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I have heard that parshat Miketz always falls out on Shabbat Chanukah. If that's the case, why do chumashim print a haftorah for Miketz in addition to the one for Shabbat Chanukah? Should the Chanukah one be the only one?

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    Chanuka always has some days in Parshas Mikeitz, however not always is one of them Shabbos – Gershon Gold Dec 22 '14 at 17:09
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Actually, Miketz does not always fall out on Chanukah. It appears that whoever told me that was mistaken. :)

I ran some code (using my JavaScript Hebcal API) and discovered that in the 100 years from 5700-5800, Miketz is not on Chanukah 10 times. In 5703, 5706, 5710, 5730, 5733, 5737, 5757, 5761, 5781, and 5784, Miketz fell out on the 4th of Tevet, just after Chanukah ends.

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Supplemental to the answer, above, that lists the specific years, here's the general scenario:

The months of Cheshvan and Kislev can have either 29 or 30 days, each, and there are 3 configurations. To understand when and why they occur, see this Wikipedia article.

Briefly, if the 1st day of Rosh Hashannah occurs on Shabbat, and the year is "deficient", meaning that Cheshvan and Kislev have 29 days, then the 1st day of Chanukah occurs on Friday, and the last day is on Friday, also.

In such situations, Shabbat Chanukah is Vayeshev, thus "freeing up" the haftarah for Miketz being read, as it is no longer Chanukah. As listed above, this is a rare occurrence, but if you can wait 6 years, you (and your family) will be rewarded to see and hear it happen. (I'm selling tickets for this event :-)

Incidentally, two other rare occurrences happen whenever the 1st day of Chanukah is on Friday:

  • 10 Tevet is also on Friday
  • The next Pesach will be on Sunday
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I did a luach chart for this.

When Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbat, Simchat Torah is a Sunday (or Shabbat in Israel) so B'reishit is a whole week later, the latest date it call fall. When Rosh Hashanah (and thus Shmini Atzeret) is on a Thursday you start reading B'reishit at an earlier date.

When Rosh Hashanah is on Shabbat (or Monday) you never get 29 days Cheshvan and 30 days Kislev. They are either both long or both short. When Rosh Hashanah is on Tuesday you always have 29 days Cheshvan and 30 days Kislev. When Rosh Hashanah falls on Thursday, if it is to be a 13 month year, it is like Shabbat and Monday: always both long or both short, but in a 12 month year it is either both long or "regular" i.e. Kislev will always be 30 days and Cheshvan could be 29 or 30. This year is one such year.

All this means that Rosh Chodesh Kislev is never on Shabbat (whether it is 1 day or 2) and Chanukah is never Tuesday to Tuesday (thus the 5th day is never Shabbat) but can fall on any of the others.

At this point we don't care whether or not the year will have 13 months, except that we know when Rosh Hashanah is on Thursday we get 3 possibilities, other years only 2.

So for a table:

Rosh Hashanah on Shabbat, B'reishit 29th Tishri, Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvan is Sunday and Monday, Chayei Sarah is 4 weeks later thus 27th Marcheshvan, Rosh Chodesh will start Tuesday.

If 30 days then Tuesday and Wednesday, Toldot will be the first sedra read in Kislev either way, either on 4th or 5th, then 3 sedras later is Vayeishev which is 25th or 26th of Kislev and Mikketz will be 7 days after that, 8th day Chanukah or day after (if on Shabbat Kislev will be 30 days, 2nd Tevet, if 29 day Kislev so will be 4th Tevet. Asara Be'Tevet is never Shabbat so 3rd Tevet also can't be). Asara B'Tevet will fall either on Friday (short months) or Sunday (long months).

When Rosh Hashanah begins on Monday, we read B'reishit on 27th Tishri, Rosh Chodesh is Tuesday and Wednesday, Chayei Sarah is 25th Marcheshvan, so if 29 day Kislev we find Toldot is read 3rd Kislev otherwise 2nd. If 29 days, first day of Chanukah will be Sunday otherwise Monday and Miketz which is 4 sedras after Toldot will be read on Chanukah. If 30 + 30 then on first day Rosh Chodesh, if 29+29 then on 2nd Tevet, but penultimate day. Asara B'Tevet will be Tuesday if 30+30 and Sunday is 29+29.

