Lighting Fires at the End of ‘Hanuka / Opening Our Hands at “Potea’h Et Yadekha” & Giving ‘Sedaqa at “Vaybarekh David”Print This Post •
1 Tebet 5771 – Dec. 8, 2010. – Perashat Vayigash
Hodesh Tob &Hanuka Sameah ! Tonight – Candle 8
* Hanuka – Birkot ‘Hanuka & Hanerot Halalu & Mizmor ha’Hag
* Hanuka – Ma’oz Tsur
* Hanuka – ‘Am Neemanai (Shiré Dodim P. 85)
Shi’ur on Moroccan Minhagim by Rosh Kollel Ribi Mordekhai Lebhar s”t at YismahMoshé in Toronto Monday nights at 8:45 :
* 6. Derekh haPosqim
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Magen Abot – e”H Ribi Mordekhai Lebhar s”t
Customs of Hanuka
At the end of Hanuka, some families in Morocco had the custom to light bonfires with the leftover wicks and oil and to jump over the flames . This was thought to be a segula for unmarried women to find husbands and for childless women to become pregnant. Some also had the custom to light such bonfires at the end of Purim  and Sukot, using some of the building materials from the Suka in the fire .
Some disapprove of this practice, as it resembles the rituals done to honour the idol Molekh in Biblical times, in which parents would build bonfires and pass their children through the flames, a practice that the Tora explicitly forbids.
 See Ribi Yosef Benaim (Noheg BeHokhma, Hanuka) and Ribi A. Ben-Amouzigh (Em LaMiqra; on the verse “Lo yimasé”)
 See Sefer Ha’Arukh and Rashi to Sanhedrin 64b “Rava…”.
 See Ribi Yosef Benaim (ibid.), who writes that he witnessed this practice in Marakesh, and also Pequdat El’azar (Part 1, Customs of Eres Yisrael).
 See Ribi Yosef Benaim (ibid.). However, the Sefer HaArukh and Rashi (see above, footnote 76) mention the practice and do not speak out against it.
Netibot haMa’arab – e”H Ribi Eliyahou Bitton s”t
Customs of Shaharit
49) We open our hands as we say the verse “Poteah et yadekha” in Pesuqé deZimra and in Birkat haMazon. This is because the basis of the request for a person’s sustenance is in this verse as it is explained in Masekhet Berakhot 4b. Therefore, we open our hands in accordance with what is written (Shemot 9:29) “As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread forth my hands unto the Lord.” There is also in this action a hint to strengthen our request that Hashem open His “hands” for us, as well as an allusion to the acceptance of the influence of Heaven. See more in the Shu”t Tora Lishma (O”H, Siman 31), Ben Ish Hai(Year 1, Perashat Vayigash §12), Qeriat Hana David (Heleq 1, O”H Siman 13), Pequdat El’azar (O”H Siman 51), Ta’amé Minhagim pg. 62.
50) When reciting “Vaybarekh David” it is customary that the shamash, or another person of the congregation, goes to all those praying with a sedaqa box, this way the congregation has the merit of giving sedaqa before reciting the ‘Amida. Through this the rich person demonstrates to himself and the rest of the world that his success has not come from his own strength and ability, rather it is all attributed to Hashem, and the poor person strengthens his confidence in He who controls and owns everything. See Kaf Hahayim(Siman 51:44) in the name of the Arizal, Ben Ish Hai (Perashat Vayigash §13), Sha’aré Tefila pg. 105.
Our Holy Sages, Hazal, teach us that “One who studies [at least two] Halakhot (laws) daily is guaranteed a portion in ‘Olam Haba (the world to come).” -Masekhet Meghila 28b