web analytics
August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



These Candles: The Prayer that Went Viral

I had often wondered, if Jews love Israel so much, why didn't they just get up and come here. The Mahram's Aliyah attempt showed that Jews did.
The Maharam of Rothenburg adopted the custom of saying the "These Candles" declaration.

The Maharam of Rothenburg adopted the custom of saying the "These Candles" declaration.

In honor of the Palestinians recently getting UN recognition, I dedicate my article to ancient Palestinian traditions.  :)

On Chanukah, while lighting candles, we declare we’re lighting the candles for Chanukah, and that we’re not allowed to benefit from their light.

This declaration, in Hebrew known as “Ha-Nerot Hallalu” (These Candles) appears in the  “Tractate of the Scribes” (Masechet Sofrim).  In this early Halachik work, written in Israel around the 8th century (the Gaonic Era), we have a description of the ceremony of lighting Hanukkah candles, as it was done in ancient Israel.

On the first day, the person lighting the candles blesses upon lighting them.  He then states the following  declaration (translation based on the Rabbi Birnbaum’s siddur):

We light these candles on account of the triumphs and miracles and wonders which You performed for our fathers through Your holy priests.  Throughout these eight days of Hanukkah, these candles are sacred, and we are not permitted to make any use of them, but we should observe them in order to praise Your great name for Your wonders and Your miracles and Your triumphs.

The person lighting then adds two additional blessings: Shehecheyanu and the blessing over the Hanukkah miracle (Al Ha-Nissim).  The  participants repeat the last two blessings.

On the other days of the holiday, the person lighting the candles blesses upon lighting the candles and makes the aforementioned Declaration. The participants say  the blessing for the Hanukkah miracle.

This Israeli custom was generally forgotten and was not mentioned by any other Halachic books in  the centuries following .

That is, until the 13th century,  when the Israeli tradition was revived thanks to the custom of a German Rabbi.  Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg, also known as the Maharam of Rothenburg, loved the Israeli traditions.  He adopted the custom to say the “These Candles” declaration, based on the language of Masechet Sofrim.

His students reported this custom, and the prayer went viral.  The custom to say “Ha-Nerot Hallalu” was adopted all across the Jewish world by both Ashekanzi and Sephardi communities.

The Maharam of Rothenburg didn’t just love Israel from afar.  In 1286 he led dozens of Jewish families towards Israel.  However, he didn’t make it.  He was caught in Italy and accused of leading a mass escape from Germany, a crime at the time, as the Jews were by then property of the king.  He was imprisoned and died in a dingy pit, sacrificing his life for the right of return to Palestine!

An edict confiscating the property of the “escaping” Jews, documents that they came from various towns in Germany: Mainz, Worms, Speyer, Oppenheim and Wetterau.

I had often wondered, if Jews love Israel so much, why didn’t they just get up and come here.  The Mahram’s Aliyah attempt showed that Jews did.   They weren’t always successful, many times they perished on the way or soon after they got here, but they continued trying.  Over and over again.

We now have the privilege of retuning to our homeland. We can now adhere to the original Israeli custom of lighting the candle by the door of our homes or the gate of our yard, without fear.  When we recite “Ha-Nerot Hallalu”, we should remember its origin in that obscure period of Palestinian history, and the great leader who died in a dark pit but spread the light of hope and salvation around the Jewish world.

Visit the Muqata.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “These Candles: The Prayer that Went Viral”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

muqata logo 486x300
Current Top Story
Photo: Rotter.net / Tikonist
Live Updates: Ashdod Shul Hit by Rocket (Latest Update: 5:28 pm)
Latest Blogs Stories
Iniigo - Genocide

So you want to blame Israel? First answer these 5 simple questions, and see if you even have a leg to stand on…

Jihad Supporting T-Shirts

Hamas’s online Jihadi supporters and groupies are desperately trying to differentiate between their support for Hamas and supporting ISIS.

Touro-012414-Goals

We all got degrees. We got married. We had families. We worked. We and were Koveih Itim

UNHRC war crimes panel head William Schabas - Not a good Schabas

But the real culprit is William Schabas, who by comparison makes Richard Goldstone look like a saint

“The Jewish board of deputies, who are complicit, will feel the wrath of the People of SA with the age old biblical teaching of an eye for an eye.”

Discussion on recent changes to Social Security benefits and how it will effect you.

I do not understand why Bibi or anyone else (Obama) would ever contemplate accepting any terms by an organization that states loud and clear their goal of Israel’s destruction.

It’s the 4th time in 5 years Maccabi Haifa has traveled to America to play against NBA competition.

The media dumped on the “Lehava” people as extremist – racist and should mind their own business.

What is the point of having our own state when it cooperates with those who are against us?

It was the “first family event I missed due to aliyah.”

Antisemitism, stupidity, fear, or exaggeration?

During Operation Protective Edge, IDF soldiers were faced with deadly risks in the Gaza Strip. Sixty four soldiers were killed and many more were wounded in combat. This is the story of one IDF commander who put his life in danger to rescue a soldier kidnapped by Hamas. Lt. Eitan, 23, joined the elite unit […]

I am a right wing religious Jewish settler and I HATE seeing pictures of kids in Gaza who are dying or suffering because of this war.

Doug speaks with World Chess Cahmpion Magnus Carlsen.

If they weren’t true they would be funny!

More Articles from Orat@Muqata
Eilat

From the Islamic sources, it is clear that Eilat had a significant Jewish population, which existed for hundreds of years after the Muslim conquest.

F130114MH01

Two people have reported snow in the late May-early June, though in both cases, it was hearsay.

Jews of 14th century Jerusalem celebrated Purim on both the 14th and 15th of Adar.

Historically, the Christian residents of Bethlehem did not identify themselves as Arabs.

I had often wondered, if Jews love Israel so much, why didn’t they just get up and come here. The Mahram’s Aliyah attempt showed that Jews did.

A year after the Crusaders captured Jerusalem, they turned to conquer Israel’s coastal cities. Haifa’s Jewish community is mentioned in the Genizah documents. The city was one of three forts (מבצר) that we know of – Haifa, Dan (Banias) and Rafah (Rafiah). Each had a major Jewish community. Haifa was probably mostly Jewish, if not exclusively so, with a small Muslim military presence. The story of Haifa’s conquest, in the summer of 1100, is reported by Christian chroniclers.

We’re now entering the period when we begin to pray for rain. Lack of rain was often an excuse to persecute the Jews, specifically those living in Jerusalem. There are quite a few examples from our history of this rain libel, which was very often linked to the ‘sin’ of drinking wine.

The main holiday events took place on the last day of Sukkot, Hoshana Raba. The Gaon would lead the people around the Temple Mount, and then the crowd made its way to the Mount of Olives. After they climbed the mountain, they circled it seven times. A monumental stone marked the spot where God looked over the Temple Mount. The Gaon would sit on this stone as he spoke to the assembled crowd.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/these-candles-the-prayer-that-went-viral/2012/12/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: