Chanukah 5776

Chanukah

It is common to view the holiday of Chanukah as applying only to lighting the candles, saying Al Hanissim, and eating donuts/latkes, since we work and partake in the mundane. However, Chanukah is in fact, a full day, 24 hours/ for 8 days, holiday. Every second is precious to gather kedusha to take us to the next Yom Tov.

Two areas to give special attention to is Shema and Torah learning. These areas carry special significance during these 8 days.

The Mror Dror (Rashba disciple) explains the origin of the word Chanukah  as Chanu CHOF HEH they rested BECAUSE of “25”. This refers to the pasuk of Shema which is comprised of 25 letters. The Chashmonaim said Shema before battle, and this created the merit for their miraculous victory. The Maharal explains that Shema, incorporates our deepest belief that every atom’s movement is the Almighty’s will. When we reach this level degree of belief in the Almighty, we merit being saved. (Source – Gur Aryeh on Parshas Shoftim on Shema Yisroel before war)

Chazal tell us the last Yom Tov was Purim. 

What about Chanukah?

The Gemara tells us that the Purim story was written down in the Megilla.

Chanukah does not have a Megilla

Why? After Haman and other enemies of Yisroel  were killed the threat of extinction passed. Therefore a Megilla, a historical accounting is appropriate.

Chanukah was our battle to keep our Torah and Mitzvos (as we say in Al Hanissim Lhashkicham Torasecha U’Lhavirum Meichukei Retzonecha– “To cause them to forget their Torah and remove them from their commandments”).

This battle is ongoing. Every minute we learn Torah and do Mitzvos is another victory for Yisroel. On Chanukah we are actually reliving the Chashmonaim experience when we engage in activities that bring us closer to the Almighty. All 24 hours of these 8 days is that opportunity.

Chanukah Sameach