Saturday, September 22, 2018 -
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Why eight days?

Dear Tzviling,

I read your column every week, and now I have a question for you regarding Chanukah. I learned how the Jews found a one day supply of oil in the Temple, which miraculously lasted for eight days. But if there was enough oil for one day, isn’t the miracle only seven days? Why do we celebrate Chanukah for eight days?

Brian, Denver


Dear Brian,

Good question.

There are over 100 answers to this question.

Let’s reflect on one of them.

You are right.

The one day supply lasted for an additional seven days.

But the first day is also special. The very fact that they found that oil is in itself a miracle.

You see, too often we overlook the “natural” things in life. We take them for granted. Chanukah is all about discovering the hidden miracles.

The “little” things in life.

The hidden light.

Next time you get a clean bill of health from your doctor, mechanic or banker, don’t forget to thank ?G-d.

If you have a job and a roof over your head, don’t forget to thank ?G-d.

These are miracles disguised as nature.

That’s one reason Chanukah is eight days.

Dear Tzviling,

My wife and I are taking Yiddish classes and discovering a whole new (forgotten) language. There are a few words people use to describe me (jokingly, of course) and I’m curious about their meaning. Tell me, what is a schlemiel, schlemazel and a nudnik?

Farklempt in Brooklyn

Dear Farklempt,

The schlemiel is the one who spills hot soup on the schlemazel’s lap, and the nudnik wants to know what type of soup it was.

Dear Tzviling,

My daughter-in-law Evelyn was in touch with you recently concerning the name for our new grandson. You advised her to name the baby Moshe Shlomo.
What kind of Chelm advice is this?

We had selected the name Shlomo.

As it turns out, the bris was delayed and is scheduled for tomorrow morning.

You will be interested to know that last night my grandson came to me in a dream and told me he wants to be named Shlomo.

You see?

Zaidy Grossenberg (by e-mail)

Dear Zaidy,

So tell me, in what language did your grandson speak to you?

SEND your questions to DearTzviling@ijn.com to be answered with wit, wisdom and humor by identical twins Rabbis Yisroel Engel (Denver) and Shloime Engel (Montreal) who share their combined 100 years of experience.

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