Lighting the Chanukiah
As Chanukah is approaching, it is finally time to eat sufganiyot and latkes, spend time with family, and get gifts! One major part of Chanukah is the lighting of the chanukiah, a candle set with nine branches. We start off by lighting one candle on the first night and add another one each night; we do this for all eight nights. We light from left to right, using the shamash, or the “helping light.” It’s important to know the significance of lighting the Chanukah candles. We have all learned the story of Chanukah and it’s miracles: the victory of the Maccabees against the Greeks, and the oil lasting for eight days instead of one. Why is it that we add candles each day, though? The Chanukah candles can be used to teach us a lesson. Candles represent the Torah and mitzvot: “ A mitzvah is a candle and Torah is light'' (Proverbs 6:23). As we add a new candle to our chanukiah each night, we must keep the following in mind: we must strive to do better than the day before- both in our Torah learning and in our mitzvot. We should try to constantly learn more and do more. Maybe this year, try to do a big mitzvah every day of the chag. The following are some suggestions: volunteer at a soup kitchen, give tzedakah, or visit someone sick. Not only will this make you feel great, but it may also make someone’s day. Chag Sameach!