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 […]
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. […]
A shiur on the parsha presented by Rabbi Baruch Taub at the OU Israel Center. Why didn’t Hashem let Yaakov live in tranquility – what was wrong with Yaakov’s request? Why was the baker hanged – his crime wasn’t as bad as that of the butler? If the Jews found enough oil for 1 day why is Chanukah […]
Of wars, cease-fires, and Yaakov Avinu. The significance of Rosh Chodesh occurring during Chanukah plus a discussion of Maoz Tzur and Al Hanissim. Torah Tidbits Audio for Parshat Vayeishev and part one of Chanukah.
Two of the best-known candle-lighting customs are the Chanuka lights and the candle by which we search for chametz on Pesach eve. On the face of it these two mitzvot could not be more opposite. The candle at Pesach eve is entirely utilitarian, in order to help us find chametz, and its entire character is […]
During the Second Temple period when the Hellenist kings ruled, they made decrees against Israel and suppressed their religion. They did not permit them to study Torah and perform mitzvot. They seized their wealth and their daughters. They entered the Sanctuary, breached its walls, and defiled the objects of purity. Israel was greatly afflicted by […]
Fatalism and Freedom: Pharaoh’s Chanukah Dreams: Pharaoh’s dreams, through a long chain of events, led to a great revelation of a single God who controls nature. This concept is the antithesis of what the Greeks believed.