Chanukah is not specifically mentioned in the Torah, since the story happened after the Torah was written. Moses finished writing the Torah in the year 2488 after creation (1273 BCE). The Chanukah miracles occurred over a thousand years later, in the years 3621–3622 (140–139 BCE).

Nevertheless, G‑d is above the limitations of time, and as such, He included in the Torah allusions to Chanukah.

[In fact, all of creation is a byproduct of G‑d’s wisdom, which is expressed in the Torah. This is why the Torah is dubbed the “blueprint of creation,” and every event—minor or major—that ever did and ever will occur is alluded to in the Torah.]

1. In the original Hebrew, the 25th word in the Torah is ohr, “light.” We begin lighting the Chanukah lights on the 25th day of the month of Kislev.

2. When the Jews traveled in the desert, on their way from Egypt to the land of Israel, the twenty-fifth place that they camped (“rested”) was Chashmonah.1 This alludes to the priestly family of Chashmonaim (Hasmoneans), who led the Maccabee armies in the battle against the Greeks, and who rested on the twenty-fifth day of Kislev.

3. The 23rd chapter of Leviticus describes the different Jewish holidays. Immediately afterwards, at the beginning of chapter 24, we find the commandment to light the menorah in the Temple. This is a hint to a holiday connected to the lighting of the menorah.

4. The 7th chapter of Numbers describes the offerings that the tribal leaders brought when the Tabernacle was dedicated. Chapter 8 begins: “The L‑rd spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and say to him, ‘When you light the lamps, the seven lamps shall cast their light toward the face of the menorah.’” We thus see a connection between the dedication of the Temple and the lighting of the menorah. After the Maccabean war ended, the Jews cleaned, repaired and rededicated the Temple, and lit the menorah once again.

The Midrash tells us that while every tribal leader brought an offering, the tribe of Levi didn’t. G‑d told Moses to tell his brother Aaron—the high priest, head of the Levites, and ancestor of the Maccabees—not to worry: sacrifices will last only as long as the Temples stands, but the lights will be lit forever. The lights of the Chanukah menorah that your descendants will initiate will continue to illuminate the darkness even after the destruction of the Temple.

May we soon merit to see the building of the third Holy Temple and the lighting of the menorah there!

Happy Chanukah and Shabbat Shalom!

All the best,
Rochel Chein for