Posted by: gruvenreuven | December 21, 2011

Just a little light

Last night we began the mitzvah of lighting the menorah as we ushered in the yom tov of Chanukah. As always we start by lighting one single light. Not many lights, not glaring lights strewn across our front lawn or wound around a tree, but one solitary light which can drive away the darkness. The Gemarah instructs us that in time of peace, light the menorah outside, but in times of danger set the menorah inside your home. Some explain the danger referred to in the Gemarah is not of the physical kind, but rather a spiritual danger allowing the darkness to seep into our homes. Therefore we must put the ohr (the light), inside in order to expel that darkness. The mitzvah is “ner ish u’beiso” (Each family member lighting their own menorah). This stresses the point that the light is there as protection to our homes and the influences that can affect us there.

What is light? It is of course the light of Torah. With the light of Torah in our homes, adding Torah study into our daily and weekly schedule, discussing Torah thoughts at our tables, and praising Torah values, we can protect ourselves and our families from the spiritual dangers that threaten to darken our lives and existence. Only light can expel darkness. Only Torah can enlighten us to see the proper road to take to make the right decisions in life.

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