Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Burning Bulbs?

Here’s a question for the halachic experts out there. Why is electricity considered fire for hilchos shabbos but not for lighting menorah?

I know, there may be other reasons that electricity is assur on shabbos – or no reason at all. But, given that electricity = fire is an often-cited justification for why we can’t use it on Shabbos, why was I taught in yeshiva to laugh at the benighted folk who used electric menorahs? Either it is fire, and it should be kosher for menorah, or it’s not, and should be okay on Shabbos, at least as far as aish is concerned.

Am I just an ignoramus unaware of some halachic distinction between the two? Or is this a real failure of halacha to comply with the law of noncontradiction? 

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