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Yoma 24b - Hadlakah is not an avodah

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1 Yoma 24b - Hadlakah is not an avodah on Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:37 pm

Seems like a remarkable thing for the gemara to say; if hadlakah of the menorah is not an avodah, what would be!? Anyhow, the Tosefos Yeshanim (and the Kesef Mishnah brings a Rashi that seems similar, says
שהשלבת עולה מאליה אבל הצתת האליתא איכא אש גדול
"The flame (just) goes up on it's own, but the adding twigs (to the fire on the mizbeach) (needs) a big fire." Sounds like it's saying that lighting a wick is really really easy and so it doesn't count. Which is a remarkable thing to say, when most of us have been explaining to others that as far as Shabbos is concerned, the amount of work isn't what matters, and even the trivial labor of lighting a wick is a full-fledged melacha. But maybe avodah in the Beis Hamikdash is different.

Anyhow, if someone could explain this, I'd like to understand it better.

However, there is a remarkable R' Chaim on the Rambam at the end of Hilchos Bias Mikdash, where he explains that the mitzvah isn't really lighting the menorah, it's that the menorah should be lit. We are interested in the result, not the process. I recommend seeing it; I can't do it (or any R' Chaim) justice. (The issues that this raises as far as Chanuka is concerned are striking.)

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