Rabbi David Paskin
Let Your Light Shine
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From Rabbi David
There's a disagreement in the Talmud about how we should light our chanukiyah. The school of Shammai says we should light eight candles on the first night and take one away each night, both to count down the days and to remind us of the Sukkot sacrifices (the connection between Sukkot and Chanukah is a whole other story.)
The school of Hillel says we should light one candle on the first night and add a new one each night. He argues we should do this to count up the days of Chanukah and also because we have an obligation to ma'alin bakodesh - increase light and holiness in the world. We all know who won that argument.
One thing you may not know is that the candles on the chanukiyah are not the only way to light up the world. We are taught that each person's soul is the lamp of God (Proverbs 20:27). Each of your children is a light that shines brightly each day. Our job as parents and teachers is to nurture that light and allow it to grow and illuminate the darkness.