מעשר שני אין שוקלין כנגדו דנרי זהב ואפילו לחלל עליו מעשר שני אחר אי אמרת בשלמא כי פליגי רב ושמואל מנר לנר אבל בקינסא אסר שמואל הא לא תהוי תיובתא אלא אי אמרת בקינסא נמי שרי הא תהוי תיובתא אמר רבה גזירה שמא לא יכוין משקלותיו וקא מפיק להו לחולין
the second tithe, one may not weigh gold dinars with it in order to determine their precise weight. And doing so is prohibited even if he is weighing the coin in order to redeem other second-tithe produce with it, as one may not derive benefit from tithe money. The Gemara discusses this matter: Granted, if you say that when Rav and Shmuel disagree it is with regard to a case when one lights from lamp to lamp, but with a wood chip, Shmuel prohibits lighting, this will not be a conclusive refutation of Shmuel’s opinion. But if you say that he permits lighting from lamp to lamp with a wood chip as well, this would be a conclusive refutation of his opinion, as the Sages did not permit use of and benefit from a sacred object even for the purpose of a similar sacred need. Rabba said: This is not difficult, as in the case of weighing tithe money the Sages prohibited doing so as a decree lest the weights not be precisely equal. One will discover that the weight of the gold dinars is not equal to the weight of the sela that he used to weigh them, and he will reconsider and render them unsanctified, i.e., they will maintain their original, non-sacred status. In that case, he will have used the tithe money for an unsanctified purpose. However, when one lights even a wood chip for the purpose of Hanukkah lights, it is clear that it is for the purpose of performing a mitzva, and there is no reason to issue a decree.
מתיב רב ששת מחוץ לפרוכת העדות יערוך וכי לאורה הוא צריך והלא כל ארבעים שנה שהלכו בני ישראל במדבר לא הלכו אלא לאורו אלא עדות היא לבאי עולם שהשכינה שורה בישראל מאי עדות אמר רב זו נר מערבי שנותן בה שמן כמדת חברותיה וממנה היה מדליק ובה היה מסיים והא הכא כיון דקביעי נרות לא סגיא דלא משקיל ואדלוקי קשיא בין למאן דאמר משום בזוי מצוה ובין למאן דאמר משום אכחושי מצוה
Rav Sheshet raised an objection from that which was taught in a baraita. With regard to the Temple candelabrum, it is stated: “Outside the veil of the testimony, in the Tent of Meeting, shall Aaron order it from evening to morning before the Lord continually; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations” (Leviticus 24:3). It must be understood: And does God require its light for illumination at night? Didn’t the children of Israel, all forty years that they walked in the wilderness, walk exclusively by His light, the pillar of fire? Rather, the lighting of the candelabrum is testimony to mankind that the Divine Presence rests among Israel. The Gemara asks: What is this testimony? Rav said: That is the westernmost lamp in the candelabrum in which the measure of oil placed was the same measure of oil as was placed in the other lamps, and nevertheless he would light the others from it each day and with it he would conclude, i.e., the westernmost lamp would continue burning throughout the day after all the others were extinguished. The rest of the lamps burned only at night, and each night he would relight the rest of the lamps from the westernmost lamp. But isn’t it true that here, in the Temple, since the lamps were fixed in the candelabrum, it was impossible to light directly from lamp to lamp? There was no alternative to taking a wood chip and lighting the rest of the lamps from the westernmost lamp. Consequently, it is difficult both according to the one who said that one may not light from lamp to lamp due to contempt for the mitzva and according to the one who said that one may not light from lamp to lamp due to weakening the mitzva.
תרגמא רב פפא בפתילות ארוכות סוף סוף למאן דאמר משום אכחושי מצוה קשיא קשיא
Rav Pappa explained that it need not necessarily be understood that way. Rather, there were long wicks in the candelabrum, which made it possible to reach and light directly from one lamp to another. However, ultimately, according to the one who said that one may not light from lamp to lamp due to weakening the mitzva, it is difficult. The Gemara concludes: Indeed, the question remains difficult.
מאי הוי עלה אמר רב הונא בריה דרב יהושע חזינא אי הדלקה עושה מצוה מדליקין מנר לנר ואי הנחה עושה מצוה אין מדליקין מנר לנר
In summary, the Gemara asks: What is the halakhic conclusion reached about this matter in terms of lighting from lamp to lamp? Rav Huna, son of Rabbi Yehoshua, said: We see; if the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of the one who said that kindling the Hanukkah light accomplishes the mitzva and the rest is secondary, one may light from lamp to lamp. The lighting itself is the essence of the mitzva of Hanukkah lights. And if the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of the one who said that placing the lit lamp in a suitable place accomplishes the mitzva, then one may not light from lamp to lamp. According to that opinion, lighting is simply an auxiliary action that facilitates the fulfillment of the essence of the mitzva, which is placing the lamp in a place where its light can be seen by the public. Since lighting is merely a preparatory action, one may not demean the mitzva by lighting from lamp to lamp.
דאיבעיא להו הדלקה עושה מצוה או הנחה עושה מצוה
After the issue of whether lighting accomplishes the mitzva or placing accomplishes the mitzva was raised in the context of the previous discussion, the Gemara cites the discussion in its entirety. As a dilemma was raised before the Sages: In the case of the Hanukkah light, does lighting accomplish the mitzva, and placing the lit lamp is simply a continuation of that action, or does placing the kindled lamp accomplish the mitzva, and lighting is simply a practical necessity that facilitates placing the lamp?
תא שמע דאמר רבא היה תפוש נר חנוכה ועומד לא עשה ולא כלום שמע מינה הנחה עושה מצוה התם הרואה אומר לצורכו הוא דנקיט לה
The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a solution to this dilemma from that which Rava said: One who was holding a burning Hanukkah lamp in his hand and standing, he did nothing in terms of fulfilling the mitzva. Conclude from this that placing accomplishes the mitzva. Until he sets the lamp down in its appropriate place, he did not fulfill the mitzva. The Gemara rejects this: There, they said that he did not fulfill his obligation for a different reason. One who sees it will say that he is not holding the lamp in order to fulfill the mitzva, but he is holding it for his own needs. Since holding the lamp can mislead onlookers, he does not fulfill the mitzva in that manner.
תא שמע דאמר רבא הדליקה בפנים והוציאה לא עשה כלום אי אמרת בשלמא הדלקה עושה מצוה הדלקה במקומו בעינן משום הכי לא עשה כלום אלא אי אמרת הנחה עושה מצוה אמאי לא עשה ולא כלום התם נמי הרואה הוא אומר לצורכו הוא דאדלקה
Come and hear another resolution for this dilemma from that which Rava said: One who lights the Hanukkah lamp inside the house and then takes it out and places it at the entrance to his house did nothing in terms of fulfilling the mitzva. Granted, if you say that lighting accomplishes the mitzva it is understandable, as lighting in its place is required. That is why Rava ruled that he did nothing in terms of fulfilling the mitzva. However, if you say that placing accomplishes the mitzva, why did Rava rule that he did nothing? Didn’t he set it down in its appropriate place? The Gemara answers: There too, even though he subsequently brought it outside, one who sees him lighting inside will say to himself that he is lighting the lamp for his own needs and not in fulfillment of the mitzva.
תא שמע דאמר רבי יהושע בן לוי
Come and hear another resolution from that which Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: