Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 139:2-3(b)

2. One may not fast during Chanukah. It is, however, permitted to fast and deliver eulogies on the day before and the day after [Chanukah].

3. Work ("melacha") is permitted on Chanukah (1). Women, however, follow the custom of refraining from work during the time the Chanukah candles are burning at home (2). [They should continue this custom] without any leniency (3).

The reason why women must observe greater stringency [than men] is that the [Greek's] decrees were harsher for the women. They had decreed that any Jewish virgin who is getting married, must first have sexual relations with the Greek governor. Furthermore, a miracle [during that period] was brought about through a woman (4). [Yehudis,] the daughter of Yochanan, the High Priest, was very beautiful. The enemy ruler proposed that she cohabit with him. She told him that she would accede to his wish. [When she came to him] she fed him dishes of cheese so that he would become very thirsty, and would desire to drink much wine; [she hoped that he would] become intoxicated, and sleep soundly. Her plan worked, and [while he was asleep], she cut off his head and brought it to Jerusalem. When the leader of the Greek army saw that their ruler had been slain, [he and his army] fled. To commemorate this miracle, there are some who follow the custom of eating dairy dishes on Chanukah.


(1) That is, activities which are prohibited on Shabbos and Yom Tov, are permitted on Chanukah.

(2) The custom is to refrain from work only for the minimum amount of time that the candles must burn, which is approximately 30 minutes. As we shall see, once this minimum time has passed, one may put out the candles or use them for one's own benefit (Mishna Berura 670:4).

(3) In certain communities, even the men refrain from work while the candles are burning (Ibid. 670:3).

(4) See Aruch Hashulchan 270:8, who states that the incident involving Yehudis did not occur precisely at the time of the miracle of Chanukah.


Back Paragraph 1(b) Table of Contents Paragraph 4 Next 


Halacha-Yomi, Copyright © 2003



View Complete List

The Condition of Creation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

The Eternal Embrace
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

A Meaningful Life
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767


Fonzie & the Happy Days of Rest
Jon Erlbaum - 0

One Word, One World
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5767

Bullish Outlook
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

In the Image of G-d
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

Proof that G-d Exists
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Who was Moshe Rabbeinu?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Moving Fast Into The Garden
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

In the Bias of the Beholder
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

> After Six Comes Seven
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

Straightforward and Upright
Shlomo Katz - 5762

Extending the Awe
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5776

A Happiness of Oneness
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information