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2018-11-30 digital edition

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November 30, 2018  RSS feed
Rabbinically Speaking

Text: T T T

The lights of Hanukkah

By RABBI LEVI HODAKOV Chabad of Clearwater

I hope that you and your family had a wonderful Hanukkah.

For eight consecutive nights, we lit our menorahs; each night adding an additional candle, bringing much needed light into our world.

What can we learn from the Hanukkah candles that can serve as a take-away from the holiday?

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of righteous memory sheds some light on just that question, based on the verse from Proverbs (6:23) which states that “a Mitzvah is a candle, and Torah is light.” Our nightly addition of one candle to the menorah on Hanukkah, serves as a very important life lesson; namely, that one should never be content with what was done yesterday. Be happy and proud of yesterday’s accomplishments, but don’t let that suffice. What you did yesterday may have been enough for yesterday. We must resolve to infuse each new day with renewed dedication, and increase in our study of Torah and in the fulfillment of the Mitzvos.

Although the Hanukkah lights celebrate a miracle that occurred with the menorah that was lit daily, throughout the year, in the Holy Temple, there are considerable differences between the Hanukkah menorah that we light, and the menorah that was lit in the Holy Temple.

In the Holy Temple, the menorah was lit in the afternoon, indoors. The lights of the Hanukkah menorah, by contrast, are lit when the sun already sets, by the window or by the door facing the street, visible to the outside.

The Hanukkah lights teach us that we must not be content with lighting up our own home, as we do with Shabbat candles, rather, we must go and light up the “outside,” our social and business circles, and greater environment too.

And, we can, and must, do this at a time when it is dark outside. When things are difficult spiritually, when darkness envelops the outside, and we are in exile.

Ultimately, the cumulative effect of our individual candles on Hanukkah, and the spiritual light we bring into the world through each positive, holy act, will eliminate the darkness of exile, and illuminate the world, with the coming of our righteous Moshiach. May it be speedily in our days.

The Rabbinically Speaking column is provided as a public service by the Jewish Press. Columns are assigned on a rotating basis by the Pinellas County Board of Rabbis. The views expressed in this guest column are those of the rabbi and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Jewish Press or the Board of Rabbis.

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