AND THE JEWISH WOMAN
One of the customs
of Chanukah is that women do not engage in work (housework)
for at least one half hour from the time that the Chanukah
lights are kindled and throughout the period that they are
The primary reason
is that the decrees against the Jews were harshest with
regard to women for the Syrian-Greeks rulers would appoint
officers in the Jewish towns in Eretz Yisrael to ravish all
the Jewish brides. Only after submitting to the officers
were the women permitted to marry their intended husbands.
The heroism of the
Jewish women at the time was most significant. Their
sacrifices brought about the spiritual and physical
victories that are associated with Chanukah. The triumph of
the spirit came about through Chanah and her seven sons.
(Link to Chanah and her sons.) The physical victory came
about through the Yehudis. (See the story here.)
This custom is not
practiced by men. Why?
Since men are
required to perform all mitzvos and women are exempt from
performing time-related mitzvos (such as blowing the Shofar
on Rosh Hashanah), why should this custom pertain only to
women and not men?
The main part of the mitzvah, publicizing the Chanukah
miracle, is fulfilled by men with the kindling of the
Chanukah lights. Once lit the ceremony is completed. The
entire time that the candles are lit is an ongoing
fulfillment of the mitzvah to publicize the miracle, so
woman are able to fulfill the mitzvah by observing the lit