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How Do I Dispel My Inner Darkness? The Analytical & Behavioral Approaches

Exploring the Opinions of the Schools of Shamai and Hillel on the Number of Chanukah Candles, from a Legal and Spiritual Dimension

1 hr 3 min

Class Summary:

The Mitzva of lighting the Menorah is incredibly unique in the fact that every single person performs it not only in its minimal standard, but in the way described by the Talmud to be the ‘most beautiful of beautiful.’ How did this develop? The argument between the Talmudic sages how many candles we light each night of Chanukah.

Please leave your comment below!

  • Y

    yisroel -10 years ago

    on night number 6 if someone sees 6 candles how does the observer know if its mehadrin and kneged the days or perhaps there are 6 people doing mehadrin 

    and if you say that the observer is aware what night of chanukah it is and therefore realizes that it is more liekly that it corresponds to that nights amount

    than the same can be assumed if there is a multiple of that nights amount so why does Tosfos have a problem if everyone lights and adds everynight?

    ps. great Shiur as usual

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  • A

    Anonymous -11 years ago

    There is silence in face of overwhelming grief and silence in the face of injustice. The two ought not to be confused.

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  • EIC

    Eliyahu in Canada -11 years ago

    To Chaya
    You are correct that Holocaust Day was instituted by people who have little connection to G-d and Torah but in fact I am will be going to a memorial service in my town and will print out copies of this essay with theyeshiva.net address and perhaps some will read it and go to the site and begin to rediscover thier lost heritage.

    We should also remember our fellow Jews languishing in prison Jonathan Pollard and Reb Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin who I believe commented on this page and both deserve a yeshua Krovah, for they both have been thrown into prison, the key thrown away, mostly because they are fellow Jews.  . 

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  • T

    theresa -11 years ago

    when silence kills
    G-d bless israel. a wonderful inspiring and thought provoking lesson. thank you so much. i am a noahide. and left xtianity about 22 years ago. and have been studying with orthodox rabbis including rabbi tuvia bolton of chabad via the net . since 1995. my first rabbi on the net was the late R Yosef Kazen. i thank G-d for guiding me to the orthodox site and to this prestigious teacher who taught me via the net for two years before he passed away due to cancer. at the time he was teaching me, i did not know it was from his lap top at the hospital. may all his merits help bring mosiach now.

    thank you again rabbi. if not for the internet there is no way i could have learnt of the 7 laws, which we were never taught where we live. i was educated in a convent.Hashem has His ways of reaching out. He chooses His tools. for my two sons and myself, it was the net, as where i live there are no jews or syngs. 

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  • C

    Chaya -11 years ago

    Good question
    A very good question indeed SMR! I agree completely. And there are many other reasons we don't need to go into, to show how unappropriate it is.

    What bothers me also is that we are in Chodesh Nissan, when mourning is out of place. This date was not instituted by Torah respecting people. Why do we have to accept their date and relate to it? 


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  • S

    SMR -12 years ago

    In One Paragraph?
    It may be a good question if its proper to put in the same Paragraph the Killing of Yidden Kedoishim,

    and of those in syria that have attacked the Yidden with the announced goal of the very same ones that killed the 6 million and even more Kedoishim, and if they could would kill yidden today themselves

    Sholom mordechai Halevi ben Rivka Sheyichye :)

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  • C

    chaya -12 years ago

    So what about Pollard? 

    Only 26 years and the American Jewish silence is deafening!

    Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov...

    Chaya Gross


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  • MN

    Mark NYC -12 years ago

    Follow-up note
    You're readers might be interested in a follow-up comment about Eddy Jacobson and Truman. According to Radosh, Jacobson made many visits to the President  to talk to him about Jewish issues, all at his own expense. Since travel was pretty costly in those days and Jacobson had limited means, he ended up spending most of his assets in this way, leaving little in the way of inheritance for his children. When he explained this to them shortly before his death, they told their father that the legacy he had left them was far more valuable than any money they could have inherited. This was Jacobson's merit.

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  • MN

    Mark NYC -12 years ago

    On Working Behind the Scenes
    Yet, there are circumstances in which working quietly behind the scenes can accomplish more than lound protests and finger wagging. A few nights ago, I heard an interesting lecture by the noted author, Ronald Radosh, on the circumstance that led President Truman to recognise the State of Israel. While sympathetic to the Jews, particularly because of his Christian evangelical background, Truman was under enormous pressure from the State Department (particulary George Marshall, then Secretary of State and WWII military leader) to not do so becaue of the implications this would have for U.S. relations with Arab countries (some things never change).

