Torah Reading on Chanukah

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The Torah Reading:[1]

Each day of Chanukah, three Aliyos are read from the Parsha of the Nesiim in Parshas Nasso.[2]

The first day:[3] The Ashkenazi custom is to begin reading from “Beyom Kalos Moshe”.[4] The Kohen reads until Ubiyom Harishon, while the Levi and Yisrael read from Ubiyom Harishon.[5] [The Chabad custom is as follows: The Kohen reads from Vayehi Kalos Moshe until Ubiyom Harishon. The Levi then reads until Meleiah Ketores. The Yisrael reads until Nachshon Ben Aminadav.[6]]

The middle days:[7] On the second day of Chanukah [and onwards] the Ashkenazi custom is for the Kohen and Levi to read from the Karban of the current day, while the Yisrael reads from the next day’s Karban.[8] [This is likewise the Chabad custom, both in Eretz Yisrael and the Diaspora.[9]] The Kohen reads until the words “Par Echad Ben Bakar” while the Levi reads until the words “Ubeyom Hashlishi”. The same applies for each subsequent day.

The last day:[10] On the last day of Chanukah, the reading begins from “Ubeyom Hashmini” and concludes by “Asa Es Hamenorah” in Parshas Behaaloscha. [The Kohen and Levi read the 8th Karban, while the Yisrael reads from the 9th Karban until “Asa Es Hamenorah” in Parshas Behaaloscha.[11]]

Shabbos Chanukah:[12] On Shabbos Chanukah, two Sifrei Torah are removed from the ark. The weekly portion is read from the first scroll, while the portion of Chanukah is read as Maftir from the second Torah scroll. [On all days that Chanukah falls on Shabbos, one only reads that days Karban and not also the next day’s Karban.[13] When the first day of Chanukah falls on Shabbos, one reads from Beyom Kalos Moshe until the end of the first Karban.[14]] The Haftorah of “Rini Vesimchi” is read. In the event that there are two Shabbos Chanukah’s that year, then on the second Shabbos, the Haftorah of “Neiros Shlomo” is read.

Shabbos Rosh Chodesh:[15] When Rosh Chodesh Teves falls on Shabbos, three Sifrei Torah are removed. Six Aliyos are read from the weekly Parsha, from the first Torah scroll. [By the 6th Aliyah, the remainder of the Parsha is read from Shishi until the end of the Parsha.[16] One then places the second scroll on the Bima for the seventh Aliyah, and does Hagba to the first Sefer Torah.[17] [Half Kaddish is recited only after the reading of the portion of Rosh Chodesh.[18] One may not open the second scroll until the first scroll is rolled up and placed in its Meil.[19]] From the second Torah scroll, one Aliyah is read from the Parsha of Rosh Chodesh. One begins from the words “Ubiyom Hashabbos.” [One then places the third scroll on the Bima together with the second scroll, and one says half Kaddish.[20] Hagba is then done to the second scroll. The Mi Shebeirach for the ill is recited after Hagba.] From the third Torah scroll, Maftir is read from the Parsha of Chanukah [of that day’s Karban[21]]. The Haftorah of “Rini Vesimchi” of Chanukah is read.[22] This reading is then followed by the first and last verse of the Haftorah of Shabbos Rosh Chodesh. [When adding the verses of Hashamayim Kisiy on Rosh Chodesh the custom is to add the first verse of the Haftorah and verses 23-24 and then again verse 23.[23]] If Rosh Chodesh Teves is two days, and falls on Shabbos-Sunday, then one also recites the first and last verse of Machar Chodesh. One first says the first and last verse of Hashamayim Kisiy and then of Machar Chodesh.[24]

Rosh Chodesh Chanukah:[25] Rosh Chodesh Teves always falls on the 6th day of Chanukah. On Rosh Chodesh Teves, two Sifrei Torah are removed from the ark. A total of four Aliyos is read. The portion of Rosh Chodesh is read from the first Torah scroll and it incorporates three Aliyos.[26] The portion of Chanukah [of that day’s Karban[27]] is read from the second Torah scroll as the 4th and last Aliyah. [Half Kaddish is recited only after the reading of all four Aliyos. If, however, Kaddish was accidently recited in-between the 3rd and 4th Aliyah, some Poskim[28] rule one is to repeat the Kaddish after the 4th Aliyah. Other Poskim[29] however rule one is not to repeat it.] In the event that one made a mistake and read all four Aliyos from the portion of Rosh Chodesh, then if a second scroll was not removed, they do not need to read any further.[30] If, however, a second scroll was removed, then one must read a fifth Aliyah of the Chanukah portion from this scroll, in order so people do not think the scroll is blemished. [Even if one remembered in the midst of the 4th Aliyah, he is to conclude the reading and say an after blessing, and then read a fifth Aliyah from the second scroll.[31] The same applies if one ended the third Aliyah prior to Beroshei Chodsheichem, that he is to read the fourth Aliyah from Beroshei Chodsheichem, and then read a fifth Aliyah for Chanukah.[32] If Kaddish was recited after the 4th Aliyah, it is not to be repeated after the 5th Aliyah.[33]]

