Author Topic: Noahides and Hanukkah  (Read 2508 times)

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Noahides and Hanukkah
« on: December 15, 2006, 03:10:57 PM »
Hanukkah was based on Sukkot, a holiday which is also for Noahides. So does it have any meaning for Noahides or does it not because it is 8 days and 8 has to do with the supernatural and has to do with The Jews while 7, the natural order of things has to do with the natural World and Noahides?

« Last Edit: January 06, 2007, 10:47:29 PM by Yacov Menashe Ben Rachamim »

Offline jsullivan

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Noahides and Hanukkah
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2007, 12:09:03 AM »
Hanukkah was based on Sukkot, a holiday which is also for Noahides. So does it have any meaning for Noahides or does it not because it is 8 days and 8 has to do with the supernatural and has to do with The Jews while 7, the natural order of things has to do with the natural World and Noahides?



I didn't know the answer to the question, and so I asked Chaim Ben Pesach. Here's the answer that Chaim e-mailed me:

Chanukah is a holiday for the Jewish people for two reasons:

1. The miraculous victory over the Greek idolators and their Jewish Hellenistic collaborators.

2. The miracle of the shemen (oil) that burned for eight days even though there was only enough oil for one day.

Bnai Noach are required to support the Jewish people in their struggle to survive and to defeat evil. Therefore, the first reason for Chanukah - the miraculous military victory - is relevant to all righteous Gentiles, because when G-d's Chosen People defeat their enemies, it is a kiddush HaShem (sanctification of G-d's Name) that proves to the entire world (including the Gentiles) that the G-d of the Bible is the REAL G-d of the Universe.

To commemorate this great military victory, Jews give thanks to HaShem (G-d) on Chanukah by reciting Hallel (Psalms of David). If Bnai Noach wish to also thank HaShem for this miracle by reciting Hallel, they of course can do so.

The second miracle - of the oil that burned for eight days - is only relevant to the Jews. The oil pertained to the Holy Temple. The Macabees in the beginning were only a small minority of the Jewish people, and so they had doubts that they were doing the right thing by revolting when the vast majority of their fellow Jews disagreed with them. Therefore, the oil miracle occurred as a sign to prove to the Macabees that they had done the right thing by launching their revolt not only against foreign Jew-hating invaders but also against self-hating Jewish traitors.

We light candles on the Menorah to commemorate this miraculous sign from HaShem that the revolt had His blessing. Most rabbis hold that Bnai Noach are not required to light candles because this aspect of Chanukah is less relevant to the Gentiles.

Yacov's point about the significance of 7 and 8 is also correct. The number 7 refers to the natural order of things that G-d created in this world, such as 7 days in a week (which comes from the Torah, that commands the Jews to observe the seventh day Shabbat as their Sabbath). The number 8 is above the natural order, or supernatural.

On Chanukah, the Jews had only enough oil for one day but the oil continued to burn miraculously for 8 days - 8 being proof of a supernatural event that G-d had performed for His people.

Once again, this makes the lighting of the candles an event that is less relevant to the righteous Gentiles.

I hope this answers the question to some extent.

Chaim Ben Pesach
« Last Edit: January 06, 2007, 10:47:42 PM by Yacov Menashe Ben Rachamim »