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Intermediate Talmud: Chanukah

Discover new depths to the holiday and its traditions.

The Talmud in Tractate Shabbat at the end of page 21, folio 1, transitions into a fascinating discussion on the topic of lighting the Chanukah menorah. Study the rich text of Talmud with Rabbi Kaplan and discover new depths to the holiday and its traditions. In this intermediate level class you will learn to understand the unique give-and-take style of Talmudic debate and discussion.

44:43
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 6
In this Talmud class we ask if the substances disqualified for Shabbbat lamps are also invalid for the Chanukah lights, which leads us to analyze the very status of the Chanukah flames.
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53:38
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 7
The gemara analyzes the principle that if the flames of the Chanukah menorah extinguish before the allotted time, they need not be rekindled. This leads us into a discussion on when the lights are kindled and for how long they should burn.
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1:02:00
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 8
The Talmud discusses the basic requirement for kindling the Chanukah menorah, and then proceeds to present the more optimal and ideal fashion (known as ‘mehadrin’). Discover the nuanced distinctions in the reasoning offered by the sages.
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53:17
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 9
In this class the Talmud addresses the ideal place to light the Chanukah menorah to broadcast the miracle, as well as other ways to fulfill the basic requirement.
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57:46
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 10
Learn the Talmud’s narrative of the Chanukah miracle, which the Talkmud recounts to answer the famous (yet peculiar) question of why we celebrate the Festival of Lights.
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55:52
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 11
The Talmud’s discussion about the Chanukah menorah digresses for a moment into the topic of liability for damages related to a camel laden with flax that catches on fire as it passes by a storefront.
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59:40
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 12
In this class we delve into the Talmud’s comparison between a menorah, sukkah and ‘mavoy’ regarding their maximum height. Then, the discussion flows into a seemingly unrelated teaching about snakes and scorpions. Finally, we learn where to place the menorah at the doorway.
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1:03:17
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 13
Now the Talmud discusses whether it’s permitted to benefit from the light of the Chanukah menorah. This leads us to analyze the notion of respect for mitzvahs, derived from the mitzvah of covering the blood after shechitah (kosher slaughter).
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1:02:11
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 14
In discussing lighting Chanukah candles one from another considering the principle of respect for a mitzvah, the Talmud quotes three disputes between Rav and Shmuel, in-which the halachic ruling follows Shmuel instead of Rav.
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57:01
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 15
The Talmud looks to compare the issue of disrespect when kindling Chanukah lights one from another to a different case-law related to weighing sacred money from holy food tithes.
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1:02:28
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 16
The Talmud brings a teaching regarding the process for kindling the Temple menorah to shed light on the issue of disrespect or diminishing a mitzvah in kindling the Chanukah lights from one another.
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45:43
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 17
The Talmud looks to resolve and reach a conclusive ruling on the question of lighting one Chanukah candle from another. This leads us into a discussion to first determine whether the kindling or placement of the menorah is the primary mitzvah.
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50:05
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 18
The Talmud answers the question whether the kindling or placement of the menorah is the primary mitzvah. Then we proceed to discuss women’s obligation for lighting the menorah.
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45:45
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 19
The Talmud addresses the issue of guests away from home and their obligation to kindle the menorah. Then the discussion turns to the choice of oil to use on Chanukah.
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44:01
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 20
The Tamud’s discussion briefly digresses to the topic of oil and ink. Then, the returns to the subject of Chanukah, addressing the special blessings recited for kindling or seeing a lit menorah.
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1:01:37
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 21
The Talmud challenges the notion of reciting a blessing on the Chanukah menorah, which is a rabbinic mitzvah, based on different teachings related to agriculture law and tithing.
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1:04:51
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 22
This fascinating discussion and analysis about the how and why an additional menorah should be kindled on account of a neighbor’s suspicion leans heavily on the yearly harvest and ethos of social welfare.
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1:01:46
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 23
In this class we first discuss the scenario of two individuals sharing the same oil-filled vessel, wherein each lights their own wick. Then the discussion turns to the question of what takes precedence when faced with the limited option of having only enough oil for either the Chanukah lamp or the Shabbat lamp.
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1:00:09
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 24
The Talmud states the reward for one who is careful in the mitzvah of lighting candles and the reward for other mitzvahs that are also in a manner of measure for measure. The Talmud proceeds to related stories that illustrate this reality.
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