Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
When such a genuine Jewish home is created, it can only be sustained through pirsumei nisa – through a public, proud, and pronounced Jewish identification. Therefore, says Rav Huna, the guarantee for children maintaining and sustaining Yiddishkeit is not institutional Judaism, the Judaism of buildings rather than people, but Ner Shabbat and Ner Chanukah. Why? Because Ner Hashem nishmat adam – God’s candle is the soul. Jews for whom institutions and buildings are paramount possess no neshamah. They have no lights.
One critical question remains: How does a Jew learn to distinguish and observe the inner meaning, the hidden mysteries, the mystique of Jewish candles? The answer is inherent in the one remaining candle – the Havdalah candle. To understand the light of Judaism, one needs to be reminded that our Sages instituted for the Havdalah to be recited in Shemoneh Esrei adjacent to the blessing and request for wisdom – da’at. We ask of God, the Source of all knowledge, to grant us knowledge, understanding, and discernment, for without wisdom how can we distinguish between holy and profane, between light and darkness, between Israel and all other nations, and between Shabbat and weekdays?
With the bright light not of single wick but of the great torch of the Havdalah candle composed of many wicks, we can understand that indeed we possess human shortcomings requiring bedikat chametz. We can be cognizant of Shabbat’s beauty and peace. We can demonstrate Chanukah’s pride and pirsumei nisa.
If we possess no wisdom and knowledge, we cannot differentiate between good and evil, light and darkness, sacred and profane. If we possess no Jewish wisdom and knowledge, we cannot differentiate between Jew and non-Jew, halachic and non-halachic Jew, chametz and matzah, Shabbat and chol.
If we possess no basic education and wisdom, how can we observe and differentiate? How can we bask in the candlelight of God’s great glory and enlighten our own existence? It is not enough to be holy; to be a Jew is to also be wise.
Our candles teach us the deepest message of God’s light.
Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran, serves as OU Kosher’s vice president of communications and marketing.
About the Author: Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran is an educator, author and lecturer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Corbyn leading the Britain’s Labour Party polls, describes Hamas & Hizbullah as England’s “friends.”
The convicted murderer was released from Israeli prison with more than two dozen other sociopaths
JCF is a donor/supporter of The New Israel Fund which supports BDS & wants IDF soldiers prosecuted
The conundrum for US Labor Zionists: Lobbying for Iran deal while Israel’s Left lobby’s against it.
What does the Torah want from our small nation described as “they who struggle with God & with men”?
Mr. Nadler’s support for the deal is a naked political gift to a president who has defied logic in his quest to reinvent international affairs according to his ideological inclinations.
In practical terms, the proclamation surely makes a compelling argument:
BDS activists are not shy about discriminating against Israelis simply because they are Israelis –
A Federal Ct Judge ordered the PA to post JUST $10 million due to interfering letter from State Dept
Osakwe, like many other students at the CAMERA conference, described an extremely hostile campus environment when it comes to the issue of Israel.
Many people view a letter or manuscript by a chassidic rebbe or the Chofetz Chaim as intrinsically holy.
Key Iran Lobby figures had been major donors to both Biden and Kerry when they were in the Senate,
“Your children, look up there at the top of the chimney. Do you see the smoke coming out?” She looked up, confused by his words. He laughed harshly. “That smoke. There are your children!”
Peace/Shalom/Wholeness: A gift conferred; earned and received by God’s grace; His blessing.
Lag B’Omer became the “Scholar’s Festival” reminding all that derech eretz kadmah l’Torah-
The only way to become humble is honesty about our experiences; it’s the only path to true humility
Too rarely appreciated for its symbolic weight; it can represent freedom and independence.
Jews cover the head not as ID but because wearing it makes concrete to ourselves our devotion to God
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/jewish-candles-the-power-of-discernment/2011/12/21/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: