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Chanukah in a Nutshell

Chanukah in a Nutshell

Numbers 7:1-8:4


On Chanukah we celebrate the re-dedication of the Temple by the victorious Maccabee forces, a Temple that had been defiled by the Greeks. In fact the Hebrew word "Chanukah" means dedication.

In a similar vein, the Chanukah Torah reading discusses the dedication of the desert Tabernacle.

The leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel each bring their offerings for the inauguration of the Tabernacle and the altar.

Collectively, they present Moses with six covered wagons and twelve oxen to assist in the transportation of the Tabernacle. G‑d instructs Moses to accept the gift.

The leaders of the tribes also bring individual gifts. Although their gifts are identical, each is brought on a different day and is individually described by the Torah.

The gift consisted of: one silver tray and one silver basin both filled with a meal-offering, one golden incense-filled spoon, and an assortment of sacrificial bulls, rams, lambs, and goats.

The sum total of the gifts is given, and the procedure for G‑d's communication with Moses in the Tabernacle is described.

Aaron is commanded to raise light in the lamps of the menorah, whose stem and seven branches was hewn from a single block of pure gold.

(This Torah reading is divided, and completed in the course of the eight days of Chanukah.)

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