 

Q&A

Why are the Karbanos Hanesiim read on Chanukah?[34]

As on Chanukah the Temple was re-inaugurated, just as during the time of the Tabernacle.

 

On Shabbos Chanukah, does one place the 2nd Sefer Torah on the Bimah prior to Hagbah of the 1st Sefer Torah?[35]

Yes.

 

On Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Chanukah, does one place the first Sefer Torah back on the Bimah when half Kaddish is said after the reading?[36]

No.[37]

 

What is one to do if on Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Chanukah one only has two scrolls available?

If there are only two Torah scrolls available, then one is to read the Parsha of Rosh Chodesh from the second scroll, and read the Parsha of Chanukah from the first scroll.[38] This, however, only applies if the first scroll is rolled to the Parsha of Chanukah prior to its Hagba. If, however, the first scroll was not rolled to the Parsha of Chanukah prior to its Hagba, then it is better to read the Chanukah portion from the second scroll.[39]

 

Q&A on mistake in reading

What is the law if one read the wrong day’s Karban, such as he read Bayom Hareivi on the third day?

The congregation fulfills their obligation even if all three Aliyos were read from the wrong day’s Karban, such as Bayom Hareivi was read on the third day.[40] Nevertheless, if one did not yet return the Sefer Torah, he is to read the correct days Karban without a blessing.[41] If the Sefer Torah was already returned, one is not to remove it, and is to continue the next day with that day’s reading, and not the reading of the previous day.[42]

Remembered in middle of the reading:[43] If one remembered prior to the after blessing of the third Aliyah that the wrong portion was read, then he is to read the correct day’s Karban

 

What is the law if on the eighth day one ended the reading after completing the 9th days Karban?[44]

One fulfills his obligation. Nevertheless, if one did not yet put away the Sefer Torah, he is to read the remaining Parsha without a blessing.

 

What is the law if on Rosh Chodesh Chanukah one read the Chanukah portion prior to the portion discussing Rosh Chodesh? 

One concluded the reading: If one already concluded the Chanukah reading, then he has fulfilled his obligation and is not to repeat the reading of Chanukah. Hence, one is to continue with Levi for the 1st portion of Rosh Chodesh, and say Kaddish after the 4th Aliyah.

One remembered in middle of the reading:[45] Some Poskim[46] rule one must stop in middle, [roll up the Sefer Torah, and continue the reading with the reading of Rosh Chodesh from the second scroll]. Other Poskim[47] rule one is to finish the Chanukah reading for the reading of Kohen, and then continue with the remaining three Aliyos from the reading of Rosh Chodesh. Other Poskim[48] rule that only if one read three Pesukim from the Chanukah reading, is the Kohen to continue and conclude the reading, otherwise, one is to stop and open the second Sefer Torah and read the Rosh Chodesh portion. Practically, one is to follow the second opinion above and conclude the reading of Chanukah with that Aliyah.[49] [In the event that for Kohen they only read until Meleiah Ketores, then they are to call to more Aliyos for the Chanukah reading, and read the fourth Aliyah from the portion of Rosh Chodesh.[50]]

Remembered in middle of the first blessing:[51] If upon the Kohen reciting the first blessing they remembered that they need to first read the portion of Rosh Chodesh, then if the Kohen did not yet recite Hashem’s name in the first blessing, he is to stop and read from the second Torah scroll. If he already recited Hashem’s name, then it is considered that began the reading and is subject to above dispute.

 

What is the law if on Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Chanukah one read the portion of Chanukah from the second scroll?[52]

One is to read the portion of Rosh Chodesh from the third scroll. Even in such a case, the Haftorah of Chanukah is read and not the Haftorah of Rosh Chodesh.

