The predominant traditional explanation for the eight days of Chanukah is the miracle of the oil: there was only enough pure oil to keep the Menorah fueled for a single day but it miraculously lasted the eight days needed to obtain more suitable oil (Shabbos 21b).

A number of year ago I recall seeing a traditional (but early and somewhat obscure) midrash that gave an alternative (but not necessarily mutually exclusive) explanation to the effect that the Maccabee's erected the Menorah from eight "iron spits" (as I recall) they encountered entering the sanctuary. It was cited in an article, I believe it was on Torah Musings but can no longer find it despite having searched several times.

Can anyone identify the "midrash" in question or the article it was cited in?

  • 1
    M'nachos 28b: "אמרו לו משם ראיה? שפודים של ברזל היו וחיפום בבעץ". M'gillas Ta'anis: "ומה ראו להדליק את הנרות אלא בימי מלכות יון שנכנסו בית חשמונאי להיכל שבעה שפודין של ברזל בידם וחפום בעץ והדליקו בהם את המנורה".
    – Fred
    Dec 23, 2022 at 22:20
  • Huh, that's not exactly as obscure as I remembered! :D
    – Yirmeyahu
    Dec 23, 2022 at 22:25


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