Halacha for Thursday 2 Tevet 5784 December 14 2023

The Holiday of Chanukah Will Never Be Discontinued

Today's Halacha is dedicated for the merit and protection of
All Our Dear Soldiers
May Hashem give them strength and courage to vanquish our enemies and may they return home safe and sound amid health and joy. May Hashem protect all the captives and have mercy upon them so that no harm befalls them and may they be released quickly, Amen!
* * * * * * * * * *

In several of our holy books (including the “Magid Mesharim” written by Maran Rabbeinu Yosef Karo zt”l) we find quoted the saying of our Sages that “all of the Jewish festivals will be discontinued in the future besides for Chanukah and Purim.” This is hinted in the text of the blessing made upon the lighting of the Chanukah candles: “Asher Kideshanu Bemitzvotav Vetzivanu Lehadlik Ner Chanukah”; the word “Lehadlik” connotes future tense as well. (If the text would have read “Al Hadlakat Ner Chanukah,” it would not teach us anything.)

The question therefore arises: No part of the Torah, including all Jewish festivals and holidays, will ever become discontinued or nullified, for the Torah is eternal. If so, why did our Sages find it necessary to issue a unique promise that the days of Chanukah will never be abolished?

The Radbaz (Rabbeinu David ben Zimra, who lived in the same generation as Maran Ha’Bet Yosef, was a rabbi in Egypt and moved to Israel towards the end of his life; he passed away at the age of 110 in Tzefat) writes that it is clear that none of the Mitzvot of the Torah will ever become nullified for the Torah states: “You shall not add onto them or subtract from them.” Rather, this means that in the future, life will be so good for the Jewish nation and all their days will be filled with such happiness and tranquility that it will feel as though the festivals were no longer (meaning there will not be any special degree of happiness on these holidays). Based on this it would seem that the same should apply for Purim and especially Chanukah. This is why our Sages stressed that the holidays of Chanukah and Purim are exceptions to this rule and they will forever be celebrated with an extra special happiness.

Although the Radbaz primarily refers to Purim, nevertheless, this can be applied to Chanukah as well and it will likewise retain a special feeling of joy as opposed to other holidays.

In the Halachot of Purim, we have mentioned the words of the Rashba in his response (Chapter 93) that the meaning of this Midrash is that although there is a chance that the festivals will be discontinued from the Jewish nation, G-d forbid, as a result of various exiles and suffering that they will be subjected to, nevertheless, regarding Purim there is a special promise that it will never be totally nullified during any generation. The words of the Midrash can be interpreted to include the holiday of Chanukah as well.

8 Halachot Most Popular

Parashat Ki Tetze

Gathered from the teachings of Maran Rebbeinu Ovadia Yosef ztzvk”l (from the years 5744-5772) (written by his grandson HaRav Yaakov Sasson Shlit”a) (translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK) Ellul is the Time to Engage in Battle Against the Yetzer Hara, ......

Read Halacha

Eating Cake on Shabbat Morning

Today's Halacha is dedicated for the merit and protection of All Our Dear Soldiers May Hashem give them strength and courage to vanquish our enemies and may they return home safe and sound amid health and joy. May Hashem protect all the captives and have mercy upon them so that no harm befalls......

Read Halacha

 The “Shehecheyanu” Blessing

Our Sages teach us (Eruvin 40b) that one should recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing upon seeing a new fruit that renews once a year. Even if one sees this fruit in the hands of another person or on the tree, one should recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing. Nevertheless, the P......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Blood Found in Eggs

Blood in Eggs Blood found in eggs is forbidden for consumption, for this blood indicates the beginning of the embryotic development of the chick and this chick has the halachic status of “fowl” whose blood is forbidden for consumption by Torah law; thus, the opinion of the Rosh and Tosa......

Read Halacha


Parashat Terumah

From HaGaon Rav Zevadia HaCohen Shlit”a, The Head of the Batei Din in Tel Aviv (translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK) The Difference Between Moshe and Betzalel [Understanding Why Betzalel Was Able to Make the Menorah, Whilst Moshe Couldn’t] This Sh......

Read Halacha

The Proper Method for Reciting Blessings

During the days preceding Tu Bishvat, we have discussed some laws of blessings. We shall now discuss the law that the food must be in front of the individual before reciting a blessing, for this is the first law in reference to the laws of blessings. Waiting Until the Food is Brought Before the I......

Read Halacha

The Scent of Lemon

Question: If one smells the pleasant scent of a lemon, which blessing should one recite? Answer: The Gemara (Berachot 43b) states: “Mor Zutra said: One who smells the fragrance of an Etrog  (citron), or a quince recites the blessing of ‘Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Ha’......

Read Halacha

Parashat Vayechi

From HaGaon Rav Zevadia HaCohen Shlit”a, The Head of the Batei Din in Tel Aviv (translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK) The Power of a Good Word In the weekly Parashah, Yaakov Avinu gathered his sons and blessed them before he passed away, as the Torah sta......

Read Halacha