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December 22, 1989 - Image 149

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-12-22

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Hava Nedaber Ivrit: Celebrating Nitzachan B'Milchama

Each month in this space,
L'Chayim will present a Hebrew
lesson entitled, "Hava Nedaber
Ivrit!" (Let's Speak Hebrew), whose
aim is to encourage further study of
Hebrew. The lesson will include a
brief story utilizing the Hebrew
words to be studied, a vocabulary
list with English translations and a
family activitiy which involves using
the new words. The lessons will be
prepared by Nira Lev, associate
professor of Hebrew language and
literature at the Midrasha College of
Jewish Studies. Mrs. Lev also
teaches Hebrew language and
literature at the Community Jewish
High School at the United Hebrew
Schools.
Following is this month's
lesson:
Chag Ha'Chanukah which is
celebrated on the 25th day of
chodesh Kislev, is different from
other chagim Yehudiyim. This chag
is not mentioned in the torah. All
we know about the Chashmona'eem
and about the Maccabim comes
from Sefer hamaccabim, one of the
s-farim that were not included in
the Tanach.
Chanukan, unlike other chagim
Yehudiyim, celebrates nitzachon
b'milchama. Chanukah is also
different because we do not have
special services in beit-
ha'knesset, we do not have a
special arucha chagigit at home,
and it is not like Shabbat; we can
work or travel on all shmonaty'may
Chanukah.
Chanukan is a chag datti and
chag le'umi. on Chanukah we
remember the milchama of the
meatim neged rabim: The
Maccabim were meatim and the
Yevanim were rabim, but
nevertheless the Maccabim had the
nitzachon. This was a milchama
datit; The Maccabim fought for
chifesh dati, for the zchut to be
Jews, to keep their religious and
national identity and not to become
helenized.
Chanukah has thus become a
semel of a milchama of meatim
neged rabim, and this semel was a
reality in most of the milchamot our
am had to fight throughout history.
The nitzachon won by the
maccabim in this milchama was a
ness. The rabbanim tell us about
another ness: pach ha'shemen.
When the chayalim looked
for shemen kadosh to burn
in the menorah of Beit- Ha'
mikdash, they found enough burnt
shmonah yamim. Therefore we
light nerot in the chanukiah
shmonah yamim.
The ness is symbolic of the
meaning of Chag Ha-Chanukah. It

is symbolic of the ness of the
existence and survival of Am
Yisrael, a small nation that has
survived in spite of the numerous
powerful oy'vim that tried to destroy
it. The menorah, the chanukiah, is
the most important semel of
Chanukah. In fact, Chanukah was
called Chag Ha'or long before it
was called Chanukah (meaning The
Festival of Dedication). Orot and
nerot have always been part of our
religious ritual. We find the
menorah as a semel chashuv
already in the description of Ohel
Moed in the Tanach. This menorah
was the first Ner Tamid before Aron
Ha'kodesh. The seven branched
menorah was for use only in Beit
Ha-mikdash. The chanukiah we
use at home has places for
shmonah nerot and another place
for the Shammash light. Ner
Ha-Shammash, the "servant" light
is used to light the other nerot.
Orot Ha'Chanukah are also
related to the season when this
chag is celebrated. Just as Pesach,
Shavuot and Sukkot celebrate aviv,
kayitz and stay, so Chanukah is a
holiday of choref. The days start
getting longer and we add lights
every night. Some of the other

minhagim of this chag revolve
aroung hadlakat ha'nerot and the
simcha shared by the whole
family sitting around the table,
singing, eating latkes fried in
shemen, and spinning the s'vivon
during the cold days of choref?

Meelon (Vocabulary)

Chag
holiday
chodesh
month
chagim Yehudiyim ..Jewish holidays
Chashmona'eem
Hasmoneans
Maccabim
Maccabees
sefer
book
sfarim
books
The Tanach
The Bible
nitzachon
victory
b'milchama
in a war
beit-ha'knesset
the synagogue
arucha
a meal
chagigit
festive (feminine)
shomnat y'mey
the eight days
Chanukah
of Chanukah
datti
religious
le-umi
national
milchama
war
Yevanim
Greek
meatim
few
many
rabim
against
neged
freedom
chofesh
wars
milchamot

right, privilege
bchut
symbol
semel
nation
am
a miracle
ness
rabbis
rabbanim
pach ha shemen
the can of oil
chayalim
soldiers
shemen
oil
kadosh
holy
Beit Ha'mikdash The Temple
yom echad
eight days
nerot
candles
chanukiah.. .a Chanukah menorah
ness
a miracle
enemies
oy-vim
semel
symbol
Chag ha'or .
The Holiday of Light
orot
lights
chashuv
important
Ohel Moed . ..the tent of gathering
The Tanach
The Bible
Aron Ha'kodesh
The Ark
Beit Ha'mikdash
The Temple
aviv
spring
kayitz
summer
stay
fall
charef
winter
minhagim
customs
hadlakat ha
nerot ..The lighting of the candles
happiness, joy
simcha
oil
shemen
dreidel
s'vivon

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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