Sunday, December 16, 2012

Chinuch vs. Shalom Bayit

This past Shabbat we had my daughter, son-in-law (SIL) and grandson over. When it came time to prepare the chanukoyot for lighting on Friday, my unmarried daughter and I saw that my SIL had prepared his incorrectly, so my daughter switched things around. When it came time to light, my SIL switched it back the way he had it and lit and then proceeded to tell up for the next 15 minutes that HIS way is correct, our's is wrong and that he had 4 different rabbis tell him his way is the way to do it.

Apparently he did the same thing last year when they spent Shabbat Chanukah with us and slept (and lit chanukiyah) by friends' of ours. And he did the same thing when he was over at my ex-husband's house.

My married daughter, I assume in an effort to keep the peace in her house, simply says that there are different ways to do it. And despite MULTIPLE people (and different people on different occasions) telling my SIL HE is doing it incorrectly, he insists he's doing it the right way and everyone else is wrong.

For the record, the proper way to set up and light a chanukiyah is facing you, start at the extreme right for day one. On day two, you prepare the two candles from extreme right to the left, but light from the left to the right. And you carry that pattern through the 8 days. My SIL does the exact opposite - starts preparing from the extreme left and goes to the right (I didn't see which direction he lights from).

So... where do I go from here? Their son is going to learn the right way and then get 'corrected' by his father... and we're talking fulfilling a Halachic obligation here. It's like putting Tefillin on wrong or hanging a mezzuzah wrong... if the execution isn't right, it's like you've never done it.


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't think that setting up the candles wrong or lighting them in the wrong order is *that* bad since halachically, you can fulfill the obligation by lighting only one candle each night. Lighting more than that is already mihadrin min hamihadrin. If so many people have told him and he won't listen, what else can you do?

Anonymous said...

PS - a song I remember from preschool:

You put them in starting from the right
and add one more on every night
but don't forget when you start to light
you do it from the left to right

Mark said...

There are a minority of poskim who hold that you light the rightmost candle first as this the IKAR HAMITZVAH and only then light the remainder from left to right.

Bottom line is that your son in law is not necessarily wrong just that he comes from a different community and wives usually follow husbands to have shalom bayis.

Really bottom line is that all this can really be checked and amicabally settled without confusing or upsetting the grand kids.


Pesky Settler said...

Mark, but he only lights the right-most candle on the last night, when all 8 are lit. And he doesn't come from a different community, he's just as Ashkenazi as I am.

Mark said...

OK, I tried to find him a zchus.. I still gotta believe (i.e. Want to believe) that somehow he's not mistaken but following some really specific kehillah.

Good luck to you straightening things out.

Esser Agaroth said...

This got me curious.

The Ramba"m appears to be silent on the lighting seder, l to r, r to l, or at least I didn't find it.

Then by accident, I found that at the end of Hil. Hanukkah he mentions the importance of Shalom Bayith.

Then context is that spending money on a candle for home use, and thus Shalom Bayith, takes precedence over purchase of a candle for the misswah of a Hanukkah candle. So, it's not so shayach.

I'm not saying if the SIL is right or wrong. I just thought it was interesting that this issue was mentioned, as well as the silence on lighting direction.