"When the Greeks entered the Temple, they defiled all of the oils. After the Hasmoneans defeated them, they searched and found but one cruse of oil, untouched and sealed with the seal of the High Priest. The cruse had only enough oil for one day, but a miracle occurred and they were able to light from it for eight days. The following year they established these days as a holiday for praise and thanksgiving." (Shabbat 21b)

We may ask a number of questions on the
 Talmudic account of Chanukah:

Suitable Wicks and Oils
The Mishnah (Shabbat, chapter two) discusses which wicks and oils

 are suitable for Sabbath lights. Certain materials may not be used for

wicks since they make 'the flame sputter' and fail to burn evenly; and

certain oils may not be used because 'they do not flow freely to the

wick.' With regard to Chanukah, however, the Talmud (Shabbat 21b)

rules that these restrictions do not apply.

Even wicks and oil that do not burn smoothly may be used for

Chanukah lights. Why are all oils permitted for use on Chanukah,

 even when lit on Friday evening? Why

this distinction between Sabbath and Chanukah lights?

The holiday of Chanukah raises a number of questions:
  • Why do we celebrate Chanukah for eight days?

  •  After all, there was enough oil to burn for one day,

  • so the miracle was really only for seven days.

  • Since the holiday commemorates the miracle

  •  of the oil, we should celebrate

  •  for only seven days.

Chanukah and Chinuch
The word Chanukah means 'dedication,' referring

 to the re-dedication of the Temple after its desecration

 by the Seleucid emperor Antiochus IV. Chanukah 

shares the same Hebrew root as chinuch — 'education.'

 But chinuch is the masculine form of the word while

 chanukah is the feminine form. Why?

After the Flood, Noah blessed his son Yefeth:
"May God expand Yefeth, and may he dwell in the tents of Shem."  (Gen. 9:27)
What does this blessing mean? Why should Yefeth live in Shem's tents?
e blessing links together Yefeth and Shem through the

national cultures of their descendants, Greece and Israel.

 Yet, the relationship between these two nations was never simple.

We know from the story of Chanukah that these two civilizations

How then should the beauty of Greek

culture reside in the tents of Israel?

Teachers Institute in Jerusalem during Chanukah 1932, Rav Kook said:
People mistake the sacred and the secular for adversaries

 at war with one another. But in truth, national life cannot exist unless

 both of these values are fully developed and channeled toward building

the nation. Hence, we must endeavor to fuse them

and imbue the secular with the holy.

ֿIs there something idealistic and holy in loving

 the Jewish people? Or is this just another form of

nationalism, an emotion far less noble than

 a universal love for all peoples?

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