blinded him from seeing any new facts emerging from archaeology that might give a more positive historical spin on this story. Mr. X also appreciated that faith, reason, doubt, skepticism, etc. could be gray and not so black-and-white - and that there was room for variety of perceptions. He also appreciated Rabbi W.'s candor, realizing that other rabbis might have doubts, too but are not up-front enough to admit them.
Rabbi W told Mr. X. "Now let's have some tea and cake, something in which we can BOTH believe in equally!"
Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Maclean's magazine featured an interview last week. with A. J. Jacobs. The book he wrote, "The Year of Living Biblically," is based upon the author's year of living according to the literal word of the Bible. His interview is available on line here.
I have not seen the book but I found the interview most interesting. I am still not sure how to respond. Obviously, this person's year of following the Bible literally does not really reflect Orthodox Judaism. It most likely was closer, in practice, to the Karaites or the Sadducees. Nonetheless, Mr. Jacobs' comments are still worth noting. I found myself torn in my reactions.
I would be most interested in your comments.
Wednesday 3 October 2007
First, I invite you to view the video of Ahmadinejad's meeting with some Neturei Karta rabbis here. You may find it somewhat disturbing but it is clearly something worth watching.
I have dealt before with the issue of members of Neturei Karta meeting with Ahmadinejad, specifically their attendance at that infamous conference at Tehran. My position is actually quite simple -- as far as I am concerned there is no justification for meeting with someone who wishes to attack Jews. Even if Neturei Karta has "all" the Torah arguments in the world to justify their theological positions including their view of Israel, in that the majority , the vast majority of Jews, even the vast majority of Torah Jews, do not share this view and those who oppose this mainstream Jewish view have declared a willingness to harm these Jews, there is no explanation for sitting with a sonei Yisrael, one committed to harming Jews.
Having said this, though, this video is the first time I have actually seem these members of Neturei Karta present their views, and opens new issues that demand investigation.
1) Eilu v'Eilu -- In the Sifkin Affair, people argued Eilu v'Eilu in the name of tolerance. Would these same people argue it in this case -- afterall are these NK people not making Torah arguments. But they do not invoke Eilu v'Eilu so why should we? Is that the way Eilu v'Eilu works? Do you know that Reform Judaism also invokes Eilu v'Eilu? Don't we still apply this concept in other cases while rejecting it in regard to Reform? Don't we apply and not apply Eilu v'Eilu? Is that not what these NK people are also doing? Eilu v'Eilu is a problematice concept and one cannot fully comprehend its depth and its difficulty until we confront situations like this one when we recognize that we have to be tolerant to other Torah positions but also understand that Torah tolerance still only works within certain parameters. Working out those parameters, and recognizing the possibility of arguments regarding those parameters For further insights on this topic see my various articles on the Slifkin Affair which are available in the Nishma website's Index to Commentaries.
2) Religion v.s. Nationalism -- If you follow the words of the NK spokesman, you truly see an aspect of the Jewish world that is often overlooked -- the difference between religiously motivated Jewish identity and nationally motivated Jewish identity. If you look at Islamic fundamentalists without a consideration of their anti-Israel stand, do you not find a group close to religious motivated Jewishness? There is a belief in One God. There is some semblance of a sexual morality albeit its actual manifestation is not in line with Jewish values even for the most right-wing Orthodox Jew (and more so for more liberal views within Orthodoxy). But think about this. In America, we are siding with the Christian fundamentalists against secularists but vis-a-vis Muslim fundamentalists we seem , to some extent, to find ourselves siding with secularists.
Israel is a major reason for our definitions of allegiance -- but think about what we would be thinking if Israel was not the issue. What you see in the video is one monotheist praising another monotheist against secularism. How do you respond to that? Is it not interesting that in so many ways we side with the secularists against monotheists? Is that not something to ponder? And what about this generic view of religion anyway? I find it also strange that Israel has drawn individuals closer to Christian fundamentalism. In any event viewing this video does also raise issues of our identity as well.
Questioning, investigating, analyzing should not be understood as in any way giving value. I find this video disturbing, period. But it is still worthwhile to contemplate.
Tuesday 2 October 2007
Reprise, parts 1 and 2
Note: This is along the lines of why the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur are described as the TWO happiest days of the year in Mishan Ta'anit. In an earlier post, I showed the SPECIFIC connection between those 2 dates in contrast to the catastrophic dates of the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av; thereby showing that contextually in Ta'anit, these dates are all inter-related. In other words, the dates of the TWO happiest days are SPECIFICALLY IN CONTEXT of Masechet Ta'anit
Similarly, I am seeking a specific Sukkot-timed event, not a generality that we might be told to observe during Sukkot such as God's Divine Protection. While it may be TRUE that the Sukkah DOES remind us of God's protection it does not point to the 15th of Tishrei as a time of Simcha per se; it is NO anniversary! After all, Z'man means z'man! Thus, my goal is a specific temporal-historical anniversary. Anything LESS than this goal is imho NOT a satisfactory answer but a rationale to justify "regnant culture" as a friend of mine would say!
On 10/2/07, Richard Wolpoe email@example.com wrote:
Why is Sukkot termed Z'man Simchateinu [time of rejoicing]?
The 3 Regalim [pilgrimages] correspond to at least 2 holiday matrices; i.e. historical and agricultural. [While, there may be many more, let's address these two based upon Torah and Oral Tradition.]
Agricultural [All in the Torah]
- Passover - Barley -Omer - Barely
- Shavuot - Wheat - Minchah hadashah shtei Halechem
- Sukkot - Hag Ha'assif [also Geshem!]
