Friday, December 30, 2005

TODAY IN JUDAISM: Shabbat, December 31, 2005


Due to Shabbat observance, the Shabbat edition of Today in Judaism is sent on Friday. Shabbat Shalom!

Kislev 30, 5766 * December 31, 2005


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

Today is: Shabbat, Kislev 30, 5766
Chanukah Day 6 * Rosh Chodesh Tevet

Today's Laws & Customs

• Rosh Chodesh Observances

Today is the first of the two Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") days for the month of Tevet (when a month has 30 days, both the last day of the month and the first day of the following month serve as the following month's Rosh Chodesh).

The Yaaleh V'yavo prayer is added to the Amidah and to Grace After Meals, and the additional Musaf prayer is said (when Rosh Chodesh is Shabbat, special additions are made to the Shabbat Musaf). Because it is also Chanukah today, the "full" Hallel (Psalms 113-118) is recited (and not the "partial Hallel" said on the Rosh Chodesh days of other months).

Many have the custom to mark Rosh Chodesh with a festive meal and reduced work activity. The latter custom is prevalent amongst women, who have a special affinity with Rosh Chodesh -- the month being the feminine aspect of the Jewish Calendar [].

Links: The 29th Day []; The Lunar Files []

• Three Sefer Torahs

This Shabbat is unique in that three Torah scrolls are taken from the ark and read from in the public Torah reading: one scroll for the weekly Parshah, a second scroll for the rosh Chodesh reading, and a third scroll for the Chanukah reading. (The only other occassions on which three scrolls are taken out are Simchat Torah [], and when Rosh Chodesh Adar or Rosh Chodesh Nissan fall on Shabbat).

• Hallel & Al HaNissim

Special prayers of thanksgiving -- Hallel (in its full version) and Al HaNissim -- are added to the daily prayers and Grace After Meals on all eight days of Chanukah. Tachnun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are omitted for the duration of trhe festival.

• Kindle Seven Chanukah Lights after nightfall

In commemorartion of the miracle of Chanukah (see "Today in Jewish History []" for Kislev 25) we kindle the Chanukah lights -- oli lamps or candles -- each evening of the eight-day festival, increasing the number of lights each evening. Tonight we kindle seven lights. (In the Jewish calendar, the day begins at nightfall; this evening, then, commences the 7th day of Chanukah).

IMPORTANT: Because of the prohibition to kindle fire on Shabbat, the Chanukah lights must be lit after after the Havdalah service marking the end of Shabbat at nightfall. The time for Shabbat's end and Chanukah lighting is displayed below. (If no time is displayed, click on icon to set your location.)

For more a more detailed guide to Chanukah lighting (and additional Chanukah observances and customs) click here []. For text and audio of the blessings recited before lighting, click here [].

Today in Jewish History

• 6th 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 Study

Chitas and Rambam for today:

Chumash: Mikeitz, 7th Portion Bereishit 43:30-44:17 with Rashi
• English Text:

Tehillim: Chapters 145 - 150
• Hebrew text:
• English text:

Tanya: Likutei Amarim, beginning of Chapter 5
• Lesson in Tanya:
• RealAudio:
• Windows Media:

• Sefer Hamitzvos:
• 1 Chapter: Mechirah Chap. 12
• 3 Chapters: Kil'ayim Chap. 3, 4, 5

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:
Jewish/Civil Date Converter:
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Bar/Bat Mitzvah Calculator:
Yahrtzeit Calculator:

Copyright ©, 2005

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