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Chanukah vort

Discussion in 'Judaism DIR' started by Harel13, Dec 24, 2019.

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  1. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    In Halacha there are seven liquids that are defined as "official liquids" by Halachic standards (with all sorts of ramifications), and can be remembered by the Hebrew acronym Ya"d shacha"t da"m (י"ד שח"ט ד"ם), which stands for: יין, דם, שמן, חלב, טל, דבש, מים - wine, blood, oil, milk, dew, honey and water.

    Now, there's an idea that each of these liquids correlates to one of the seven Jewish holidays: Wine - Purim, Blood - Pesach (בדמיך חיי, the plague of blood), Oil - Chanukah, Milk - Shavuot, Dew - Yom Kippur (dew isn't a liquid in a regular sense and Yom Kippur isn't a holiday in a regular sense), Honey - Rosh Hashanah, Water - Sukkot (בחג נידונים על המים, we start asking for rain on Shmini Atzeret, etc).
    Interestingly enough, the two man-made liquids correlate to the only two holidays created by our sages (man-made) and not God: Wine - Purim and Oil - Chanukah.

    And we can take this idea a step further: One of the reasons that Chanukah was created was because the Jews couldn't celebrate Sukkot that year because they were busy with the war and the Temple was in the hands of the Greeks, so Chanukah was a kind of late Sukkot. But then they could've said: Well, now we have the Temple back, we don't need Chanukah and we can just celebrate the miracles of Chanukah together with Sukkot!
    Except, Sukkot is water and Chanukah is oil. Oil and water don't mix. Each liquid stays as it is. Each liquid, each holiday stands by itself, because each one is special in itself.

    Happy Chanukah!
     
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  2. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    There is an interesting bit of commentary attached to this week's Parsha ( Mikeitz ) in Shney Luchot HaBrit by Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz (OBM) relating to lighting the Hannukah Menorah. This is a small excerpt of a long discussion of relating to the word קרן, which is a word that has various meanings/translations each of which are connected to the Festival of Lights, The re-dedication of the Temple, and the miracle of the Pure Oil that lasted 8 nights.

    This particular tibdit spoke to me, because it reflects an inclusive approach to the practice of lighting the Hannukah menorah, and that is something that is meaningful to me about the Holiday.

    Page 344 Volume 1: Shney Luchot HaBrit (English) published by Lambda Publishers 1999

    "The Talmud Shabbat 21 quotes a Baraitha according to which it is obligatory to kindle one Channukah light per household, whereas if one wishes to perform the מצוה in the best possible way every member of the household kindles a light in commemoration of the great miracle that occurred at that time."

    I am on my way to help light the "Great Big Menorah" on display in the bustling downtown metropolis in the city that I call home. Today is a special day for both Jews and for those who worship and/or find inspiration in Jesus from the Bible. When these two holidays intersect it gives me hope. This is because the significance of the day is magnified, and the "household" of people who are celebrating expands and is more inclusive which symbolically and in my heart is performing the מצוה in accordance to the advice offered by Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz (OBM).
     
  3. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    I just want to point out that this is actually just a citation of the Talmud at Shabbos 21b and not the advice of Rabbi Horowitz. The better way cited here is actually only the second level in that Talmudic passage:

    The Sages taught in a baraita: The basic mitzva of Hanukkah is each day to have a light kindled by a person, the head of the household, for himself and his household. And the mehadrin, i.e., those who are meticulous in the performance of mitzvot, kindle a light for each and every one in the household. And the mehadrin min hamehadrin, who are even more meticulous, adjust the number of lights daily. Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel disagree as to the nature of that adjustment...​

    The difference between the first and second levels isn't really about inclusiveness. The basic level is where the head of the household's lighting includes everyone else in his household's requirement to light. In the second level, rather than everyone joining under one lighting, everyone is lighting for themselves. That's based on the principle that there's a greater fulfillment of a commandment when it's fulfilled by the one who is obligated to perform it, rather than by an agent of the obligated.
     
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