Sunday, January 01, 2006

TODAY IN JUDAISM: Monday, January 2, 2006


Tevet 2, 5766 * January 2, 2006


* Laws * Customs * Jewish History * Daily Quote * Daily Study *

Today is: Monday, Tevet 2, 5766
Chanukah Day 8

Today's Laws & Customs

• "Zot Chanukah"

The eighth day of Chanukah is also known as Zot Chanukah (lit., "this is Chanukah"), after the opening words of the special Chanukah Torah reading for this day (Leviticus 7:54-8:4). For the deeper significance of this name, see link to "Accumulating Lights" below.

In the Jewish calendar, the day begins at nightfall; thus, the last kindling of the Chanukah lights is held on the evening preceding the 8th day of Chanukah, when eight lights are lit (see "Laws & Customs" for yesterday's date). The festival of Chanukah concludes at nightfall this evening.

It is customary, however, to light candles during the daytime as well, in synagogues, in public spaces, and at gatherings held in honor of the festival. These lightings are done without recitation of the blessings as they do not constitute an observance of the mitzvah of kindling the Chanukah lights.

Other Chanukah observances include the inclusion of Hallel and Al Hanissim in the daily prayers, eating food fried in oil and dairy foods, playing with the "dreidel" and giving gifts of money ("Chanukah gelt") to children.

Links: Accumulating Lights []

Today in Jewish History

• 8th Day of Chanukah Miracle (139 BCE)

On the 25th of Kislev in the year 3622 from creation, the Maccabees liberated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, after defeating the vastly more numerous and powerful armies of the Syrian-Greek king Antiochus IV, who had tried to forcefully uproot the beliefs and practices of Judaism from the people of Israel. The victorious Jews repaired, cleansed and rededicated the Temple to the service of G-d. But all the Temple's oil had been defiled by the pagan invaders; when the Jews sought to light the Temple's menorah (candelabra), they found only one small cruse of ritually pure olive oil. Miraculously, the one-day supply burned for eight days, until new, pure oil could be obtained. In commemoration, the Sages instituted the 8-day festival of Chanukah, on which lights are kindled nightly to recall and publicize the miracle.

Link: The Story of Chanukah []

Daily Quote

A little bit of light dispels a lot of darkness

- Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi

Daily Study

Chitas and Rambam for today:

Chumash: Vayigash, 2nd Portion Bereishit 44:31-45:7 with Rashi
• English Text:

Tehillim: Chapters 10 - 17
• Hebrew text:
• English text:

Tanya: Likutei Amarim, beginning of Chapter 6
• Lesson in Tanya:
• RealAudio:
• Windows Media:

• Sefer Hamitzvos:
• 1 Chapter: Mechirah Chap. 14
• 3 Chapters: Kil'ayim Chap. 9, 10, Mattenot Aniyim Chap. 1

Hayom Yom:
• English Text:


Chanukah is here!

Our extensive Chanukah website has how-to’s, stories, lessons, games and even recipes! It's sure to make your holiday more meaningful and insightful! All this at:

Tip: Join a public menorah lighting or Chanukah event in your area too!

Send Chanukah Greeting Cards to friends and family:

New! Featured Chanukah Videos:

SEASONS: A Chanukah Thought:
MIRACLES: A Chanukah Film:
MIRACLE LIGHTS: An Animated Production:

Wishing you and your family a Happy Chanukah!


Check out our other Calendar Tools:

Candle Lighting anywhere:
Zmanim - Halachic Times:
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