dearmouse · 1 day
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Wee Forest Folk: Lighting the Menorah
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starlightomatic · 2 days
Ladies and gentlethems!
It’s Kislev, and you know what means!
It means it’s time for………..
That’s right! The generator!
Use this handy dandy tool to find out the correct spelling of the holiday fast approaching at the end of this month!
And remember… if you get Janice on your first try, you win an all-expenses-paid trip to Chashmonaim and a year’s supply of premium extra virgin olive oil!
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fullcravings · 2 days
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Vegan Rugelach - 3 Ways
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tomcatbutch · 2 days
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Asking the important questions
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Dumb question incoming but are the Chanukkah candles supposed to stay lit the whole holiday? Like.. is the rightmost one on fire day one til day eight no break? Or do we extinguish them at some point?
That's not a dumb question, it's a good question!
Chanukah candles do not have to remain lit all eight nights, as they are successive. We start the first night with one light, until we get to eight on the eighth night. The flames burn down just like any other candle.
In all the Jewish Day Schools I've been to, this was actually the theme of a math problem every year around Chanukah- how many candles would you need for all of Chanukah?
The math:
First night: 1 Shamash + 1 Candle = 2
Second night: 1 Shamash + 2 Candles = 3
Third night: 1 Shamash + 3 Candles = 4
And so on and so fourth.
You get an equation like this: 8(8+1)/2, which equals 36, and then add 8 for the 8 Shamashim, which leaves you with 44.
It would be a massive safety hazard if the candles stay lit all 8 days, as well as very costly (many households light more than one Chanukiyah, imagine the fire hazard and cost of getting enough oil or thick enough candles for that).
Candles that burn all day are a thing in Judaism, but not for Chanukah. We use 25hr candles for commemorating the anniversary of a death or tragedy, for Yom Kippur, and as a pre-existing flame for Yom Tov (holiday) to transfer fire from, since we can't use fire on Yom Tov unless it was transferred from a pre-existing flame.
This doesn't mean you can just light your Chanukiyah, say the blessings, and blow them out. The laws of Chanukah outline that the flames should ideally remain lit for at least half an hour, and they should ideally be allowed to burn out naturally on their own. Store-bought multi-coloured Chanukah candles usually last for about an hour or two before burning out on their own.
You are also not allowed to "benefit" from the flames, in that you shouldn't use them for light, warmth, or any other reason aside from fulfilling the mitzvah.
More reading on Hilkhot Chanukah:
GUIDE TO THE LAWS OF CHANUKAH (this article is dated and location-based, so disregard what time it tells you that sunset is. Sunset is at a different time from place to place and from day to day.)
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askclint · 19 hours
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Built the chanukiah for this year!
Edit: yes I can “light” it each night:
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The season has come for this shirt!
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faeriebottled97 · 3 days
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Time to light the menorah Max
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witchofdunwich · 1 year
a few days ago a coworker asked me to explain Hanukkah and I asked her if she knew what a menorah was. She said, “like the Northern Lights?”
I’m simultaneously haunted by and wild about this concept now. instead of aurora borealis, menorah borealis. menorah borealis
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mintytrifecta · 1 year
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foxssleeplessness · 1 year
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vaspider · 19 days
May I ask for advice about being inclusive of Jewish people at the library I work at for next month when everything will be “CHRISTMAS!”? I realize you may not have the energy (or may want to use your energy for something other than answering strangers' questions on the internet), but if you're willing I would appreciate some input.
On the one hand, Hanukkah isn't that big of a deal to us.
On the other hand, it's nice to be remembered.
So I'd say that like... if you have decorations, don't create like... one menorah in a corner. Scatter dreidel ornaments in with your red and green ones. Put a couple of menorahs around. Have giveaway cheap plastic dreidels (and maybe some gelt) and a little writeup suitable for all ages on how to play dreidel, and have it somewhere that kids can just take them. Kids are curious, and if something isn't held back, they'll check it out, and a lot of the time Jewish stuff is kind of sequestered like it's... off limits. Our rituals are, but dreidel isn't!
If you have a bulletin board situation going on, please at least mention that Hanukkah actually isn't really a big deal to us, that it's a minor holiday. Teenagers will probably get a kick out of the irony that Hanukkah is about a war over refusing to assimilate, but a lot more attention is paid to it because it's near Xmas. It might be cool, if your library has more general guides to Judaism, to put those with Hanukkah books as well for older readers who might wanna know more about our actual big holidays.
If you don't have Sammy Spider books, those are a good purchase for younger readers; they center on a curious spider who lives with a Jewish family and walk the reader through lots of Jewish holidays and customs. Here are some teaching materials!
I'm sure others have recommendations or ideas as well and I invite them to be added.
Thank you for asking. I happened to have the energy for this ask today. :)
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thepeacefulgarden · 1 year
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didyoumeanxianity · 1 year
As we turn the corner into the month of Hanukkah, a reminder for the gentiles:
Hanukkah is NOT “Jewish Christmas!”
No. No no no.
