Halacha for Monday 28 Kislev 5781 December 14 2020

The Days of Chanukah- Days of Faith

As opposed to the other holidays and festivals which were already existent since Hashem gave the Torah to the Jewish nation, the holidays of Purim and Chanukah were brought about through two wicked men, Haman and Antiochus.

Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that Purim and Chanukah have resulted in tremendous things for the Jewish nation, for on Purim, the Jewish nation reaffirmed their commitment to the oral Torah lovingly. On Chanukah, the Jewish nation’s faith in the oral Torah was strengthened, for they saw that Heaven agreed with the rulings of the Sages of the Talmud. Indeed, according to Torah law, non-Jews cannot defile oil; however, our Sages decreed that a non-Jew would share the status of a Jew who has become impure who defiles oil immediately upon touching it. Thus, all of the impurity related to the oils in the Bet Hamikdash was only the result of a rabbinic injunction and Hashem nevertheless performed a great miracle that the small amount of oil that was found in that one small container lasted for eight days. The entire Jewish nation therefore witnessed how Hashem agrees with the words of our Sages.

Based on this, Maran zt”l adds that it is thus understandable why the Sages did not establish that we hold festive meals during Chanukah, for the holiday of Chanukah represents the oral Torah whose length and breadth are vast and can only be acquired through limiting one’s eating and drinking. On the contrary, one who chases after luxuries will soon forget the laws of the Torah. Only one who studies Torah amid much toil and does not even pay attention to one’s lack of materialistic pleasures will merit the crown of Torah.

Another possible reason to explain the above is because the great miracle of Purim was amplified by the fact that not even one Jew was killed and it was therefore appropriate to establish great merriment and feasting. Regarding Chanukah, however, before the incredible miracle occurred, unfortunately many holy Jews perished and this caused the Jewish nation great distress. Our Sages therefore did not establish feasting and merriment during these days.

We must pay attention that all of the miracles Hashem performed for us in those days were the result of His tremendous love for us. Those miracles teach us a lesson about all of the miracles Hashem does for us, both the revealed ones and the hidden ones. Even nowadays we witness great miracles with our own eyes and we must pay attention to them, for Hashem does this because He loves us and is waiting to see the Jewish nation returning to him.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Megillah Reading- Coronavirus

Every member of the Jewish nation is obligated to read the Megillah on the day of Purim. One must read it during the night and once again the next day, as the verse states, “My G-d, I call out to you during the day and you do not answer; during the night I have no rest.” This verse is wr......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Hearing Parashat Zachor- Coronavirus

“Remember What Amalek Has Done to You” On the Shabbat preceding Purim, which is this coming Shabbat, after the opening of the Ark immediately following Shacharit prayers, two Sifrei Torah are removed; in the first one, we read the weekly Parasha (which is Parashat Vayikra this year, 577......

Read Halacha

Matanot La’Evyonim- Coronavirus

In the previous Halacha we briefly discussed the Mitzvah of “Matanot La’Evyonim” on Purim day which is the distribution of two monetary gifts, one to each pauper. What Must One Give? In order to fulfill this Mitzvah, one need not give actual gifts; rather, it is permissible to ......

Read Halacha

The Days of Purim and the Laws of Mishloach Manot- 5781

The Days of Purim Purim will be celebrated in approximately two weeks from today. This year, we must discuss several unique laws, first of all, because Purim day (the 14th of Adar) falls out on a Friday. Second of all, in Jerusalem, a “three-day Purim” will be celebrated since the 15th ......

Read Halacha


The Mitzvah of the Purim Feast This Year (5781)

Holding the Purim Feast at Night The holiday of Purim is different than all other holidays we celebrate in that whereas regarding other holidays the Mitzvah of partaking of a joyous holiday meal applies during the day and night, regarding the holiday of Purim, there is only a Mitzvah to hold a feas......

Read Halacha

 A Joint Mishloach Manot by Husband and Wife

Question: On Purim I stay home and I do not give out my own Mishloach Manot. May I fulfill my obligation by sending a joint Mishloach Manot along with my husband? Answer: First, let us discuss the obligation of women with regards to Mishloach Manot. A Woman’s Obligation in Mishloach Mano......

Read Halacha

The Mitzvah of Joy and Torah Learning on Purim Day

There is a Mitzvah eat heartily during the Purim Feast. One should preferably eat bread during this meal. The Rambam (Chapter 2 of Hilchot Megillah, Halacha 15) writes: “What is the extent of one’s obligation during this feast? One should eat meat and prepare a delicious meal to the b......

Read Halacha

Sucking On a Fruit

Question: If one sucks on an orange or a grapefruit but does not chew it with one’s teeth, must one recite the “Boreh Peri Ha’etz” like on other fruits or should one recite the “Shehakol” blessing like one would when drinking other fruit juices? Answer: Indeed,......

Read Halacha