Second day of Chanukah

The third day begins at sunset.  Light the third candle.

 

140 BCE- the Maccabees defeated 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 Beit HaMikdash in Yerushalayim to the service of Hashem.

All the Beit HaMikdash's oil had been defiled by the pagan invaders; and when the Jews sought to light the Beit HaMikdash's Menorah (candelabra), they found only one small cruse of ritually pure olive oil.  They lit the Menorah with the one-day supply, which miraculously, burned for eight days, until new, pure oil could be obtained. 

Also on this day -- 1,100 years earlier -- Moshe Rabbeinu and the Jewish people completed construction of the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary that accompanied them during 40 years of wandering in the desert. The Mishkan was not dedicated, however, for nother three months.  The Sages tell us that the day of Kislev 25 was then "compensated" 12 centuries later -- when the miracle of Chanukah occurred and the Beit HaMikdash was rededicated.

In commemoration, the Sages instituted the eight-day festival of Chanukah, on which lights are kindled nightly by Jews around the world to recall and publicize the miracle of the oil, and its message that continues to illuminate our lives today.

 

November 27, 1095- The First Crusade was proclaimed. As they trekked thru Europe on their way to Eretz Yisroel, the Crusaders killed tens of thousands of Jews.

 

December 2, 1763- The cornerstone for the Touro Synagogue, in Newport, Rhode Island, was laid on this day. The synagogue is the oldest American synagogue still standing in its original structure. It was founded by Spanish Portuguese families who came from Curacao, in the West Indies.

The magnificent synagogue is built of brick imported from England, and stands at an acute angle to the street -- so that the Holy Ark faces toward Yerushalayim / Jerusalem.  It is named after Isaac Touro, its first officiating rabbi, who also left money in his will for the on going care of the synagogue. George Washington had issued a famous letter to the congregation promising religious freedom, and in 1982 the United States Postal Service issued a stamp featuring Touro Synagogue, to coincide with the 250th anniversary of Washington's birth.

 

Torah Portion

לך לך (Lech Lecha)

 

 

or view this week's triennial cycle reading.

Today is

Yom Shishi, 10 Cheshvan, 5779

Friday, October 19, 2018

 

Learn more about this date in history.