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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘menorah’

The Biggest Menorah in the World

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Many people think that in lighting gigantic Chanukah menorahs in places like Manhattan, Paris, Melbourne, and Berlin, we are “a light to the nations.” However pretty and moving this may be, the light of these solitary and scattered menorahs gets swallowed up by the surrounding darkness of foreign gentile lands. It’s a little like lighting a match in a dark alley. For a few seconds, there’s a flickering of light, and then it vanishes, engulfed by the blackness of the alley. Even if matches were lit in alleyways all over the world, the light would shine for an instant then disappear in the dark.

The only way of sustaining the light is by lighting all of the matches into one great bonfire, and this can only be accomplished by bringing the matches together and kindling them in one place – the Land of Israel.

When all of the scattered exiled Jews are gathered in the Land of Israel, a great Divine light goes out to the world like a towering beacon, illuminating the darkness of the nations. This is the meaning of the prophecy, “For from Zion shall go forth the Torah, and the word of the Lord from Yerushalayim.” The light goes out from Yerushalayim, and not from Times Square or Beverly Hills.

We become a “light to the nations” precisely when we are living together in Eretz Yisrael, and not when we are scattered all over the world, minorities in foreign lands, stripped of our Israelite nationhood and our pride, needing the permission of the gentiles to light our Chanukah candles in public.

During the long exile, the lighting of the Chanukah menorah had meaning in reminding the Jews in faraway gentile places, that we were still connected to an eternal light, to a national Jewish valor, and a Land of great miracles – but now, with the re-establishment of Medinat Yisrael, and the ingathering of Jews from all over the world, we no longer need the menorahs in Times Square and Sunset Boulevard. The time has come for each and every Jew to take his little light and join in with the great light that is shining forth from Israel.

For example, even in this early stage of our Redemption, when millions of our outcasts are still shrouded in the darkness of alien lands, even though we still have a way to go before we reach our full Torah power in Israel, still, even in our temporary secular state, all of the world’s attention is focused on what the Jews are doing in Israel. Pick up any leading newspaper from the capitals of the world and chances are you will find a front-page story about Israel. When a settler lights a small menorah on a hilltop in Judea, the whole world goes crazy. The United Nations rushes to condemn it. The White House issues an immediate warning. And the Europeans protest at the top of their lungs, like a Sunday church choir in unison.

No one cares about the giant menorah in Berlin or Boston. But a tiny menorah lit by a Jewish settler in Beit-El, Elon Moreh, Yitzhar, Migron, or some deserted and unnamed hilltop, causes an international raucous. Why? Not because the settler is infringing on Palestinian rights. No one really cares about the Arabs. And in most cases, there aren’t any Arabs living close by. The uproar comes because, in their unconscious psyches, the rest of the world senses that with each Jew who returns to the Land of Israel and sets up his home on a Biblical mountainside, the one and only God of Israel is returning with him, to establish His rule in the world, the coming Kingdom of God, and the nations cry out, blinded by the light of this tiny menorah – tiny in size, but world-shaking in its spiritual import and influence.

Even in our present interim stage of Redemption, when our incredible Torah power is still hidden, and when prophecy has not yet reappeared, the sons of Esav and Yishmael sense the great light and they tremble, knowing deep in their hearts that their religions and doctrines are false, that God has not abandoned the Jews as they claim, and that the Biblical prophecies regarding the day when Israel will be lifted up above all other nations will surely come to pass. So they try everything in their power to stop it, so they can continue on with their falsehood and whoring.

Tzvi Fishman

Celebs Who Love Sufganiyot: HuffPo Lists Jewish Candle-Lighters

Monday, December 10th, 2012

In honor of Hanukkah, the Huffington Post has put together a list of celebrities lighting the menorah this year – bet there are some you didn’t know are Jewish!

Among well-knowns like Billy Crystal, Sarah Jessica Parker and Sarah Silverman are some little-knowns – Gwyneth Paltrow, Rashida Jones, and more.

Malkah Fleisher

Above and Beyond on Chanukah in 5773

Friday, December 7th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai is joined by Rabbi Shimshon Nadel in a busy Jerusalem restaurant to discuss Chanukah in Eretz Yisrael. Together they discuss reaching out to Jews worldwide from Israel during the holiday and also ways one can find the light of the menorah at year round. Don’t miss this insightful segment!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Menorah Made Up of Menorahs

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Not exactly. What you see here is the Israeli Packer Steel Industries plant in Kiryat Malachi (yes, where the Arab missile hit an apartment a couple weeks ago), which produce steel Chanukah Menorahs for the IDF.

Last year, the company forged thirteen steel menorahs. They each weigh a little over 400 pounds and stand about 9 feet tall. They’re lined up like this not so that each menorah be lighted by the “shamash” menorah, although you must admit the concept is nifty. They’re standing like that waigting to be picked up by trucks for delivery to different IDF bases.

