What is the hardest thing for us to do? To not do anything. On Hanukkah women do not do any work in the first half hour after lighting the candles. From year to year, the more the world moves forward (or backward), this becomes harder, more challenging.
Here are some ideas which Rebbetzin Yemima Mizrachi spoke about, regarding this: “In the past it used to be easier to sit next to the Menorah for that duration. Just to sit, to look at the flames and to relax. Not to fry Sufganiyot (Hanukkah doughnuts), not to change diapers, not to serve anything to anyone. To just sit. Today it is quite a task, but try it. Try. Talk next to the Hanukkiyah, sing, pray, laugh, be quiet, watch. After all, what is the thing that we most lack in this world? Peace of mind. You want to text to someone and then you forget who you wanted to write to and what you wanted to write to them. You walk very determinedly to the kitchen and then wonder: ‘What was I looking for here, anyway?’. So, sit down and look for these 30 minutes at the candles, at yourself, at the people surrounding you, and look at what you have. Look at what IS, not at what IS NOT. Just stop making efforts and running around and thinking all the time that the light is somewhere else. The light is here, within you. Look at the flames and get completely new insights. To see them only – this is all you need to do. Don’t miss it, don’t ruin these moments by doing something”.
(In the Hebrew original, it is written in the feminine form, but it is directed to both men and women).