Remembered prior to saying after blessing: If one remembered prior to completing the Chanukah reading, or prior to saying the after blessing of the Aliyah, some Poskim[53] rule he is to roll the Sefer Torah to the Rosh Chodesh reading, and repeat the first blessing and then read again the Chanukah reading from the third Sefer Torah. Practically, if one chooses to complete the Chanukah reading in the second scroll and read the Rosh Chodesh reading from the third scroll, he may do so.[54]

 

What is the law if the Baal Korei did not read until the end of Shevi’i by the 6th Aliyah on a day that three Sifrei Torah are removed?

A seventh Aliyah is to be called up for Shevi, and then an eighth Aliyah for the reading of the second scroll and then a ninth Aliyah for the reading of the third scroll.[55]

 

Q&A on mistakes in Haftorah

What is the law if on Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Chanukah one read the Haftorah of Rosh Chodesh?[56]

If one accidently read the Rosh Chodesh portion in the 3rd scroll, and then read the Haftorah of Rosh Chodesh, he nevertheless fulfills his obligation. [However, if one read the portion of Chanukah from the third scroll, and then read the Haftorah of Rosh Chodesh, seemingly, this follows the same law as the next Q&A. He is thus to stop and read the correct Haftorah. If one only remembered after the blessings, then he is to read the Haftorah without its blessings.]

 

What is the law if the weekly Haftorah was read instead of the Haftorah of Chanukah?[57] Remembered prior to the blessings: If one read the weekly Haftorah of the Parsha and remembered prior to reciting the concluding blessings over the Haftorah, then he is to now read the correct Haftorah of Chanukah and then continue with the concluding blessings.

Remembered after concluding the blessings: If one read the weekly Haftorah of the Parsha and remembered after the concluding blessings over the Haftorah, then he is to read the correct Haftorah of Chanukah without a blessing.

Remembered in middle of the concluding blessings:[58] If one read the weekly Haftorah of the Parsha and remembered in the midst of the concluding blessings that he needed to read the Haftorah of Chanukah, it requires further analysis as to whether one is to stop to read the correct Haftorah and then conclude the remaining blessings, or is to conclude the remaining blessings and then recite the correct Haftorah.

 

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[1] 684:13; Tur 684; Mishneh Megillah 30b

[2] The reason: As the Melacha of the Mishkan was complete on the 25th of Kisleiv. [Tur 684; See Taz 684:1; P”M 684 M”Z 1 in name of Levush]

[3] Rama 684:1 “Some Poskim [Tur] rule one is to begin from Beyom Kalos Moshe, and so is the custom”; Kol Bo; Levush; Sefer Haminhagim p. 161 [English]

Michaber-Sefaradi custom: Some Poskim rule that on the first day of Chanukah one begins from Birchas Kohanim. This portion is read by the Kohen and Levi, while the Yisrael reads from Ubiyom Harishon. [Michaber ibid] The reason for this is because the Chashmonaim were Kohanim, and the miracle took place through them. [Taz 684:2; Abudarham] This is the Sefardi custom. [Kaf Hachaim 684:4] This is also the custom of many Ashkenazi communities. [Luach Davar Beito of Belz; Ashel Avraham Butchach 684; Piskeiy Teshuvos 684:1] See Kaf Hachaim 684:8 for where the Kohen and Levi read until according to Sefaradi custom and Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid regarding Ashkenazi custom.

[4] The reason: As from here begins the Parsha of the Nesiim. [Levush ibid]

[5] Rama ibid; So is the custom of Ashkenazim and Chassidim

Michaber-Sefaradi custom: Some Poskim rule that the Kohen and Levi, read until Ubiyom Harishon. [Michaber ibid]

[6] Tzemach Tzedek Miluim 11; Igros Kodesh 15:25 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 3:290]

[7] Rama 684:1; Hagahos Maimanis Tefila 13; Sefer Haminhagim p. 161 [English]

Michaber-Sefaradi custom: Some Poskim rule that the daily Karban is read by the Kohen and Levi, while the Yisrael repeats the current day’ s Karban. [Michaber ibid] This is the widespread custom of Jewry in Eretz Yisrael, even amongst Ashkenazim. [Sefer Eretz Yisrael [Tukichinsky] 13; Piskeiy Teshuvos 684:1]

[8] The reason: This is done so each Aliyah reads a new set of three verses. This is similar to the reading of the Mamados, in which we would read the weekday and next day’s portion in Bereishis. [Peri Chadash 684; Kaf Hachaim 684:9]

