a large number of Jews today light Chanukah candles, the more
traditional custom is to light the Chanukah candles using olive oil.
This is done in order to most accurately recreate the original Chanukah

When God instructed Moses to construct the Tabernacle in the wilderness (the vessels of which were eventually placed in the Temple in Jerusalem), He specifically stated: “And you will command
the children of Israel, to bring to you pure olive oil, pressed for the
light, to cause a lamp to burn continually” (Exodus 27:20).

Pure olive oil, known in Hebrew as shemen zayit zach,*
is the first drop of oil when the olive is first squeezed or pressed.
The Mishna states that there is nothing better than the first oil of the
first crop, and the sages of the Talmud described the process of how
this oil was produced:

first crop is when the fully ripe olives are picked from the top of the
tree; they are brought into the olive-press, are ground in a mill and
put into baskets. The oil which oozes out is the first kind [of oil].
They are then pressed with the beam, and the oil which oozes out is the
second kind” (Talmud Menachot 86a).

oil, which burns slowly, cleanly and without an unpleasant odor, has
many uses both in daily life and in Jewish rituals. Indeed, oil is one
of the ingredients that was offered with the sacrifices in the Temple.
However, only the menorah required the purest shemen zayit zach from the first pressing.

the candlestick, which does not need [the oil] for eating [but as
fuel], requires pure olive oil, how much more do meal-offerings, which
[need the oil] for eating, require pure olive oil! But the text states,
pure olive oil beaten for the light, but not ‘pure olive oil beaten for
meal-offerings’” (Menachot 56b)

*It is interesting to note that the words shemen zayit zach,
when written in Hebrew, are composed of eight letters, one of the many
interesting allusions to Chanukah that are hidden in the Torah  (as
found on inner.org).

This Treat is reposted in honor of Chanukah.

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