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Showing posts from December 22, 2017

The Lights of Hanukah Must Stay With Us!

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There is a famous debate in the Talmud between Hillel and Shammai - how should we light the Hanukah candles for the 8 days of Hanukah?  Shammai said, on the first day, we should start with eight candles, and on each successive day, we should take away a candle.  His reasoning was solid - he brought up the fact that Hanukah and Sukkot are connected, and the sacrifices that were made in the Holy Temple diminish every day. Hillel responds with his approach - we start with one candle on the first night, and on the second night we add another candle, and so on.  On the eighth night, we have a total of nine candles (eight candles plus the Shamash); and his reasoning?  It wasn't a quote from the Bible, it was a statement, "we increase in holiness, and never diminish from it."  As we all know, Hillel won the argument, and on the eighth night of Hanukah, I found myself lighting a huge Hanukiah at Boca Center with eight other rabbis in the community from the Reform, Conservative,…