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Section:  Avodah   Category: HelpWanted
7 Days Miracle or 8?

The Bais Yosef asks his famous question.  Since they had one jar of oil for 8 nights, why do we celebrate the miracle of Chanukah for 8 nights.  Only 7 nights were miraculous since there was enough oil for 1 night.

There are many answers to this question.  Please share your with us and see how many we can come up with.


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Visitor Comments: 14

BI, 2007-12-04 06:16:52
i heard a number of opinions. The one that i prefer to go with is that the 7 days we have are for the miracle of the oil, with the other day commemorating the miracle of the victory of the maccabees
Anonymous, 2007-12-05 01:48:49
I Once heard from Rav Avigdor Nebenzahl (Yeshivat Hakotel), based on the Ramban, who says that the point of miracles (nes galui) in general is so we should recognize that everything in the world is miraculous (even things considered natural). So the eighth night represents all nisim nistarim (hidden miracles of everyday life)
Anonymous, 2007-12-05 01:58:10
I heard that they divided the oil into eight parts so each night was a miracle. What I don't understand is, mima nafshach. if 1/8 was not enough for the shiur then what right did they have to do that? they should have lit the whole shiur the first night and tommorow is an "ones". if it was the shiur than what was the big nes? > maybe the nes was that although it was the shiur it was not meharin since it was minimal. the nes was that it lasted for a long time. maybe that's why chanukah has a big inyan of mehadrin. hakoras hatov for a nes of mehadrim. just musing.
Anonymous, 2007-12-05 19:45:23
there is only a question (how is there a miracle for the first day) if you assume that the chasmonaim found enough oil for one day and it lasted 8 days instead of 1. however to answer this Rav Ahai Goan in his she'iltot(parshat vayishlach) records in the story of chanukka that the chasmonaim found less than one day's oil. That being the case, even the first day there was a miracle that the oil lasted. [i saw this is in a footnote in the english yalkut yosef for chanuka , in the megilat antiokhus pg29]
Anonymous, 2007-12-05 23:13:05
The extra day was to commemorate the Nes of finding the oil in the first place.
Yo, 2007-12-09 23:42:00
To answer the second anonymous response and the question in general, they must have put the entire shiur in the menorah on the first day, but there was a nes each day that less the amount that should have been used up actually got used up. In other words, each day only one eighth of the oil got used up even though it should have been burned completely each day. So really, each day was a nes that there was still oil left.
Ye, 2007-12-09 23:52:47
If each day the oil did not empty, than even if on the eighth night there was a full shiur leftover and it lit naturally i would say that that is a pretty special bottle of oil and not a simple jug of oil. that eighth night candle is certainly worth celebrating
Ni, 2007-12-10 00:46:43
A Nes is not about watching the supernatural happen. It is about recognizing Hashem. The word Nes actually means tall pole as we see in Bamidbar where Hashem tells Moshe to put a copper snake on a Nes. When Hashems hand in the world is clear we call it a Nes because it usually hides and doesnt stand out. Therefore one can make the argument that the eighth day was the greatest Nes. The first seven days a great miracle happened the oil lit and didnt burn out. While there was great joy the miracle was not complete. There were still more days to worry about. Once the seven days past and the new oil was on its way back to Yerushalayim for tomorrow they no longer needed to wait on shpilkes. The they were able to completely focus on the great miracle that happened and truly thank Hashem for the victory in war and the restoration of the Bais HaMikdash. This recognition happened on the eighth day. Not that I was there but I can imagine the singing and dancing and hakoras hatov and appreciation of the Ribono Shel Olam that went on all night long as they joyfully celebrated the Nes of Chanukah. The dveykus probably lasted until the morning and culminated with a gala seudah in honor of the people who brought back the oil and in honor of Hashem.
Anonymous, 2007-12-11 15:57:10
The fact oil lights is a miracle in itself!They poured in all the oil the first night, and the next night, it didn't decrease! I t should've used an eighth of it!
Anonymous, 2007-12-13 15:54:14
The Question does not start simply there is no Yom tov that corresponds to amount of days that the Neis happened-
I heard this from a godol hador
Anonymous, 2008-05-27 14:10:59
Mi sha'amar sh'shemen yidlak....
This is davka a time to recognize that teva is really made up of nissim nistarim. It is through the tremendous nes galoi of the seven days that we can truly be maker the neis to begin with.
HL, 2008-05-28 18:04:27
I Really wonder,it is really a wonder,
if you read the Beis Yosef in different sections,there are many questions that he asks (like the Hanukah type),why is it that this particular question became world famous.
ys, baltimore, md, 2008-11-26 13:22:58
There's a book that gives a hundred answers to this question. It's titled נר למאה.
ys, baltimore, md, 2008-11-26 13:27:42
The only problem with the answer given on 5-27 is that it's assur to say hallel for something ordinary.

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