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Light v. Night

Many Mitzvot revolve around light -- different shades and hues of lights. Find out what makes the Chanukah Lights so unique and potent.

In order to shatter the darkness, you need a tremendous amount of light.
Chanukah: Masters of Inner Light
How does it feel to be a tzadik?
Tomorrow Will Be Much Better
Hillel and Shammai’s debate applies to every area of growth in life. When you want to change a bad habit or a harmful addiction, when you want to break out of a rut or get out of a harmful relationship, there are always two tasks. One is to lessen the harmful behaviour, the other is to grow the positive behaviour.
What the Chanukah Lights Tell Us
Imagine a world where the reason you created light was for everyone else?
Eternal Chanukah
My mind wanders back to recent events in Paris. Forces of darkness under a blackened banner extinguished manifold lives.
How to Change Your Life: A Talmudic Chanukah Debate
I want to change. Should I stop engaging in destructive behaviors abruptly, or should I focus my effort on gradually introducing positive behaviors into my life?
A standard box of Chanukah candles contains 44 candles. That’s exactly what you need when you include the shamash, the helper candle with which we light the other candles every night. But if you only count the actual Chanukah candles without the shamash, you will discover that there are 36 candles.
Nothing could be more bleak than the future the Maccabees faced.
Two Kinds of Light: The Beauty of Shabbat Chanukah
Feminine spiritual energy is focused internally, while masculine energy tends to be external.
The Flame
We can sit and gaze at it for hours. What is it about a burning flame that captures our imagination?
What’s With the Candles?
When you use something physical, it gets “used up” and diminished. With spiritual things, the very opposite is the case
When Sunlight Pales
Is the light of the Chanukah menorah so faint that it can only illuminate its immediate vicinity? And as such must be lit after dark, and in direct proximity to the darkness it wishes to counteract?
The Menorah’s Transparency
. . . and what it taught me about writer’s block
Turn any mitzvah inside out and you’ll see a light—an active and energetic light that looks to shine in every black corner. Turn any mitzvah inside out and you’d see . . . a menorah.
Graceful Light
By defining themselves in perfect contradistinction to one another, "light" and "darkness" enter into a symmetrical bond which attests to an underlying unity forming their common source
What’s Light Got to do with it?
Why do we call Chanukah the Festival of "Lights"? Why not "Commemoration of Oil" or "Miracle of 8 Days"?
The Lightness of Being
If you recorded every word in your day you would find hundreds of references to light
Shutters and Blinds
What does light give? The details. The color and texture. The fullness and the goodness.
The Living Menorah
"One must listen to the Chanukah candles." As it turns out, the candles are master educators. Four messages the candles impart to the educator.
A Time to Light Your Child's Way
A Lesson From Chanukah
His pulling and pleading become more insistent and I ignored him. I knew his cries were a result of being tired and cranky and I had thought that he could wait...
The Lamplighter
Why doesn't the shamash count?
On the essence of shamash, the "servant candle" of the Chanukah menorah
Two mitzvot are connected with the doorway: the mezuzah and the Chanukah lights. The mezuzah points inward, while the Chanukah lights are oriented outward
The Empty Menorah
In the first few days the menorah always seems very empty and incomplete. Wouldn't it be more logical to kindle these flames in single candlesticks, adding one each night
The three significant differences between the menorah in the Holy Temple and the Chanukah menorah: Day and night, inside and out, seven and eight
Accumulating Lights
We are creatures of the actual. We judge people by their conduct; reality, to us, is what is
Eight Lights, Eight Lessons
Each day has a purpose, so each of the menorah's lights must have a distinct lesson. Let us explore eight lessons we can learn from these little lights...
The Two Sides Of The Doorway
The Mitzvah of the Chanukah lights is similar in two respects to that of the mezuzah
How Many Lights?
The mitzvah of Chanukah entails lighting one candle each night for a person and his household
The Eighth Sphere
The teacher has locked his door, the mentor has disappeared, and one's own soul has turned dark and cold. When no solution for the darkness is in sight, this can only mean one thing: the darkness itself is the solution
The Wick
The flame represents Torah study (knowledge) and the wick stands for mitzvot (action). The knowledge of morality and spirituality becomes the shining light that guides and illuminates our existence...
Finding Light
Darkness doesn’t necessarily mean evil; it means the absence of light. When life’s meaning seems inscrutable, when I’m running from task to task oblivious to the need for meaning, that’s called darkness.
Why did Judaism, alone among the civilizations of the ancient world, survive? Because it valued the home more than the battlefield.
The Candles of Chanukah, Shabbat, and Havdalah
As the Chassidim say, a little light drives out much darkness.
To Light another Light
When I use the flame of my faith to light someone else’s candle, mine is not diminished.
Teach like a Shamash
Good teachers inspire us to grow. By expecting the best from us, they make us better.
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