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Saturday, November 26, 2005

The miracle of Chanukah

Probably the most famous vort told over on Chanukah is the Beit Yosef's question regarding the 8 candles. The Beit Yosef asks why we commemorate 8 days when there was enough oil in the jug for 1 day. The first day, the oil burned naturally, thus the miracle was only the 7 days after the first and we should only commemorate 7 days of miracle. Almost every achron has their own answer to this question. I wanted to know if everyone can give as many answers that they have heard and we can collect them into one long post.

I will start by giving 2 that I learned over Shabbat.

Rav Kook Zt"l in his chiddushim on Shulchan Aruch gives 2 answers:

  • The extra day was added as a gzeira to protect people from the Issur DeOraita of creating a model of the Menora in the Beit Hamikdash. If the festival was only 7 days, people would make candelabras with 7 arms and therefore transgress a Torah commandment so chazal extended the holiday to protect people from this transgression.
  • The 1st day was miraculous as well. The Greeks had such hate for Jewish worship that they ransacked the entire Beit Hamikdash. The fact that even a small jug of oil escaped their attention is a miracle in and of itself.

Nu, what else do you guys have?