The special Torah reading for Shabbat Hannukah recounts the gifts the tribal chieftains brought in honor of the dedication of the Tabernacle in the wilderness (the exact selection depends on the date/day of the holiday). The haftarah tells about a vision in which God’s angelic messenger shows the prophet a gold menorah similar to that in the Temple, which was yet to be rebuilt after the first destruction. This is one connection to the holiday. Towards the end of the passage, the angel delivers another message, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit — said the LORDOF HOSTS.” This is a reminder that the battles of the Maccabees and political independence are not the entire story, rather instruments that serve religious-moral goals.
[When Shabbat Hannukahis also Rosh Hodesh, the special haftarah for Hannukahis read. You should check with congregation where you will be reading well enough in advance to be sure you have learned the correct reading for the local custom.]
Shoshana Zucker is an experienced, mostly self-taught lay-leader at Hod Vehadar and has been interested in haftarot and their relationship to the weekly Torah readings since her Bat Mitzvah, a long time ago...
Zahara made aliyah to Ra’anana, Israel from the United States at age five. She was educated in the Tali program (enhanced Jewish studies) through grade 9. At age 12, Zahara studied for her bat mitzvah with Susie Dvoskin, which was a very meaningful experience in Zahara’s Jewish studies. During high school, Zahara studied physics and Arabic at Ostrovsky High School. Zahara is a regular prayer leader and Torah reader at Hod Vehadar, a conservative/masorti synagogue in Kfar Saba. She enjoys teaching prayers and Torah readings to students having their bar and bat mitzvahs at Hod Vehadar and Beit Shmueli Synagogue (Kehilat Ra’anan), a reform synagogue in Ra’anana. Following high school, Zahara completed a 1.5-year educational program at the Aderet Mechina, focusing on leadership, Jewish studies, Israel and the environment, and volunteering in children’s educational settings in the Ella Valley. After basic Israel Defense Forces training, Zahara served as a non-commissioned officer in education. As of this writing, Zahara is in officer’s training, designated to be an Educational Officer in the Education and Youth Corps. Zahara comments on her experience of chanting Haftorah readings to share with women around the world, “It was a pleasure and honor to work with Susie Dvoskin on building this groundbreaking website!”