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Listen to the flames – A Chanukah perspective

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Rabbi Yakov Saacks
The Chai Center, Dix Hills, NY.
Author of The Kabbalah of Life

Unless you live in Afghanistan or Iraq, you are keenly aware that this is the week of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. So many beautiful menorah candelabras in windows, malls, shops and even sports arenas. Chanukah lasts for eight days and nights. On the first night one candle is lit, and an additional candle is added every night. The menorah is complete on the eighth night as all eight of the candles are now lit.


The fact that we add a candle each night seems elementary to us, but it was not always so. There were some, back in the day, who lit eight candles the first night and then decreased a light each successive night. Ergo, on the last night, there was just one simple flame.

The difference of opinion of adding vs. subtracting was not arbitrary, but rather due to a difference in outlook. The school of thought for those who decreased the light each night was that time is fleeting and we need to recognize that the days are short and there is much to do, and time waits for no one. Those who increased the amount of light each night were of the opinion that we need to increase light, holiness and motivation, and not, God forbid, decrease. A census was taken and the latter view became the common practice. Fascinating, no?

There are so many messages that the lights of the Chanukah menorah represent. The........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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