    Into this mix came the American Zionist leader, Rabbi Hillel Silver, who visited Truman and cut loose with criticism of the U.S. government's position, including pounding on his desk and wagging his finger at the President. Truman didn't take to kindly to this behavior, both at a personal level and because he felt it was disrespectful to the office of the President of the U.S.  He thereupon refused to see any further Jewish delegations on this subject including a visit from the then ailing Chaim Weitzman, who Truman greatly admired, but refused an audience because he had had enough of the pressure that was being put on him.

    What ended up saving the situation was Truman's old Jewish friend, Eddy Jacobson (they had been partners in business both during and after WWI), who had carte blanche entree to the White House, and used this privilege to quietly visit Truman and plead with him to see the Zionist leader. The President finally agreed (after letting loose a string of expletives, that in isolation, would seem pretty anti-semitic), and as a result of this meeting, changed his mind and decided against the wishes of both the State and Defense Departments to recognise Israel  (Marshall almost resigned over this incident).

    I'm not trying to make an exact analogy, but just wish to make the point that under the right circumstances, and when dealing with decent people, quiet behind the scenes diplomacy can be more effective than loud protests and demostrations. Of course, there are situations where forceful means are required, and sometimes there is no choice, but we need to have the wisdom and humility to know when to to parse the two.

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    • A

      Anonymous -12 years ago

      Re: On Working Behind the Scenes
      Dear Mark,

      You are right on. The silence discussed in the essay is the silence of passivity, apathy, indifference, the silence that causes one to stand on the side and not confront a crime, not the activity in a silent and unassuming way.

      A good example are the protests for Russian Jewry. History has shown that they were damaging. It was the silent diplomacy that was most effective.

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  • AY

    Alex Yevseyevich -12 years ago


    Wow, powerful! This is our Rabbi Jacobson!

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  • Y

    Yechezkel -12 years ago

    Not Quite Unity...
    In regard to your exposition re. mehadrin etc.. and your quoting Taz re. Ashkenazim following Rambam and Sefardim Tosfos.

    See Sdei Chemed on Chanuka 9:4, first 2 paragraphs, whereby Sefardim had that minhag from way back, before baalei hatosfos were on the scene, and Ashkenazim don’t do exactly as the Rambam.

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  • MS

    ML Suriano -13 years ago

    Why not all candles every night?
    Why not all 8 days of 9 candles? My reasoning is that the Temple menorah would have been all its candles. I also noticed that 8x9=72. Which would account for the 70 souls that went to Egypt plus the 2 that were there already (Joseph and Benjamin). It would show the miracle of Joseph and the gathering of Jacob's family and eventually the Exodus.
    Bring about full "sparks " joined together. Just like when Moshiach will be revealed and All souls will be together again.
    Just curious!

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    • A

      Anonymous -12 years ago

      Re: Why not all candles every night?
      First, just a technical detail: Benjamin did not stay in Egypt; he went back to the Holy Land and then returned with his entire family.

      Second, why nine candles? We light for 8 days because of oil miracle, where the oil burnt for eight days.

      Now, according to the law, we fulfill the mitzvah by lighting one candle for all 8 nights. However, the sages stated that an increased mitzvah is to light according to the number of the days of Chanukah, either the days that were actualized (Bais Hillel) or the days yet to be realized (Bais Shamai.)

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  • KT

    Kayo, Tokyo -13 years ago

    Very much encouraged
    Baruch HaShem

    Thank you for very profound meanings of the ways to light Chanukah, dispeling darkness.
    I will try to incorporate your teachings in my life to actualize it. The Shamai and Hillel's ways of dealings remind me of a teaching that to heal the ailment, one may fight the ailment itself and heal the affected organ, or one may enhance the productivity of healthy organ.

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  • M

    mendel -13 years ago

    the shiur
    beutiful shiur

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Chanukah Class

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • December 6, 2014
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  • 14 Kislev 5775
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Dedicated by David and Eda Schottenstein In the loving memory of Alta Shula Swerdlov And in the merit of Yetta Alta Shula, "Aliyah," Schottenstein

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