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3:51 AM

Insights into Chanuka

Posted by Scholar

  • Why don't women light Menora?
A wife doesn't light a Menora because of the rule that a women is like her husband therefore when the husband lights he includes her. An unmarried girl would still be under her father if she lives in the house so she too won't light. If she happens to be living alone and there is nobody else there she should light Menora with a brocha.


  •  There is a rule that with Holy lights we are not allowed to make use of them. For example Shabbos lights can't be used to read from as we are not allowed to benefit from it. The same  Chanuka lights(we are not permitted to to use the light but only to look at it and offer praise and thanks to Hashem), but how does one not befitting from the light praise Hashem?
When one uses the light one could forget the Holiness and become involved with whatever he is doing, by him sitting there and watching the candles he will think about why they are lit and this will lead him to give thanks and praise to Hashem.


  • What is the source for giving extra charity on Chanuka?
The words "neis Chanuka/miracle of Chanuka" have a value of 199 which is the same as the word Tzedoka/charity.


  • In the famous Chanuka song(maoz Tzur) we mention that "they(The Greeks) breached the walls of my tower". Which walls were these?
The Beit Hamikdash(Temple) stood on a mountain which was 1500 cubits squared. Around this mountain was a wall, inside this wall was the soreig which stood 10 cubits away from the wall of the Azarah(Temple court), the soreig served as a warning that Jews and non-Jews who were defiled by a corpse could not enter any further.  The Greeks made 13 breaches into this wall(soreig), after the Hasmoneans regained control they repaired the damage. Our Sages told us to prostrate ourselves 13 times as a sign of gratitude to Hashem for rescuing us and destroying the Greeks.

  • It is the custom for poor young boys to go around door to door on Chanuka collecting charity. Why the emphasis on door to door and not just go around?
The Gemora in Shabbos 22a discusses an arguement which took place about the correct location of the menora, do we place it on the right of the doorpost or the left of the doorpost? The gemora answers that it should be on the left and the mezuza would then be on the right.(The first letter of the words mezuza yemin, chanuka semol/mezuze on the right and Chanuka on the left spell the word Moshiach).
The distance between the letters mem-yud to chet-shin is great as they on the oppsoite ends of the doorway. The way to bring them close and have Moshiach is through charity as the gemora Bava Basra states "Great is charity for it hastens the redemption". Thats why the younf boys go door to door for charity and the master of the house receives them warmly, the merit of this charity unites the letters and leads us closer to redemption.

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