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Free Agent - Answer

Very important - affix has two f's and not one as I wrote in the original post. My apologies to the letter "f" for the omission. Maybe since I spent my childhood trying to avoid getting f's in school I subconsciously left it out. I will ask the great Psychiatrist Sigmund Reud [he he!] when I see him.

Anyway, Rav Shlomo Zalman explains as follows: A shaliach is considered as if HE has performed the mitzva after the person obligated has passed on his power and rights to the mitzva as we know that there is a law called "arvus" that means if my friend is obligated in a mitzva it is as if I am obligated. Hence the shaliach should make a bracha.

But Ner Chanukah is a mitzva on the HOME and only the homeowner is obligated to fulfill this mitzva. He cannot pass this obligation onto his friend. So when the shaliach performs the mitzva it is akin to a person who puts tefillin on his friends body. The shaliach is clearly not performing a mitzva and thus no bracha is required.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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