• April 13, 2024
  • 5 5784, Nisan
  • פרשת תזריע

The Incomplete Miracle of Chanukah

The Incomplete Miracle of Chanukah

Rav Kook zt”l understood that the miracle of the Chashmonaim on Chanukah was not a total success and ultimately they failed as leaders. Join Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman as he learns Rav Kook’s perspective from his writings on the subject in Ein Ayah / עין איה.

December 14, 2022 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Incomplete Miracle of Chanukah: The Incomplete Miracle of Chanukah
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Hello Everyone,

The holiday of Chanukah is marked by the lighting of lights (be them oil lamps or candles) .The lights  commemorate the miracle of the little container of pure oil which provided light in the Temple for eight days.

The sages placed great emphasis on fulfilling the mitzvah of the Chanukah lights. The rule is that the candles must be positioned so that they will be visible to passers-by in the street in order to publicize the miracle. This being the case , there is another halacha of Chanukah which is paradoxical. The Chanukah lights are expected to burn for a period of no less than than a half hour. But should the candles be extinguished accidentally in less than a half hour there is no need to light them again.

This halacha is just puzzling. If the mitzvah of the Chanukah lights is to publicize the miracle then if the wind should blow them out immediately what have I accomplished?

There are two very different explanations for this Halacha. One explanation can be found in the Chasidic work בני יששכר and the second explanation is found in Rav Kook’s book עין איה. The explanations are as I said very different but they teach remarkable insights on the idea of Chanukah.

Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman graduated from Yeshiva University in 1980 and the dental school of Columbia University in 1985. In 1989 he began studying and teaching at Yeshivat Hamivtar and now studies and teaches at Yeshivat Machanaim in Efrat. He has rabbinic ordination from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg.