Seeing the Light: A Chanukkah Scavenger Hunt
Light is a major theme of Chanukkah. In this scavenger hunt, you will travel through the Sefaria library in search of light. Where is it mentioned? In what context is it mentioned? How does it relate to Chanukkah?
Step 1 - Earliest sighting of light
Where is "light" ("אור") first mentioned in the Torah?
Type "light" or ״אור״ in the search bar.
From the dropdown menu, select the bottom option which is the word in quotation marks.
Since you are looking for the earliest mention of the word, filter the results so that they will appear in chronological order from earliest to latest.
  • What is the earliest source that mentions light?
  • Click on the first source to open it in the library.
Step 2 - Light is everywhere!
How common is the theme of light? Does it appear in every book of the Torah? How about every section of the Tanakh (Bible) or every book of the Tanakh?
  • Return to the list of "light" sources.
Now that your results are in chronological order in the Tanakh, you can determine if "light" appears in every book of the Torah, every section of the Tanakh, and every book in the Tanakh.
Not sure which books fall into which category? Check out the library page of the Tanakh by clicking on "Tanakh" on the main library page.
Step 3 - Chanukkah Torah reading
Although one major theme of Chanukkah is that of light, there are other themes as well.
The special Chanukkah Torah readings come from Numbers (Bamidbar) chapter 7.
Which section of the Tanakh does the Torah reading come from? Find Numbers on the Tanakh library page.
Use the table of contents to quickly navigate to chapter 7.
  • Skim through the chapter.
  • What is the topic being discussed? Does it relate to light?
  • How does the topic relate to Chanukkah?
Step 4 - Haftarah on Shabbat Chanukkah
On the Shabbat during the week of Chanukkah, we read a special Haftarah which comes from the book of Zechariah (2:14-4:7).
  • Which section of the Tanakh does the Haftarah come from? Find Zechariah on the Tanakh library page.
The connection to Chanukkah begins in Zechariah 4:2. Type "Zechariah 4:2" into the search bar and press "enter".
  • What is the connection to light? How does it connect to Chanukkah?
Step 5 - Chanukkah as star of the show
Until now, we have looked at sources from the Tanakh that mentioned light. None of the sources were speaking about the Chanukkah story.
So where can we find sources about Chanukkah and light in the library?
  • Go to the Chanukkah topic page by typing "Chanukkah" in the search bar and selecting #Chanukkah from the dropdown menu.
Some of the most famous discussions about Chanukkah and lighting lights on Chanukkah appear in the sources marked "Shabbat". What book is this referring to? Where does it fit into the library?
  • Click on the link to open one of the Shabbat texts. You are now in the full version of the text.
  • Open the "About this Text" in the resource panel.
  • The category is written below the book title.
What is the category? Click on the name of the category on the text page and read the description in the About section.
  • Judah Maccabee defeated Antiochus in 165 BCE. Why would it be discussed in this book and not the Torah?