We are continuing in siman 5, regarding the concept of hiddur mitzvah. We left off discussing whether hiddur mitzvah applies after a mitzvah has been completed. The Brisker Rov brought the Gemara of bris milah on Shabbos to learn that once a mitzvah has been completed, it is impossible to have hiddur mitzvah. This is the opinion of the Rambam, who holds that once the mitzvah of milah has been completed, there is no benefit to going back to remove the tzitzin she’einan me’akvin even during the week. However, the Tur disagrees, and holds that the Gemara regarding tzitzin she’einan me’akvin is only relevant regarding Shabbos, but during the week, there is no reason not to remove the tzitzin she’einan me’akvin, even after the milah has been completed and the mohel has taken his hands away. This would seem to indicate that it is possible to have hiddur after the completion of the mitzvah.
However, the Brisker Rov continues and argues that even according to the Tur, the chiyuv that the child be nimol means that it is still considered the time for the mitzvah even much later. But in a situation that the mitzvah has been totally completed, arguably there is no longer a concept of hiddur mitzvah.
However, the Brisker Rov points out that the Rema brings down that the minhag on Chanukah is for the baal habayis to light, and then for others to light as a hiddur. If the mitzvah is already completed by the baal habayis lighting, we would see from the Rema that hiddur mitzvah is possible even after the mitzvah has been completed.
Rav Akiva Eiger discusses whether a person who forgot to make the bracha on neiros Chanukah can make the bracha after having lit one candle. He holds that one may make a bracha, which would seem to be like the Rema’s opinion.
If a person had only one candle available, and then procured more candles afterwards, since the mitzvah is already over, this would go into the same question as to whether there is a reason to light the other candles later.
When a person is making a bracha, it is proper to make the bracha on the nicer item, as we have learned regarding birchas hanehenin.
A final point is whether there is a concept of chinuch ketanim for hiddur mitzvah. We know that according to the Rema, children even under bar mitzvah light neiros Chanukah together with their father for the purpose of chinuch, based on the concept of hiddur mitzvah. According to the Rema, chinuch ketanim applies to hiddur mitzvah.
On the other hand, the Biur Halacha brings from the Magen Avraham that they are not chayav to light, because there is no chiyuv chinuch on hiddur mitzvah, only on that which is actually a mitzvah. Thus, we seem to see a machlokes Rema and Magen Avraham whether there is a chiyuv chinuch for hiddur mitzvah.
- There is a machlokes whether hiddur mitzvah applies once a mitzvah has been completed. The Rema holds it does apply after a mitzvah has been completed.
- There is a machlokes Rema and Magen Avraham whether there is a chiyuv chinuch for hiddur mitzvah. The minhag haolom is to follow the Rema.
- One should say the bracha on a nicer item (food or mitzvah) as a form of hiddur to the bracha itself.