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Getting Ready For Chanukah (Rhinah Shalom) Empty Re: Getting Ready For Chanukah (Rhinah Shalom)

Post  Admin on Fri 11 Dec 2009, 10:18 pm

Chanukah ~ December 12 Through December 19 2009 ~
Part 4 of 4

The Chanukah Blessings
The following three blessings (transliterated) will be recited for the eight nightly lighting:
#1. Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ha-olam A-sher Ki-de-sha-nu
Be-mitz-vo-tav Ve-tzi-va-nu Le-had-lik Ner Cha-nu-kah.
#2. Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nei E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ha-olam She-a-sa Ni-sim
La-avo-tei-nu Ba-ya-mim Ha-heim Baz'man Ha-zeh.
#3. Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nei E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ha-olam She-heche-ya-nu Ve-ki-yi-ma-nu Ve-higi-a-nu Laz-man Ha-zeh.

In the first blessing, we praise Yahveh for sanctifying us with His
Commandments and commanding us to light the Chanukah candle.

In the second blessing we thank Yahveh for the miracles He performed for our forefathers, in those days at this time.

The third blessing is the "Shehecheyanu" - the blessing we recite over mitzvot which come once a year. "Shehecheyanu" praises Yah for granting us life, for sustaining us and for bringing us to this time so we can perform this mitzvah. The blessing of "Shehecheyanu" is recited only for the first lighting on Chanukah.
May the lights of Chanukah brighten our homes, your life and the entire world.

Happy Chanukah!

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Post  Admin on Thu 10 Dec 2009, 2:16 pm

Getting Ready For Chanukah
Chanukah ~ December 12 Through December 19 2009 ~

Part 3 of 4

Q. The candles are placed in the Menorah from right to left, but are lit from left to right (the new candle first). Why?
A. In most cases Mitzvot are connected with the right. For example, the Shofar is blown from the right side of the mouth. We hold the Kiddush cup with the right hand, while reciting the Kiddush, etc. The Chanukah candles too are placed on the right side of the Menorah. However, since the new candle on the left represents the new day of Chanukah, we honor the new day of Chanukah by lighting that day's candle first.
€ ¦
Using the combination of right and left is associated with Torah. One of the decrees during the story of Chanukah was the ban against studying Torah. The Torah is read from right to left. Yet, when each individual letter is written by a scribe, it is started on the left and continued to the right! Similarly, when we place the candles on the right side of the menorah and then light them beginning from the left side, we are also expressing our thanks to Yah and verifying the fact that through the miracle of Chanukah, we are still able to study Torah.

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Post  Admin on Wed 09 Dec 2009, 5:52 pm

Getting€ ¦ Ready For Chanukah
Chanukah ~ December 12 Through December 19 2009 ~
€ ¦
Part 2 of 4
€ ¦
Q. Why is the holiday called "Chanukah?"
A. The name "Chanukah" comes from the word "dedication" - referring to the re-dedication of the Holy Temple, with the lighting of the menorah, after being desecrated by the Greek idol worshippers. Chanukah is celebrated on the 25th of Kislev. "Chanu-kah" can be split into two words; "Chanu" which means, "they rested"; "Kah" - represents the number "twenty-five." In this context, the name "Chanu-kah tells us that the Jews "rested on the 25th" day of the month Kislev after winning the war against the Greek-Syrian armies
€ ¦
Q. Why do we light the Chanukah candles near a window or door and the Shabbat candles on the table?
A. The purpose of the Sabbath candles is to bring peace and light into one's home, therefore, they are lit on the table. The Chanukah candles, however, are to "publicize the miracle" of Chanukah to the world at large. They are placed near a window or door so that their lights will illuminate the outside darkness.
€ ¦

Throughout this holiday we add an additional candle each night until we light eight candles on the last (8th) night of Chanukah.
This teaches us that we must go from strength to strength in matters of holiness and mitzvot.
€ ¦
Q. The Chanukah miracle was that the small jar of pure oil which had enough for only one day lasted eight days. What is the reason that it had to last eight days?
A. According to Jewish law, one becomes "Tamei" - "spiritually impure" when coming in contact with a dead body. The person must then wait seven days before becoming "Tahor" - "spiritually clean". Due to the battles, which the Maccabees fought, they came in contact with dead bodies and were considered unclean. Therefore, only on the eighth day were they able to begin producing "pure oil" fit for the Holy Temple.
€ ¦
Another reason given is that the best oil produced in Israel was in the territory of the tribe of Asher, which was a four-day journey from Jerusalem. Thus, to bring fresh oil they required four days to go and four days to return.



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Post  Admin on Wed 09 Dec 2009, 4:45 pm

Getting Ready For Chanukah
Chanukah ~ December 12 Through December 19 2009 ~
Part 1 of 4

On Chanukah, we celebrate and thank Yahveh for two great miracles:
1) The victory on the battlefield - in which the small army of the Hashmonaim defeated the much larger forces of their Greek-Assyrian enemies. This is expressed in the "Al Hanisim" prayer which is recited during Chanukah; "You delivered the strong into the hands of the weak, the many in the hands of the few."
2) The miracle of the oil - in which a small amount of oil, enough to last in the Temple service for only one day, sufficed for eight days.

Q. Why, in addition to lighting the Chanukah candles at home, is it also customary to light them in synagogue?
A. The purpose of lighting the menorah is to publicize the miracle of Chanukah. For this reason we place the menorah near the door or window so as many people as possible will see them. To publicize the miracle of Chanukah, we also light candles in the synagogue, which is a place of communal prayer.
The synagogue is an extension of the Holy Temple. Thus, lighting the Menorah in the synagogue commemorates the miracle, which took place in the Holy Temple. It is customary to place the Menorah on the south wall of the synagogue because the Menorah in the Holy Temple stood on the south side of The Sanctuary.

The Rabbis encouraged the construction and lighting of large public Chanukah Menorahs in shopping centers, parks, main streets etc. as another way of publicizing the miracle of Chanukah.


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