Weekly Halacha: Three Sefer Torah’s on Chanukkah

Weekly Halacha: Three Sefer Torah’s on Chanukkah


“וירא יוסף אתם את בנימין ויאמר לאשר על ביתו הבא את האנשים הביתה וטבח טבח והכן כי אתי יאכלו האנשים בצהרים”(מ”ג,ט”ז

The מטה משה says that that letter ח from טבח and והכן spell the word חנוכה.  This is a hint to the meals that we have on Chanukah. The numerical value of טבוח טבח is 44 which correspond to the number of candles we light [including the shamash].  There are 2025 words in Parshas Mikeitz. This is the only parsha where we are told the number of words. In all the other parshiyos we are only told the number of pessukim.  The Vilna Gaon says that being that Parshas Mikeitz always falls out on Chanukah there is a רמז to the נר חנוכה. “נר” – the numerical value is 250. We light the נר eight times, 8 times 250 = 2000.  כ”ה is a רמז to כ”ה כסלו. This is the reason the number of words are listed. This week we will discuss the halachos of krias hatorah for this Shabbos which is also Rosh Chodesh.

When Rosh Chodesh Teves falls out on Shabbos the Shulchan Aruch in סימן תרפ”ד סעיף ג’ says that three sifrei torah are taken out for laining.  Six people are called up to read the parshas hashavua from the first sefer.  The kriah for Rosh Chodesh starting from וביום השבת is read from the second sefer for the seventh aliyah.  For maftir the kriah for Chanukah is read from the third sefer.

If the tzibbur only has two sifrei torah the Rema in סימן תרס”ט סעיף א’ says that the kriah of maftir should be lained from the first sefer.  The Biur Halacha comments that it should be done this way only if the first sefer was already rolled to the proper place. This way the tzibbur will not have to wait.  If it was not yet rolled to the proper place, then the second sefer which is already on the bima should be used שלא לעבור על המצות -not to pass over a mitzvah.

When the laining of the parshas hashavua is completed, the second sefer is placed on the bima.  Kaddish is not recited at this time. Hagbah is done on the first sefer and then the laining for rosh chodesh is read from the second sefer.  Afterwards the third sefer is placed on the bima and kaddish is now recited.  The first sefer does not have to be put back on the bima.  It is self-understood that the kaddish is also for the first sefer.

The Haftarah of “רני ושמחי” for Chanukah is read.  If in error they read the laining for Chanukah before Rosh Chodesh, the haftora for Chanukah is still read because of פרסומי ניסא.

Prepared by R’ Avrohom Yehoshua Ziskind

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