Study and Theory/
Chanukah

Rabbi Yaron

Each of us is a small candle

Beerot Yitzhak, Chanukah 5762

The festival of Chanukah has a unique quality.

E-v-e-r-y-o-n-e celebrates it.

The Zionists – because it has been determined as a national victory.

The religious – because it has been determined on the purity of the Temple, and even amongst the Jews of the Diaspora, who no longer celebrate even the Day of Atonement, Chanukah has received a special status thanks to that same man, who the Christians celebrate, to differentiate, also around this festival, and the Jews of the Diaspora always felt the need to celebrate something of our own instead. And indeed there is a similar quality to Purim, which is celebrated by all the layers of the nation, however it seems that at Purism it is more related to the type of celebration – fancy dress, noise makers and the special meal. At Chanukah, on the other hand, the symbol of the festival is not the doughnut,  but rather specifically the Chanukiah. What is the strength of the Chanukiah that creates such an atmosphere of togetherness for the people of Israel?

There is nothing special in those same small candles that stand next to each other, and every day one more small candle is added.

Another candle does not add much to the light, however they were not designed to illuminate.

It is forbidden to use them, however each candle has a special significance. No candle is similar to its friend. Today is different from yesterday only because today we have added another small candle.

On a normal day, we would not need to count the number of candles, we would define the Chanukiah as “several candles standing next to each other”. However at Chanukah everyone is meticulous about the number of candles, and anyone who sees the Chanukiah alight in the window or near to the door, cannot avoid counting the candles.

“Each of us is a small candle, and we are all a steadfast light”, each of us is that same small candle in the Chanukiah.

Apparently it seems as if one more person does not add much to the whole world.

However the truth is that each of us, alike that same candle in the Chanukiah, is the one that makes the difference between yesterday and today. Each person is special, and he has no substitute, each person should discover those same strengths inside him, and use them in order that today will be different from yesterday. This is the call of the festival of Chanukah to each of us:

Just as the Hasmonean family members understood that they alone could change the great historical festival as a result of their dedication and will, thus each of us can feel that he alone can change history.”Each oif us is a small candle, and we are all a steadfast light” – not many small lights, but rather one steadfast light, whereby each of us knows the significance of that same small light, it can be added to other lights, and create one large light.

A new light will shine on Zion, and we will all be granted its light speedily”

Happy Festival of Lights.

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