why do we light the menorah on hanukkah

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By: Rivka C. Berman, Contributor Shop for Traditional Menorahs: The Talmud asks the question: What is Chanukah? The rabbis answer has little to do with the battlefield victory.

In fact, the answer focuses on the miracle of the oil. We light a menorah, according to the Talmud, in commemoration of the miracle of light! When the Greeks entered the Temple courtyard they made all the oil in the Temple impure.

When the kingdom of the House of Hasmoneans (that is, the Maccabees who ascended to the throne following their triumph over the Greeks) were victorious, they checked (the Sanctuary) and did not find but one container of oil with the high priests seal.

There was enough oil for only one day. But there was a miracle and the oil lasted eight days. The following year a holiday was established for praise and recognition. (Shabbat 21b) The Talmuds stress on the miracle of Chanukah laid the foundation of how the holiday came to be celebrated.

Much of the holidays halachot, laws, are drawn from the desire to publicize the miracle of Chanukah as clearly as possible. for Chanukah brings you much more about the holiday, its meaning and its traditions. See the links below.