Title: The Light That Unites: A Chanukah Companion
Author: Rabbi Aaron Goldscheider
Publisher: OU Press
In his classic essay from 1994 Rupture and Reconstruction: The Transformation of Contemporary Orthodoxy, Professor Haym Soloveitchik wrote that the topic of sefiras ha-‘omer is one that had rarely, if ever, rated more than a hundred lines in the traditional literature. In fact, The Rav commented that Chanukah has yet to be minded for its multifaceted insights and relevant lessons.
To a degree, the holiday of Chanukah is one that has not gotten the same amount of coverage as other holiday. In The Light That Unites: A Chanukah Companion, by Rabbi Aaron Goldscheider has tried to fix that and has written a most enjoyable 8-day guide to Chanukah. The goal of the book is to fill the need that The Rav noted.
Goldscheider has identified 8 major themes to Chanukah (peace, love, family, heroism, miracles, hope, unity and holiness), to which the 8 chapters of section two go into details within all of these.
The book captures some of the holiday’s most engaging and relevant motifs. It quotes stories and lessons from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, The Rav, Rav Kook, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and many other luminaries.
From insights to the blessings, tips to make the candle lighting more meaningful, to stories of heroism and miracles, the book shows how to make Chanukah more meaningful. The holiday of Chanukah is centered around the home and family. By strengthening that message, Goldscheider has strengthen that bond of home and family.
For those looking to gain more meaning out of this sublime holiday, this Chanukah companion is a most enjoyable read.