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Jewish Holidays

The Lights of Chanukah: Laws and Customs

April 9, 2014, by

The Lights of Chanukah The Jewish tradition is that on the first night of Chanukah one flame is lit, on the second night two, and so on until the eighth night when eight flames are lit. Actually, the question of whether to begin the lighting with one flame and proceed, adding one each night, to eight on […]

Torah Reading for Chanukah: Part II

April 9, 2014, by

1. Because Chanukah is an eight-day holiday, and a week is only seven days, there has to be at least one “Shabbat Chanukah,” when Shabbat and Chanukah coincide. This year, we have a special blessing: two “Shabbatot Chanukah,” which can only happen when the first and eighth days fall on Shabbat, as they do this […]

Torah Reading for Chanukah: Part I

April 9, 2014, by

The first Chanukah was essentially a reclamation and rededication of the Beit HaMikdash, the Holy Temple, which had been misappropriated and defiled by the Greeks and their assimilated Jewish allies. It was the restoration of the spiritual center of the Jewish People, the earthly seat of the Divine Presence. It was appropriate, in that light, […]

Chanukah Miracles: The Little Dreidel

November 18, 2013, by

Be realistic; plan for a miracle. – Osho Beis Yosef asked, “Why do we celebrate Chanukah for eight days if there was ample oil to last for one day?  It would seem that the miracle was that the oil lasted an additional seven days… in which case, Chanukah should be celebrated for seven days, not […]

Thoughts on Chanukah & Vayeshev

December 12, 2012, by

Why are 2 ideas – Joseph being thrown into the pit and the halacha that the menorah has to be below 20 amot – juxtaposed in the Gemara? The latest episode of The Good Vort, presented by Rabbi Yosef Grossman.

The “Missing Yom Tov” of Chanukah

December 10, 2012, by

One of the special laws of the shemitta year is the prohibition of sefichin – grains and vegetables which were not planted in the seventh year but rather grew by themselves as the after-growth of the sixth year. For most produce, the prohibition of sefichin extends until Chanukah (Yerushalmi Demai 2:1, Rambam Shemitta 4:6). In […]

Excerpts from “Inside Chanukah”

December 10, 2012, by

1.4.    Why is the month in which Chanukah falls out called “Kislev”? On Chanukah, sparks of the ohr haganuz, the tremendously awesome primeval light that was hidden by Hashem at Creation after shining for thirty-six hours, are revealed (see 3.24 for elaboration). The name כִּסְלֵו (Kislev) can be broken into the words כִּס and ל”ו. […]

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