Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candlelighting at 8:25pm, ends Saturday night at 9:31pm. Early Shabbat candle lighting is between 7:10pm-7:15pm. The weekly Torah portion is Vayeshev. First night of Chanukah is Saturday night and the eighth night is Saturday night (31/12).
Our weekly newsletter will be going on summer recess.
Wishing everyone a safe, relaxing and enjoyable summer break.
Below are Shabbat candlelighting times until the newsletter resumes.
Friday, December 30th: Shabbat starts with candlelighting at 8:27pm; ends Saturday night at 9:32pm. Light the eighth candle for Chanukah on Saturday night. To bring in early shabbat one must light Chanukah candles after 7:12pm and then light the shabbos candles. Rosh Chodesh Tevet is on Friday, December 30th. The weekly Torah Portion is Mikeitz.
Friday, January 6th: Shabbat starts tonight with candlelighting at 8:28pm, ends Saturday night at 9:32pm. Early Shabbat candle lighting is between 7:15pm-7:20pm. The weekly Torah portion is Vayigash. Sunday, January 8th: Fast of Tevet: Fast begins 4:23am; Fast ends 9:17pm
Mincha in the CBD: After today, mincha is on summer recess until sometime in 2017.
Study: Shiur is on summer recess.
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Thought of the Week with thanks to Ezra May. The Talmud asks “Mai Chanukah?” – “What is the Chanukah miracle?” It answers that after defeating Antiochus, the Maccabees entered the Temple and found everything destroyed and impure, except one jar of oil with the seal of the High Priest intact. As we know, this was enough for one day, but miraculously lasted for eight. This, according to the Sages, is the miracle of Chanukah.
However, when we say Al Hannisim prayer on Chanukah, we find no mention of the miracle of oil, only the victory in battle. So which is the miracle, the battle or the oil?
Objectively, it is the oil. While it may be uncommon for a guerrilla group to be victorious over a large army, it does & can happen. However, it is truly miraculous for oil for one day to burn for eight. That said, the significance of the battle cannot be understated either. If the oil burnt for eight days, but they were defeated militarily, what sort of miracle is that?
The answer is that it was only after the Macabees found the oil that they understood that all of Chanukah was miraculous, including their military victory. Until then they did not see their victory in battle as a miracle. But when they found the oil and it lasted for eight days, they realised that everything that happened was a true miracle.