Volume 27 Number 50
                      Produced: Fri Jan  2  6:27:31 1998

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chag Urim Sameach
         [Shlomo Godick]
Chanukah and the Menorah Miracle
         [Chaim Mateh]
Complete Hallel on Chanukah
         [Yussie Englander]
Hallel on Chanukah
         [Isaac A. Zlochower]
         [Steve White]
Kiruv Alienating?
         [Shimon Schwartz]
Lighting Hanukkiyah and Hanukkah
         [Jay Rovner]
Tactics for Kiruv
         [Carl Singer]


From: Shlomo Godick <shlomog@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 17:07:17 -0800
Subject: Chag Urim Sameach

Sherman Marcus <shermanm@...> wrote:

> Chag Urim Sameach.

Regarding the above salutation, I have heard two comments (I believe I
heard them on the Israel radio program "Rega shel Ivrit", but I am not

1) The expression "chag urim" comes from an unvoweled manuscript.
   The pronunciation "urim" (fires) as opposed to "orim" (lights) was
   adopted by the modern yishuv on the premise that the plural form of
   "or" (light) is "orot" and not "orim".  But there is a pasuk in
   Tehillim (that we say in psukei d'zimra every Shabbos) that
   contradicts this premise: l'oseh orim g'dolim, ki l'olam hasdo.
   Of course 'festival of lights" (as opposed to "festival of fires")
   seems to be much more in keeping with the theme of Hanukkah.  

2) I also remember hearing that the first modern use of the expression
   "chag urim" was in a poem by the secular writer Tchernikovsky.

Can anybody confirm any of the above?  Does anybody know of a "kosher"
source or explanation for the expression "chag urim"?

Kol tov,
Shlomo Godick


From: Chaim Mateh <chaimm@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 16:57:55 +0200
Subject: Re: Chanukah and the Menorah Miracle

Yacov David Shulman mentioned The Books of Maccabees ("Maccabees II
1:18, King James translation") and Josephus. I was under the impression
that neither of these two books hold any great authority vis-a-vis
Torah/Talmudic law and history.

I do recall Rashi mentioning Josephus, but only as an aside note that
Josephus also says what the Gemoro said.  But not ever brought as an
authoritative source for anything.  My Bar Ilan CD couldn't find _any_
reference to Sefer Hamakabim, although if I'm not mistaken, I think the
Gemoro does mention it a couple of times (and is cited in the Torah Ohr
in the margin of the Gemoro page; the Torah Ohr isn't in the CD).  Would
anyone have those references in the Gemoro?

Does anyone know of any Rabbinic sources that discusses the
authoritativeness of the above 2 sources?

Kol Tuv,


From: Yussie Englander <Jsph26@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 20:19:01 EST
Subject: Re: Complete Hallel on Chanukah

>One of the reasons we do not recite the entire hallel during the latter
>part of Pesach is due to the drowning of the Egyptians during the
>splitting of the sea on the seventh day of Pesach. God says "my
>creatures are lying dead and you (the Jews) are singing praise?".  When
>the Hasmoneans re-took the Temple on Chanukah, there obviously were many
>Assyrians killed. Why then, on Chanukah do we recite whole Hallel and
>not show the same concern for the dead Assyrians?
>Mayer Danziger

If memory serves me correctly, Hashem did not say that to the Jews, He
said that to the malachim. Also, if my memory serves me correctly, we
say hallel, full at that, as opposed to none on Purim is because, on
Purim, our enemies were only trying to destroy our bodies. Chanukah, was
much worse, because our enemies were trying only to destroy our minds
and souls.

a freilechen end to chanukah to all.

-Yussie Englander


From: Isaac A. Zlochower <zlochoia.@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 00:09:21 -0800
Subject: Re: Hallel on Chanukah

Mayer Danziger asked about the rationale for the institution of Hallel
on Chanukah, ostensibly, in celebration of the military victory over
Antiochus and the rededication of the Temple; when Hallel is not
completed after the first days of Pesach to celebrate the victory over
the Egyptians at the Red Sea.  In fact, one reason given by the sages
for an incomplete Hallel in the latter case is the admixture of sadness
over the loss of human life during the miraculous escape from the
Egyptian army.  However, the above reason is not quite satisfactory. 
The primary lesson to be learned from the Red Sea episode is the
execution of "poetic justice" on the Egyptians who were tricked into
pursuing their former slaves, in order to repay them for drowning Jewish
male babies in the Nile a generation earlier.  This lesson is explicitly
derived by Yisro (Ex 18:11) who is thereby inspired to become a ger. 
The sadness over the death of the Egyptians must be a secondary
moralistic lesson, not the primary reason for not saying Hallel.