1) Christmas is one of the two most theologically important holidays in Christianity. Hanukkah doesn’t even crack the top ten, at least theologically speaking, in Judaism. (I would not, of course, denigrate those for whom Hanukkah is an important point of connection to Judaism, as that’s a different conversation.)
2) Christmas celebrates the miraculous birth of the Christian deity (at least into one of the deity’s three component parts) on Earth. Hanukkah celebrates a military victory by observant, unassimilated Jews over the Assyrian Greeks and assimilated Jews and the reinstatement of a Jewish monarchy. 
Birth vs Lots of Death (albeit of the Hasmoneans’ enemies).
3) For a very long time, Christmas has included the giving of gifts (though the form varied of course between times and cultures). Hanukkah didn’t, for much of its existence, beyond the provision of gelt (that is, money) to children. Many American and westernized Jews give gifts to their children these days, but that was largely borne out of making Hanukkah more appealing to make celebrating Christmas less appealing and even now it is far from universal.
4) Christians cannot work on Christmas (unsurprisingly, given its importance as a holiday), at least in the five largest denominations of the religion (other groups practices vary). Jews can work on Hanukkah (though they may leave early to light the Hanukkiah).
4a) Side note: Hanukkiah is the specific name for the candelabraum we use for Hanukkah (9 branches). Menorah translates to “lamp” and traditionally has seven branches but need not, necessarily. All Hanukkiyot are menorot, not all menorot are Hanukkiyot.
Now, none of this means that we don’t love and enjoy Hanukkah. We do! Fried latkes and sufganiyot, dairy products, child-appropriate gambling, songs….what could be better? But it is very, very much not “Jewish Christmas”.
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I hope this is okay to ask about- Since it was brought up in the Chanukah post and I've been wondering for a long time- flames and how they're handled seem to be really significant in jewish practices, what's the significance of not using the flames for other purposes, allowing them to burn out themselves, and the restrictions on starting flames on Yom Tov?
Gonna answer this in steps:
Not using the Chanukah flames for other purposes: This one is a pretty boring answer. Because the mitzvah is specifically on the Chanukah flames, and you don't want to take away from them. Part of the blessings we recite after lighting the flames is this:
הַנֵּרוֹת הַלָּלוּ אָנוּ מַדְלִיקִין עַל הַנִּסִּים וְעַל הַנִּפְלָאוֹת וְעַל הַתְּשׁוּעוֹת וְעַל הַמִּלְחָמוֹת. שֶׁעָשִׂיתָ לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה. עַל יְדֵי כֹּהֲנֶיךָ הַקְּדוֹשִׁים. וְכָל מִצְוַת שְׁמוֹנַת יְמֵי חֲנֻכָּה. הַנֵּרוֹת הַלָּלוּ קֹדֶשׁ הֵם. וְאֵין לָנוּ רְשׁוּת לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בָּהֶם. אֶלָּא לִרְאוֹתָם בִּלְבָד. כְּדֵי לְהוֹדוֹת וּלְהַלֵּל לְשִׁמְךָ הַגָּדוֹל עַל נִסֶּיךָ וְעַל נִפְלְאוֹתֶיךָ וְעַל יְשׁוּעָתֶךָ:
"These flames we kindle because of the miracles and because of the wonders and because of the saving acts and because of the battles that You performed for out forfathers in those days, in this time. On behalf of the holy Kohanim. And all the commandments of the eight days of Chanukah, these flames are holy, and we do not have permission to use them, rather to see them alone, in order to thank and to praise Your great Name because of Your miracles and Your wonders and Your salvations."
Letting flames burn out themselves: This is a concept we see a lot when fire is involved in Jewish ritual. We light Shabbat candles, and let them burn out naturally. We light memorial candles, and let them burn out naturally. Etc etc. Putting out a flame means "ending" something. The only time deliberately putting out a flame instead of letting it burn down naturally is during Havdalah, the ritual marking the end of Shabbat and the beginning of the rest of the week. We don't want to "end" Chanukah, or the mitzvah we did by lighting the Chanukah lights, and therefore, we let them burn down naturally. Additionally, there's a lot of superstitions in Jewish culture about blowing out flames. As a kid I was told that you shouldn't blow out a flame because it's as if you're snuffing out the flame of someone's soul, and tempts the Evil Eye. If I had to put out a flame, I was taught to either shake it out (like a match) or cover it with something.
No starting flames on Yom Tov: Yom Tov follows very similar laws and restrictions to Shabbat, and starting a fire on Shabbat is explicitly forbidden as part of the 39 Melekhot. However, some of the laws of Yom Tov are a little more relaxed than Shabbat, and cooking is allowed, as long as one isn't starting the fire themselves, but rather transferring from a flame that existed before Yom Tov started. Yamim Tovim can sometimes be two days long (especially if you're outside of Israel), and if they fall out on Friday or Sunday, it also leaves you with a situation of "how am I going to get food?" So cooking is allowed on Yom Tov, just as long as you're transferring fire and not starting it.
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thetoymakers · 1 year
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To all those gathered in celebration today, Happy Hanukkah!
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