[9] Tzemach Tzedek Miluim 11; Igros Kodesh 10:296; 15:25 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 3:290]; See Ohalei Sheim 4:99; Hiskashrus 640 p. 16 [for the history of this ruling for Anash in Eretz Yisrael]; Hearos Ubiurim 946 p. 72

[10] Rama 684:1; Sefer Haminhagim p. 161 [English]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one concludes with the first Parsha of Behaaloscha. [Michaber ibid]

[11] Darkei Moshe 684:2; Elya Raba 684:4; M”B 684:4

[12] Michaber 684:2-3

[13] Tzemach Tzedek 68; Kitzur SHU”A 139:24; Kaf Hachaim 684:10; Sefer Haminhagim p. 161; Sdei Chemed Chanukah 11 based on Tzemach Tzedek 68

[14] Levush; Kaf Hachaim 684:13

[15] Michaber 684:3

[16] M”B 685:4

[17] Hagba is only done after the second scroll is placed on the Bima. [Rama 147:8] Some [Rav M. Harlig] say that the Torah is to be placed on the right side of the first Torah. Others say it is to be placed on the left side. [See Piskeiy Teshuvos 147 footnote 36; Hiskashrus 1078 footnote 5]

[18] Rivash 59; Kneses Hagedola 684; Kaf Hachaim 684:17

The Sefaradi custom: The Sefaradi custom is to say two Kaddeishim, one after the second scroll, and one after the third scroll [Kaf Hachaim 147:42; 684:19; See Yabia Omer 4:22]

[19] Michaber 147:8; Kol Bo; Elya Raba 147:9; Kaf Hachaim 147:42

[20] M”B 685:5; See Levush and Kaf Hachaim 684:19 for the reason behind this

[21] Tzemach Tzedek 68; Kitzur SHU”A 139:24; Kaf Hachaim 684:10; Sefer Haminhagim p. 161; Sdei Chemed Chanukah 11 based on Tzemach Tzedek 68

[22] The reason: As Chanukah contains Persumei Nissa, and is hence said over the Haftorah of Rosh Chodesh. In addition, Chanukah was the last portion that was read from the Torah. [Levush; Kaf Hachaim 684:20]

[23] Custom of Rebbe Rayatz, as brought in glosses of Rebbe to the Seder Haftoras in Siddur Torah Or, printed in Sefer Haftoras Chabad, and mentioned in Likkutei Sichos 35:187 footnote 34

The reason: In order to begin and end the last verse of Hashamayim Kisiy with a verse of good tiding. [verse 24 talks of negative matters] [Likkutei Sichos ibid]

[24] Likkutei Sichos 35:27; Igros Kodesh 5:108 [letter to Rav A.C. Naah printed in Shulchan Menachem p. 96-105]; See Igros Kodesh 2:308 of Rebbe Rayatz in a letter to Rav Yaakov Landau that he was in doubt as to whether the verses of Rosh Chodesh are to be mentioned in this instance; See Background ibid and other opinions brought next

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that even according to the ruling of the Michaber ibid and Chabad custom of the Rebbe Maharash, one is not to recite the verses of Rosh Chodesh after the Haftorah of Chanukah. The reason for this is because we only mention Rosh Chodesh in cases in which there are opinions that require it to be read that Shabbos. However, all the Poskim agree that the Haftorah of Chanukah is to be read instead of Rosh Chodesh and there is thus no reason to mention it. [Ketzos Hashulchan 88 footnote 16] The Rebbe ibid disputes his ruling

[25] Michaber 684:3

[26] The reason: As the reading of Rosh Chodesh is more Tadir. [Taz 684:3]

How the Aliyos are split up: See P”M 684 A”A 3; M”B 684:12; Kaf Hachaim 684:21

[27] M”B 684:6; Kaf Hachaim 684:10; See Tzemach Tzedek 68; Kitzur SHU”A 139:24; Sefer Haminhagim p. 161; Sdei Chemed Chanukah 11 based on Tzemach Tzedek 68

[28] P”M 684 A”A 4; Daas Torah 684 concludes one may recite Kaddish a second time

[29] Levush; Rosh; P”M 282 A”A 17; M”B 282:34; Shraga Hameir 3:14; Piskeiy Teshuvos 684:3-4; See M”A 684:4; Taz end of 684; Maharil 182; M”B 684:16; Kaf Hachaim 684:24

[30] The reason: As the main reading is that of Rosh Chodesh. [Beis Yosef; Kaf Hachaim 684:22]

