28 Kislev-4 Tevet 5774
1-7 December 2013
Saturday night-Sunday 30 November-1 December / 28 Kislev
4th light of Chanukah
On Saturday night the Chanukah lights may be kindled only following the departure of the Shabbat after nightfall (marked by the appearance of three medium-size stars). Some have the custom of lighting the Chanukah candles before reciting Havdalah, but the prevailing custom is to light the Chanukah candles after Havdalah.
Monday night-Tuesday 2-3 December / 30 Kislev
6th light of Chanukah
First day of Rosh Chodesh TEVET
Ya'aleh VeYavo is introduced in the evening, morning and afternoon Amidah prayers of Rosh Chodesh and in the Birchat HaMazon Grace after Meals. Following the morning Amidah prayer, full Hallel is recited. In the Synagogue the special portion for Rosh Chodesh (Numbers 28:1-15) is then read from the Torah followed by the day's Chanukah reading (Numbers 7:42-47), after which the Rosh Chodesh Mussaf Additional Service is recited. It is appropriate to celebrate Rosh Chodesh with a festive meal, and fasting is forbidden.
Today is the Yahrzeit of R. Avraham b'Reb Nachman Chazan (1849-1917), outstanding Breslover scholar and author of Kochvey Ohr and Biur HaLikutim, a commentary on Rabbi Nachman's Likutey Moharan.
Attributes of the month of TEVET: Ruling permutation of the letters of HAVAYAH: KEH YOD KEH VAV, contained in the final Hebrew letters of the words of the verse [Gadlu] laYHVH eetY uneromemaH shemO , "[magnify] HaShem with me, and let us exalt His name ..." (Psalms 34:4). The month's corresponding letter is: AYIN; Human attribute: ANGER; Body Part: LIVER; Tribe: DAN; Constellation: GEDI (Capricorn, the Goat).
Tuesday night-Wednesday 3-4 December / 1 Tevet
7th light of Chanukah
Second day of Rosh Chodesh TEVET
Ya'aleh VeYavo is introduced in the evening, morning and afternoon Amidah prayers of Rosh Chodesh and in the Birchat HaMazon Grace after Meals. Following the morning Amidah prayer, full Hallel is recited. In the Synagogue the special reading for Rosh Chodesh (Numbers 28:1-15) is read from the Torah followed by the day's Chanukah reading (Numbers 7:48-53), after which the Rosh Chodesh Mussaf Additional Service is read. It is appropriate to celebrate Rosh Chodesh with a festive meal, and fasting is forbidden.
On this day Esther was taken to the palace of Achashverosh (Esther 2:16).
Wednesday evening-Thursday 4-5 December / 2 Tevet
Eighth light of Chanukah
Prayer for rain: Starting with the Wednesday night evening prayer, those living in the Diaspora begin inserting the request for rain (Ve-tein tal u-matar, "and give dew and rain") in the fifth intermedate blessing of the thrice-daily repeated Shmonah Esray prayer (Bareich aleynu... "Bless this year for us...").
The eighth and last light of Chanukah takes us beyond the finite world (encompassed by the seven lower sefirot) to the higher world of Binah (Understanding), the eighth level above Malchut. At the time of the lighting of the eighth light and for the whole last day of Chanukah tremendous spiritual influence flows down to all who are willing to open themselves to it. In the synagogue after the morning service, we read the special reading for the last day of Chanukah (Numbers 7:54-8:4).
Friday night-Saturday 6-7 December / 4 Tevet
Shabbat Parshat VAYIGASH
Torah Reading: Gen. 44:18-47:27; Haftara: Ezekiel 37:15-2, prophesying the reconciliation between the House of Judah and the Ten Tribes.
Today is the yahrzeit of Rabbi Gershon Hanoch-Henich ben Yaakov Leiner, the Rebbe of Radzin (1839-91), known as the Baal Techeiles on account of his research and discovery of the Techeiles blue dye for the Tzitzit.