Rosh Hashanah on Tuesday means we always get 29 day Cheshvan, 30 day Kislev. B'reishit 26th Tishri, Rosh Chodesh Wednesday-Thursday and Chayei Sara 24th Marcheshvan, Toldot 2nd Kislev then as above on a 30+30 year, Miketz always on first day Rosh Chodesh. Asara B'Tevet will be a Tuesday.

Rosh Hashanah on Thursday: Most complex case. Noach is Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan 2nd day, Toldot is erev Rosh Chodesh Kislev which is either 1 or 2 days (i.e. you can have 29+29, 29+30, 30+30). If Cheshvan is 29 days Kislev starts on a Sunday, 25th Kislev is a Wednesday like this year and Miketz is 4 weeks after Toldot which is 28th Kislev. If Cheshvan had 30 days, Monday is also Rosh Chodesh, first day of Chanukah is a Thursday. 3rd day (27th Kislev) is Miketz. Rosh Chodesh Tevet will either be Monday only (29+29), Monday-Tuesday (like this year, 29+30) or Tuesday-Wednesday(30+30) so Asara B'Tevet can fall on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Note that 29+29 is only an option in 13 month year, 29+30 in 12-month years (like this one).

I do not think Miketz is the least frequently read Haftarah however. Vayakhel and Pinchas are. They are only read in 13-month years when Rosh Hashanah fell on Thursday. The fact that has happened 4 times in the last 10 years makes it feel more frequent than it actually is.

In Israel, Tazria can be read with 5 different haftarot. But only with 4 different ones outside. (In Israel Tazria can be erev-Rosh Chodesh Iyar when Pesach starts Shabbat). However its own is read more frequently than the others mentioned. (Also accompanied by haftarot of Metzorah, of Rosh Chodesh and Hachodesh and in Israel Machar-Chodesh)

A little chart now: the day Rosh Hashanah fell (2,3,5 or 7), number of days in Cheshvan (29 or 30), number of days in Kislev (29 or 30), number of months (12 or 13), the last year it happened (this year being included in it).

If I knew how to do a proper table on here I would. I may revisit in a special "Luach" topic. This is all from my head, with my knowledge of the calendar

2-29-29-12 | 5773 (2012-13)
2-30-30-12 | 5759 (1998-99)
2-29-29-13 | 5749 (1988-89)
2-30-30-13 | 5752 (1991-92) but next year will also be such a year
3-29-30-12 | 5749 (2008-09)
3-29-30-13 | 5755 (1994-95)
5-29-30-12 | 5775 (2014-15) current year, previous time was 3 years ago
5-30-30-12 | 5754 (1993-94)
5-29-29-13 | 5768 (2007-08)
5-30-30-13 | 5774 (2013-14)
7-29-29-12 | 5761 (2000-01)
7-30-30-12 | 5770 (2009-10)
7-29-29-13 | 5757 (1996-97)
7-30-30-13 | 5763 (2002-03)

In any year that is 30-30-13, the following Rosh Hashanah will fall on the same day of the week.

In a 30-30-12 year or a 29-29-13 year it will be 2 days earlier so will go Monday->Shabbat, Shabbat->Thursday or Thursday->Tuesday. (So it's obvious why it can't go Tuesday back to Sunday but not obvious why you can't have Tuesday->Tuesday).

A 29-30-12 year goes back 3 days. This shows why it can only be Tuesday->Shabbat or Thursday->Monday.

A 29-30-13 year goes back 1 day, so can only be Tuesday->Monday.

A 29-29-12 year goes back 4 days (or forward 3) so is Shabbat->Tuesday or Monday->Thursday.

  • Isn't "luach chart" redundant? – Scimonster Dec 23 '14 at 15:08
  • I mean a chart showing the calendar and how it affects different events in the year: What days things fall and when particular portions are read. – CashCow Dec 23 '14 at 15:21
  • The Haftora for the second Shabbos of Chanuka only occurs when Chanuka starts on a Shabbos. I think it may be the least frequent Haftora. – Gershon Gold Dec 23 '14 at 15:59
  • Chanukah II is the same Haftarah as that for Vayakhel, the rarely read sedra one. So actually the least read Haftarah is the one for Pinchas. – CashCow Dec 23 '14 at 16:08
  • See judaism.stackexchange.com/q/3898/170 – msh210 Aug 5 '18 at 3:44
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In short: Mikeitz is often Shabbos Chanukah, but not always. Every now and then the calendar gives us a year where we actually read the split-the-baby story.

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