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Why is the eighth, and last, day of Chanukah called "Zos Chanukah" and what is it significance?

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Can you clarify what you're asking? –  Seth J Oct 24 '12 at 20:26
    
Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/22776 –  msh210 Dec 13 '12 at 22:08

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The eighth day of Chanukah contains the Torah reading including the sum total (Numbers 7:84) of all the tribes' leaders' dedication offerings. So the phrase used is "zos chanukas hamizbeach", this was the dedication/inauguration, and the eighth day of Chanukah is then known as "zos chanukah" or "this is chanukah." It has the longest Torah reading of all 8 days.

In Hassidic thought it has significance because it's the wrap-up of the holiday, as if to say "this represents how our chanukah went this year"; in some schools of Hassidic thought it's also seen as an extra-last-last chance for final judgment from the High Holidays (something like "the verdict is written on Rosh HaShanah and sealed on Yom Kippur ... but the book isn't closed until Hoshanah Rabba, and isn't put back on the shelf until Zos Chanukah" ... however you interpret that).

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see here: revach.net/article.php?id=3188 for some numerical connections to 4 time periods for Teshuva, the last one ending on the last day of Chanukah - see here as well torah.org/learning/perceptions/5761/netzavim.html –  Menachem Jun 22 '12 at 8:51
    
I once read, and can no longer remember, a Gematria that connected the words "Zos Chanukah" to it being the last day of judgment. –  Menachem Jun 22 '12 at 8:53
    
@Menachem See Dov's answer below. –  Double AA Oct 24 '12 at 18:54
    
@DoubleAA: It was a different gematria with the word "Zos Chanuka" itself. –  Menachem Oct 24 '12 at 19:35

http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=4683&st=&pgnum=120&hilite=) - at the end of Yud the Bnei Yisaschar quotes a gematria linking zos chanukah to judgement.

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Hi Dov, welcome to Mi Yodeya! Thank you for your answer and I hope you stick around and contribute further to the site. (If you decide to expand on this answer in the future feel free to edit it.) –  Double AA Oct 24 '12 at 19:40

This is not the gematria I mentioned here, but I ran across this (page 5 of this pdf)

Zot Hanukah
"The eighth day of Hanukah is called “Zot Hanukah” after the daily Torah reading. Rejoicing on “Zot Hanukah” is a minhag of the Baal Shem Tov observed by many Chassidim. (Cf. Likkutei MaHaRiCH, Seder Dinei u'Minhagei Hanukah, p. 714) Teachings of Kabbalah and Hasidism explain that Zot Hanukkah is a day to repent similar to Yom Kippur celebration. It is the final day in which to do teshuva, following Yom HaKippurim andHoshana Rabba, the last chance to get a negative decree dissolved…. Zot has gematria 408, which is 3 times 136, 136 standing each for Tzom/fasting, Kol/prayer, and Mamon/charity, the three things to nullify an evil decree. Instead of chest beating, be a Hassid and dance! After all Aharon the Kohen corresponds to the Man of Hesed, lovingkindness, and it is to he and his vestments do we now turn our attention." From Sefer chadash Yamenu - R. Rachmiel Drizin [Shlit’’a]

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