Another rationale given by the sages for not completing Hallel in the
latter days of Pesach has more of a bearing on Chanukah.  They state
that Pesach does not require Hallel in the latter days because there was
no innovation in the Temple sacrafices on those days, in contrast to
Succot, where the "peace offerings" were different every day. 
Similarly, we light a different number of lights each day of Chanukah. 
However, the actual obligation is only to kindle one light each day.  We
are just accustomed to going above and beyond the Rabbinic requirement.

It seems to me that the primary reason for not saying Hallel on the
latter days of Pesach is the expectation that most of the pilgrims would
go back home to bring in the barley harvest after the first day(s) (Deut
16:7).  With the reduction in the number of celebrants there would be
less of a joyous occasion for reciting Hallel.  In contrast, after the
bringing in of the summer harvest before Succot, all the pilgrims were
expected to visit the Temple for the entire holiday and to rejoice (Deut
16:15).  Hallel is therefore totally appropriate and fitting.

The Maccabees instituted Chanukah on the occasion of the cleansing of
the Temple from the pagan desecrations of Antiochus, and the
rededication of the new altar.  For the Hellenists had sacraficed a pig
on the old altar, and it could no longer be used.  It was taken apart
and hidden under the pavement of the Temple (Middos 1:6).  A new altar
was constructed, and the traditional 8 day inauguration period was
instituted (akin to the inauguration of the Tabernacle).  It was
entirely fitting that Hallel be recited every day of the inaugural
service at the altar.  It is that rededication of the Temple service
that we celebrate every Chanukah.

Have a joyous last day of Chanukah.

Yitzchok Zlochower


From: Steve White <StevenJ81@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 09:33:57 EST
Subject: Re: Kiruv

Tzadik Vanderhoof's (<stvhoof@...>) posting in Kiruv in #46
troubled me deeply, too.  I recall when I was in college and talking to
people about cults that one sure sign of a cult was that cults would
encourage one to separate oneself from one's family.  So when I became
dati, I said that explicitly to my parents, who worried that I was
coming under the spell of a cult.  I told them, among other things, "How
could it be a cult?  No one is asking me to cut myself off from my

While one is supposed to find one's *own* posek, and not rely only on
printed matter coming from gedolim, it is nevertheless instructional to
model one's behavior on people truly accepted universally as gedolim --
people like Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt''l, or Rav Soloveitchik, zt''l.  Do
you suppose men like that would *ever* encourage one to cut oneself off
from one's family, barring very specific evidence of danger or abuse?

Steven White


From: Shimon Schwartz <schwartz@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 01:31:54 -0500
Subject: Re: Kiruv Alienating?

> From: Tzadik Vanderhoof <stvhoof@...>
> [On breaking off relations with non-observant parents]
> This whole business seems to give Torah a reputation as something that
> breaks up families, when the opposite impression should be the case.
> Maybe I'm missing something here?  Would anyone care to clarify or
> explain this "cut-off" policy?  Does it have something to do with an
> element Israeli culture that makes continuing a relationship with one's
> family impossible?

I'm sure that there are occurrences of this in America (and other galut
countries) as well.  But let me paint you a vastly different picture.

My wife's parents are fairly centrist with respect to halacha.  Her
cousins are spread throughout the right-yeshivish part of the spectrum.
My parents are non-observant, Conservative-affiliated.  My cousins all
identify as Jews, but are fairly assimilated religiously and socially.

We generally go to my in-laws for Pesach, Sukkot and Purim seudah.  We
go to my parents for Mother's/Father's Days and Thanksgiving.  Both sets
of parents get along WELL with each other, and Rebecca and I are
friendly with each other's cousins.  Our parents and we live 30 - 45
minutes drive from one another.  We frequently drop in on either set of
parents on Sundays; they also visit each other every month or two.  I
would not expect more frequent visits, given their differences in

My parents are not thrilled about my strict kashrut/Shabbat (etc.)
observance, but they respect our practices.  They have been
extraordinarily considerate of our dietary requests when we visit them,
as well as when they visit us.  I am on good terms with most of my
cousins.  The only times I have refused to see them have been when they
scheduled a get-together on Yom Tov, or made a formal simcha and used a
treif caterer.  Some of them accept my absence from these affairs,
others do not.  The point is, I don't avoid them because of their lack
of observance, but because I cannot maintain my personal halachic
standards in those situations.

Where has this gotten us?  Two years of marriage, one daughter, and
great things in store for the future.  Our children will learn that all
Jews are obligated in halacha, but some do not practice it for a variety
of reasons.

