Read before Lighting

Come on, who cares if we lit a Hanukkiyah? What does one little act from us even mean? The world is so big and there are so many people in it, so what difference does it make if we did or did not do something? Rabbi Yerachmiel Israel Itzhak Danziger wrote around a hundred years ago in his book “Yismach Israel” (Israel will Rejoice) about the immense importance of our small acts. How every good deed we do is critical and essential. He bases his words on the Ramban’s commentary, and states:

“During the lighting of a Hanukkah candle, every Jew stands in place of the Kohen Gadol in the Holy Temple, and every one, even the simplest person, when they go to light a Hanukkah candle, they become the equivalent of a Kohen Gadol, and their home becomes like a Holy Temple, and they should be minded, when they go to light the fire, of the fact that they do not light just oil or wax candles, but they light the light from the Six Days of Genesis, and they should approach this kind of worship in fear and awe, out of joy of performing a Mitzvah, that a simple person like them merits to cause now great ‘revolutions’ in the upper worlds”.

Notice the words “revolutions”. Revolutions do not only happen on the streets, in mass parades. Revolutions are also done with our small deeds, in the family circle, between the kitchen and the living room. Happy rest of Hanukkah!

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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