In case you were wondering, Chanukah this year starts Saturday night, December 8, after havdalah.

Yori Yanover

Chabad Of East Boca’s Chanukah Festivities

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

A hundred cars with menorahs on top of their roofs are expected to participate in Chabad of Boca Raton’s annual car menorah parade on Monday December 10th. The fleet will depart from the Central Boca Chabad on Military Trail at 5:30 p.m. and then head across town for a Chanukah concert and menorah lighting hosted by Chabad of East Boca.

The concert will feature local Boca band Chazak. Band members include former and current students of Weinbaum Yeshiva High School in Boca Raton. Chazak plays a blend of contemporary and traditional Jewish music and has been thrilling enthusiastic audiences throughout the Southeastern United States.

According to event organizer Rabbi Ruvi New, “After the amazing success of last year’s concert that drew close to three thousand people, we look forward to bringing the community together again this year, to celebrate the great miracle of Chanukah – the miracle of light over might.”

The concert and menorah lighting ceremony will feature local dignitaries, children’s activities and a BBQ dinner, including steaks, hot dogs, burgers and fries, all at a nominal price. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for the concert.

For more information call 561-417-7797 or go to www.ChabadBocaBeaches.com.

Shelley Benveniste

“You Killed Jesus” Scrawled on Miami Menorah

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

A large menorah covered in seashells and used to spread the light of Hanukkah at Miami Beach was vandalized on Sunday, scrawled with black graffiti stating “You Killed Jesus”.

Sunday marked the 11th anniversary of the first time the religious symbol was vandalized, according to Fox News, with the beach-themed Hanukkah vessel being torn down three times in its first year on display.

The menorah is lit annually by Chabad Rabbi Zev Katz.

The damaged shells have already been replaced, and police are investigating the incident.

Malkah Fleisher

Symbol Of The Eternal Soul

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

The festival of Chanukah celebrates two miracles – the military victory over the Syrian Greeks and that one small cruse of oil, good for one day, providing light for eight days. The miracle of the light, however, is the main focus and central theme of this festival.

Thus, according to halacha, when we light the candles in celebration of Chanukah we are prohibited from using their light for any tasks. We are commanded to simply look at the light. All year long we are looking at what we see in the light, but on Chanukah we are to focus solely on seeing the light itself.

What is so special about the light of Chanukah? What is the Chanukah menorah’s message for us in our personal lives? Why does the Rambam call Chanukah “the most beloved and precious mitzvah”?

The answer is that the Chanukah lights help us focus on who we really are. We are not our body suits but are part of God’s Endless Light. Chanukah lights are the symbol of the Divine spark of the human soul, as Shlomo HaMelech says in Mishlei, Ner Hashem nishmat adam – the candle of God is the soul of the human being.

The Mishnah in Avot teaches, “There are three crowns: The crown of Torah, the crown of Kehuna [priesthood] and the crown of Monarchy.” Corresponding to these three with which Israel was crowned, there were three crowns on the Temple vessels. The crown of Torah corresponds to the gold crown, which was set on the Ark of Testimony (containing the two Tablets). The crown of Kehuna corresponds to the incense altar, for only regarding the priests does it say, “They shall place incense in Your Presence, and consume sacrifices on Your altar” (Devarim 33:10). Finally, the crown of Monarchy corresponds to the table in the Sanctuary, for tables, which in biblical and later Hebrew can symbolize wealth and bounty (Psalm 23), may here be viewed as evoking the economic and political power of the state.

However, the Mishnah adds that there is yet another crown, “the crown of a good name,” which “surpasses them all.” This crown is not enumerated among the others. Rather, it is kept separate from them and stands on its own. To what does this crown correspond in the Temple?

The Maharal of Prague associates “the crown of a good name” with the fourth vessel of the Temple – the solid pure gold menorah. The menorah had no gold crown encompassing it. Neither was it made of acacia wood inlaid with gold like the three Temple vessels mentioned above. Rather, the whole menorah was like a pure gold crown, embellished with golden cups, knobs and flowers. The entire menorah itself is a crown.

It is the same with a person’s good name. It is not an external crown that is placed upon one’s head. A person’s good name touches on his very essence. A good name includes one’s entire personality in all its components. It is not an external image, fashioned by public relations professionals, photographers and newsmen. A person’s good name is the reputation he earns for himself through his life’s work, all his deeds and ventures. That is why the Mishnah says that the “crown of a good name surpasses all the others.”

A person’s good name does not find expression at the beginning of his life but is acquired through strenuous, daily toil. Shlomo HaMelech said “A good name is better than precious oil” (Kohelet 7:1). However good it may be, oil is applied externally to a person’s body while a good name is that person himself.

As we light the menorah on Chanukah, it is a time to focus and reflect on the light of God, which is our eternal soul.

Rabbi Ephraim S. Sprecher

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/symbol-of-the-eternal-soul/2012/12/05/

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