[31] M”A 684:4; M”B 684:14; Kaf Hachaim 684:23

[32] Shevet Halevi 1:193; 6:86

[33] M”A 684:4; Taz end of 684; Maharil 182; M”B 684:16; Kaf Hachaim 684:24

[34] Taamei Haminhagim 857 in name of Levush

[35] M”B 684:9

[36] M”A 147; Levush, brought in Kaf Hachaim 684:19; P”M 684 A”A 5; M”B 147:27 in name of Shaareiy Efraim

Other customs: Some are accustomed to place the 1st Sefer Torah near the other scrolls for the saying of Kaddish. [Luach Eretz Yisrael, that so did Rav Shmuel Salant]

[37] This is only done when Kaddish is said after the 1st Sefer prior to the 2nd, and not when Kaddish is said after the 2nd.

[38] Rama 669:1; Peri Chadash 684; Shulchan Gavoa 684:11; Kaf Hachaim 684:16

[39] Chemed Moshe 669; Kaf Hachaim 669:41; Biur Halacha 669:1 “Vechozrim”

[40] Maasas Moshe; Dvar Moshe; Birkeiy Yosef 684:5; Shulchan Gavoa 684:6; Shaareiy Efraim 8:78; M”B 684:3; Kaf Hachaim 684:8

[41] Pnei Ahron 12; Other Poskim however rule this is not necessary. [See Kaf Hachaim ibid]

[42] Machaneh Chaim 3:51; Piskeiy Teshuvos 684:1

[43] Tzur Yaakov 137; Piskeiy Teshuvos 684:2

[44] Shaareiy Efraim 8:79; Kaf Hachaim 684:12

[45] 684:3

[46] Rama ibid

[47] Taz 684:4; M”A end of 140; Bnei Yitzchak 9; Bigdei Yesha 685:5; Derech Hachaim; Chayeh Adam 154:41; Kitzur SHU”A 139:24; M”B 684:17; Kaf Hachaim 684:26

[48] Elya Raba 684:8

[49] M”B 684:17; Biur Halacha “Veim Taah” as so rule majority of Achronim

[50] Chelkas Yaakov 1:100; Piskeiy Teshuvos 684:5

[51] Biur Halacha 684 “Veim Taah”; Kaf Hachaim 684:26; Piskeiy Teshuvos 684 footnote 19

[52] Chayeh Adam 139:24; Shaareiy Efraim 8:76; M”B 684:3 in Biur Halacha “Veim Taah”; Kaf Hachaim 684:27

[53] Shaareiy Efraim 8:76

[54] Shaareiy Efraim ibid; See Biur Halacha ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[55] As the custom is to permit to add more than seven Aliyos on Shabbos [Admur 282:1] Now, although there are Poskim who forbid doing so [Tashbatz 2:70, brought in Hagahos Harif and Kaf Hachaim 282:10] and so is our custom not to add any more Aliyos [Tzemach Tzedek 35:7; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:1] nevertheless, in a case of need one may do so [Tzemach Tzedek and Ketzos Hashulchan ibid]. This especially applies in such a case that one must read another three Aliyos being that they involve three different Sefer Torahs, and hence all remaining three Aliyos are considered an obligation. See also Kaf Hachaim 684:17 in name of Peri Chadash, Levush, Birkeiy Yosef 282:3. A further proof for this can be brought from Admur 282:20 [and Michaber 137:3; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:10] that even if one skipped one word or one letter one must go back and read it even if it means adding an Aliya, and hence certainly here one must add a seventh Aliya to Shevi and then read another two Aliyos.

Delaying Shevi until next Shabbos: One cannot delay Shevii until next Shabbos, and thus only have 8 Aliyos, as even a missed letter from the Parsha must be read that Shabbos, as brought in Admur 282:20 [and Michaber 137:3; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:10] and certainly if the entire Shevi was missed.

[56] Chayeh Adam 139:24; M”B 684:3 in Biur Halacha “Veim Taah”; Kaf Hachaim 684:27; Piskeiy Teshuvos 684:3

[57] The following Poskim record this ruling regarding Rosh Chodesh, and the same would seemingly apply regarding Chanukah: Dvar Moshe 25:3; Shaareiy Efraim 9:19; Kaf Hachaim 425:18; Ketzos Hashulchan 88:5; Ashel Avraham, in name of Devar Moshe brought in Otzer Hamifarshim 425; Kaf Hachaim 423:9

[58] Ketzos Hashulchan ibid footnote 16

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