Alone Against the World – Chanukah’s Antidote to Loneliness

The poignant single candle lighting up your window on the first night of Chanukah holds the key to solving the pain of existential loneliness. The solitary candle is an expression of the Jewish Law that states that one candle on each night fulfills the mitzvah for the entire household. Of course, in practice we follow the view of Hillel whereby we add one candle every night to bring the majesty of eight candles filling our windows—and our souls, on the eighth night. However, the basic law is that only one candle per night is required. How can one lonely candle be sufficient? Continue reading “Alone Against the World – Chanukah’s Antidote to Loneliness”

Why do we celebrate Chanukah?

The Miracle of the Oil

“When the Yivanim entered the Bais HaMikdash, they defiled all the oil set aside for lighting the Menorah. When the Chashmonoim were victorious, they searched and were able to find only one small jug of oil with the Kohain Gadol’s seal intact. It had sufficient oil to last only one day, but miraculously it lasted eight days. In honor of the miracle of the oil lasting eight days, Chazal inaugurated these days for Hallel and thanksgiving.” — Gemara Shabbos 21b Continue reading “Why do we celebrate Chanukah?”

Chanukah-It’s not just about having donuts

The Gemara in Shabbos (daf 21 amud beis) says: “What is Chanukah?” Rashi explains this as: “Regarding which miracle was the festival of Chanukah established upon?” As there was more than one miracle which occurred. There was the miracle of the military victory of the few Chashmonaim who fought against the many powerful Greeks. And there also was the miracle of the oil in the Menorah lasting for eight days. Continue reading “Chanukah-It’s not just about having donuts”