- Passover - Exodus
- Shavuot - Giving of the Torah [primarily oral but hinted in text]
- Sukkot - ?????
The Part 2 Questions, with the answers interwoven.Hints:
- What is the SADDEST day of the year?9th of Av
- What MADE that day the saddest day of the year?
The Destruction of the 2 Temples
- What would its converse be?
The Construction of the Temple -e.g. by a King Like Shlomoh!
- What liturgical texts support this hypothesis?
The haftarot of Day 2 And Shmini Zteret in the Golah
The "yakim lanu et Sukkat DAvid Hanofelet.." which is found in both Birkat Hamazon and the Zulat [a type o Piyyut] by Kallir
- How is Hag haSukkot translated in older Bibles?
Tabernacles - a possible reference to the Temple's predecessor
Thus Sukkot is the Rejoicing of the Mikdash like 9th of Av is the Mourning of the Mikdash. Makes sense to celebrate the positive as much as it is to Mourn the negative.
The only weakness to this model is that is not in Humash but in the Nevi'im. And so possibly Sukkot had not yet earned the title Simchateinu until later on! It is obvious that the Construction of the Bet haMikdash is the culmination of the model of the First Commonwealth as outlined in Devarim.
Completing the above MatrixHistorical:
- Passover - Exodus
- Shavuot - Giving of the Torah [primarily oral but hinted in text]
- Sukkot - Construction of Solomon's Temple [as documented in the Haftarot] This also explains how Shmini Atzeret is ALSO Z'man Simchateinu.
So, Rabbi Wolpoe, why isn't this the OBVIOUS reason! Why is this reason not better publicized? Well, after the destruction of the Temple, pushing this theme to the fore would offer a mixed message.
Any Evidence of this phenomenon?
Well, some see the "Harachaman who yakim" as problematic on Yom Tov. They therefore do not say it then because it recalls that the Temple is in ruins. And so it is that this reminder, while depressing on Yom tov, is OK during Hulo Shel Mo'ed.
In an article I wrote for this week's Jewish Tribune in Toronto, I argued that the issue is not solely equality. The fundamental issue, from my perspective, is freedom of relgion and the issue extends beyond this one particular issue to include a major shift in consciousness that is now engulfing the Western World. I invite you to look at the article and to comment on this blog.
The article is available on the Jewish Tribune website at:
Note: I don't recall which rebbe first said this, but if anyone in Cyber-space knows, I will update this post accordingly, BEHQ: How is The Mitzvah of Sukkah so unique [almost] - in that it shares a quality in common with only 1 other mitzvah nowadays.
A: Just like the Mikvah, the Sukkah encompasses our entire body. In the time of the Temple , we could experience being encompassed by the sanctity of the Bet Hamikdash, now we have only Mikvah and Sukkah.
Why do we sit in the Sukkah in the Golah on Sukkot but do not take the Lulav etc. on Shmini Atzeret? This question has bothered me since I was a kid - AND there are MANY reasons given.
- Why are Hanukkah and Purim observed only 8 and 1 day respectively in the Golah? Why not add a day?
- Why is Sefirah done on the 2nd day of Passover as definite and not done on both 2nd and 3rd keeping 2 counts out of doubt?
So Sukkah on the 8th day in the Golah is a "S'feik D'oraitta l'humra" while Lulav is a "S'feik Derabbana l'kulah."
Q: But Rabbi - why isn't this answer given?
A: Wolpoe's Rule #1 of Oral Law -
We often know the WHAT to Do, but we do not always know the WHY!This model seems to me more straightforward than the various answers I have seen given over the years!
Question: Why does the lady of the house cover her eyes during the blessing over the Shabbat Candles?
Answer: Well, that all depends...
- Sephardim actually say the Blessing FIRST and then light. This in keeping with the principle of doing the Bracha PRIOR to the act [over la'asiyatam].
- Ashkenazim [apparently based upon the Mordechai*] consider the blessing as an acceptance of Shabbat. So in order not to light after the start of Shabbat the lady of the house says the Bracha first.
- The reason USUALLY given for the above practice is that the women do not wish to USE the light before the blessing as above in #1. So, if one performs the act before the blessing, nevertheless one does not derive BENEFIT from that act until after the Blessing.
- Richard Wolpoe's Oral Law #1 states: we often know WHAT to do without knowing the WHY. Thus, the reason offered might not be the ORIGINAL reason at all, rather it might be a retro-fitted rationale.
- And so an alternative model came to me whilst working at a nursing home. An astute resident informed me that in Roman Times people worshiped fire. I interpret this to refer to Zoroastrians [prominent in Bavel] who are recorded in the Talmud as "fire-worshipers." Thus it emerges that whilst reciting the blessing, the women are careful NOT to gaze upon the flame lest thy be construed as fire-worshipers
- This explanation - while quite illuminating [pun intended] - is problematic with regard to Saturday Night's Blessing of borei m'orei hoa'eish.
[*] NB: The Halachot Gedolot [BeHag] records that the LIGHTING the candles is tantamount to accepting the Shabbat. Note: Tosafot objects to this model. What I find that is strange is that this principle SEEMS to have been morphed by the Mordechai to refer to the BLESSING over the candles rather than the LIGHTING of the Candles - as was originally recorded by the BeHaG! Did the Mordechai misconstrue the BeHag ? Or was he merely recording a widely accepted practice of his era that predated him by generations? It is difficult to know for certain.