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11/25/2022 12:56:04 PM


Greetings from Teaneck

WHAT? It's already Rosh Hodesh Kislev? That means that Hanukkah is only in a few weeks!

What is the significance of lighting all 8 candles (our minhag is to light all 8 on the last day of Hanukkah, whereas the approach of Bet Shammai, as recorded in the Talmud, was to light all 8 specifically on the first day.)

I recently saw a short video containing the opinions of 3 luminaries (appropriate word!) of modern Jewish thought, concerning the candles that burn in unison:

a) Rav Kook: The many candles symbolize the unity of the various communities that come together to create the Jewish people. [At the Spanish we particularly feel this, as on Shabbat, 3 communities hold services simultaneously.)

b) Rav Soloveitchik (the "Rov"): The fact is that the menorah did not shine as brightly as you might imagine, for the menorah was lit near where the incense was being offered, which probably lessened the intensity of the light. The message here: God's light can be seen through the haze of problems that we encounter.

c) The Lubavitcher Rebbe: The light is not only for you, the person who lights, but should be a light that illuminates the whole street.  That is, everyone must do what s/he is capable of doing to spread the light of the Torah.


I am writing this on Wednesday afternoon. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. When I was growing up in Boston, the Thanksgiving day get together was a fixture of our extended family. Im yirtseh HaShem, I shall travel tomorrow to my son's house in Passaic, NJ, to participate in a family Thanksgiving dinner: my first in many, many years. Special thanks to the turkey, who was literally "moser nefesh" so that we can be thankful.

I am always happy to hear from you, and/or to receive your feedback. I can be reached via email at [note that I spell my name with an "h," not a "ch"] or by phone at 551-206-0395

Shabbat shalom

Rabbi Menahem White

Tue, July 23 2024 17 Tammuz 5784