Archive | Chanuka RSS feed for this section

Parshat Vayeshev and Chanuka

The Rabbis learned: When Adam saw the days getting shorter and shorter, he said, ‘woe is me, perhaps it is because I sinned that the world is becoming dark, and will return to chaos and disorder, and this is the death sentence that was decreed upon me from heaven’. He went and sat and fasted and prayed for eight days. When he saw the winter solstice arrive, and the days began getting longer and longer, he said, ‘it is just the way of the world’. He went and made an eight-day holiday. (Avoda Zara 8a)

The Rabbis learned: The Mitzva of Chanuka is the light, the person, and his home.
Rav Kahana said: Rav Natan bar Minyumi taught in the name of Rabbi Tanchum: The Chanuka light which was placed higher than twenty cubits is unacceptable… (Shabbat 22a-b)

‘…Is Unacceptable’ – Because the eye can not see it. (see Rashi’s explanation there)

The above halacha, about the permissible height of the Chanuka lights, is only one of many laws pertaining to the visibility of the Chanuka Menora. Strangely, and famously, this one is followed in the Talmud by another lesson, about the pit into which Joseph’s brothers threw him, taught by the same exact Sages: “And Rav Kahana said: Rav Natan bar Minyumi taught in the name of Rabbi Tanchum: What is meant by the verse [from this week’s parsha, Vayeshev] ‘and the pit was empty, there was no water in it’? From the fact that it says ‘and the pit was empty’ , don’t I already know that ‘there was no water in it’? But, rather, what does it come to tell us? Water wasn’t in it, but snakes and scorpions were in it.” This is so famous because of the obvious question: what is this cute little drasha (well, not so cute for Joseph) about Joseph’s pit doing in the middle of a discussion of the laws of the Chanuka lights?

Read More Comments Off on Parshat Vayeshev and Chanuka

Halacha Yomit: Special Prayers on Chanuka

Read More Comments Off on Halacha Yomit: Special Prayers on Chanuka

Halacha Yomit: Special Foods for Chanuka

Read More Comments Off on Halacha Yomit: Special Foods for Chanuka

Halacha Yomit: Interesting Halachot of Chanuka

Read More 1 Comment

Halacha Yomit: Introduction to Chanuka

Read More Comments Off on Halacha Yomit: Introduction to Chanuka