They will learn that it makes no difference whether one was born into an
observant family, or changed one's practice in later life, as did
Avraham Avinu.  The fundamental thing, to quote a rebbetzin from New
Jersey, is that you don't *have* yichus, you *make* it.  I have retained
some parts of my parents' teachings, and rejected other parts.  But so
has my wife.  It's fairly easy--and self-satisfying--to tell your
parents, and other people, that they're not up to your standards.  But
if you go too far with it, you have to stay in the cave another twelve
or thirteen years.

Shimon H. Schwartz
Home: mailto:<schwartz@...>
Office: mailto:<schwartz@...>


From: <jarovner@...> (Jay Rovner)
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 11:54:06 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Lighting Hanukkiyah and Hanukkah

	i was just at a shi'ur in which the gemara's question SHabbat
??)  "mai hanukkah?" was cited, along with the answer there, from a
baraita.  this baraita mentions the the eight day miracle, and then goes
on to say that in following years, a celebration was instituted of
hallel and hodaah ('al ha-nisim).
	the maggid shi'ur questioned why there is no mention of lighting
candles in "hanukkah dorot"?  he suggested that the baraita refers to
Temple times (early in the tannaitic period). the menorah was lit
regularly in the Temple, and no need was found for anything but hallel
and hodaah.
	in line with this suggestion, one should note that the baraita
is largely in aramaic, with a vocabulary that matches Megillat Ta'anit
(and sure enough that baraita comes from megil. taan. this is an ancient
(pre-mishanic) work, so it is reasonable to suppose that it articulates
the state of the observance of hanukkah during the second temple period.
	the baraita includes discussion not in the megil. taan., but
contained in the gemara/scholion that traditionally accompanies the base
text of that work. therefore, in bavel they knew the megill.taan. along
with its scholion. this is probably why they cited it as a baraita (Teno
rabbanan - my guess).
	this helps us understand that lighting is not primary to
hanukkah celebrations; it also helps to establish the date of the
testimony from the Bavli alluded to by a previous poster to before 70 CE

	jay rovner

> From: Yacov David Shulman <Yacovdavid@...>
> Subject: Chanukah and the Menorah Miracle
> Apparently, the rabbinic history, Seder Olam Zuta, also does not mention
> any menorah miracle (I did not see this "inside," but mention of this is
> made in a footnote in Artscroll's volume on Chanukah.  Incidentally,
> Artscroll does not mention the books of Maccabee's omission of the
> menorah miracle.)
> ...
> It seems clear that Josephus was unfamiliar with the story of the
> menorah miracle, as well as with any custom involving lighting a
> menorah.
> The first reference to the menorah miracle I know of is from the
> Gemara--which is the furthest removed chronologically of the sources
> mentioned above.
> Does anyone have any other information or reasoned speculation?


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Jan 98 20:51:30 UT
Subject: Tactics for Kiruv

The recent note re: some Kiruv organizations isolating their charges
from family, insisting they break off relationships, etc., is
unfortunately indicative of extreme, total immersion, cult-like tactics.

I'm trying to be non-judgmental (very hard for me) to the extent that
the end goal may be worth the tactics (end justifying means?) -- in a
small way this may be analogous to the discussions re: not telling the
truth re: a shiddach and similar parameters may apply.

It also focuses back on a discussion of who is / was the person whom
we're doing Kiruv work with.  Broadly categorizing parameters such as:

intellectual --- emotional
mature  --- immature
troubled (including chemically enhanced) --- reasonably OK
"together", thoughtfully, seeking meaning to life, etc. --
               "lost", floundering, seeking meaning to life, etc.

Some (kiruv) people, (kiruv) some organizations, etc., are better suited
for appropriately (?) addressing the needs of different people.

I find it hard to relate to organizations that take a really "messed-up"
20 year old, dress him/her in appropriate costume, meets his/her social,
emotional needs via a total immersion into a new lifestyle -- and
outputs a frum, "messed-up" 21 year old.  It's certainly not my cup of
tea -- but, nonetheless, it's another soul back in the Torah fold.

The stresses on the community having to deal with a growing population
of these balabatim is another issue.

Back to the issue of isolation from family -- perhaps a good tactic in
some cases, but a terrible strategy.  We create the we-un, they-un rifts
that tear (extended) families apart.  We polarize people to where they
portray themselves as "anti-religious" and unsympathetic.  We create
family conflict.

A Rabbi who posits (or paskens) that this (breaking off from family) is
permissible despite the specific commandment of Kivud Av v' Aim --
troubles me with what I perceive to be his balance between means and

Carl Singer


End of Volume 27 Issue 50