The Eighth Night Of Hanukkah

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 05: Lainey Schmitter (3rd L) lights a Menorah as U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd L), first lady Michelle Obama (R) and Lainey’s mother Drew (L) look on during a Hanukkah reception at the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, DC. President Obama hosted members of the Jewish community to celebrate the annual festival. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) explains about what the importance of lighting the Hanukkah candles means.

What It Means For You

Noting that one should spend time in close proximity to the Chanukah lights, the Previous Rebbe would say, “We must listen carefully to what the candles are saying.” So what are the flickering flames telling us? Here are some messages:

a. Never be afraid to stand up for what’s right. Judah Maccabee and his band faced daunting odds, but that didn’t stop them. With a prayer on their lips and faith in their heart, they entered the battle of their lives—and won. We can do the same.

b. Always increase in matters of goodness and Torah-observance. Sure, a single flame was good enough for yesterday, but today needs to be even better.

c. A little light goes a long way. The Chanukah candles are lit when dusk is falling. Perched in the doorway, they serve as a beacon for the darkening streets. No matter how dark it is outside, a candle of G‑dly goodness can transform the darkness itself into light.

d. Take it to the streets. Chanukah is unique in that its primary mitzvah is observed in public. It’s not enough to be a Jew at heart, or even at home. Chanukah teaches us to shine outwards into our surroundings with the G‑dly glow of mitzvahs.

e. Don’t be ashamed to perform mitzvahs, even if you will feel different. Rather, be like a menorah, proudly proclaiming its radiant uniqueness for all to see.


The eighth night meditation:

Eighth Night—Dedicated to the Transcendence: The Rooftop

This is the show of lights that sparkles forth from self.
Imagine yourself standing upon a rooftop, enacting that ancient human rite of watching the night fall. As the blue deepens into black you witness a single star shutter forth, and another, and another. The darkness kindles starlight upon the sky as surely as you kindle light upon your menorah. By the time the eighth star appears the entire sky releases her storehouse of sparks. Dazzled by stars beyond count, you face the seeming infinity of space. Beholding this limitlessness from your rooftop perch, you are reminded of the infinity of your very soul.

The eighth and final light.

The menorah stands luminous before us. Ignited in its entirety. Complete. These eight lights are the grand finale of the entire Chanukah journey. And finales, with all their pageantry, always signal that we have reached an end. Just as the rooftop is the upper limit of the house, this is the limit of our Chanukah lights. And yet, just as standing upon the roof allows us to grasp a sense of the skies’ limitlessness, looking upon the 8 lights we are reminded of G‑d’s light, the or haganuz that has no end.

The eighth and final night is thus dedicated to transcendence. Just as the seven days of the week represent linear time and the completion of the physical, the number eight is an elegant leap beyond the linear, and beyond physicality. Eight represents transcendence. Just as miracles themselves transcend the limits of the physical realm, so does the number eight beckon us to transcendence.

Although the eighth night is the exuberant end of this holiday, it also hints at the limitless holiness of every day. Yes, there were eight nights of miraculous oil, but beyond that—every day holds its own miracles. When we are in touch with the infinite light of our own souls, the very rooftop of our selves, then we are in touch with the infinitude of G‑d. From that place, miracles are not only possible, they are a given. This final night of Chanukah celebrates our transcendent spirits, and G‑d’s promise of His miraculous daily presence in our lives.

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I did not get to play dreidel with the grandkids this year. I am grateful to have been able to gift them dreidels and gelt so they can play together.

I did not make latkes this year. I am grateful that I do not have to wait until next Hanukkah to make them. G-d willing my family will be together soon.

I did not get to read to the grandkids this year. I am grateful that I listened to many podcasts about my holiday.

I am grateful for getting to light my menorahs this year as always.

I am grateful I was able to donate items to some in need.

I am grateful to live in a place where I can display my Menorah in the window without persecution.

I am grateful for the calm I feel when saying the blessings over the candles.

I am grateful that I have my grandmother’s menorah. I hope it continues to be passed down the family line.

Happy Hanukkah

The one below made me giggle repeatedly.

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