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How Much Light? A Ḥanukkah Meditation by Rabbi Menachem Creditor

https://opensiddur.org/?p=41096 How Much Light? A Ḥanukkah Meditation by Rabbi Menachem Creditor 2021-11-29 16:13:36 "How Much Light? A Ḥanukkah Meditation" by Rabbi Menachem Creditor was first shared on the second night of Ḥanukkah 5782 (2021) via the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/opensiddur/posts/10159069085192746/">Open Siddur Project discussion group</a> on Facebook. Text the Open Siddur Project Menachem Creditor Menachem Creditor https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Menachem Creditor https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Ḥanukkah Light kindling 21st century C.E. 58th century A.M.
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תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן:
מִצְוַת חֲנוּכָּה, נֵר אִישׁ וּבֵיתוֹ.
וְהַמְהַדְּרִין, נֵר לְכׇל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד.
וְהַמְהַדְּרִין מִן הַמְהַדְּרִין,
 
בֵּית שַׁמַּאי אוֹמְרִים: יוֹם רִאשׁוֹן מַדְלִיק שְׁמֹנָה, מִכָּאן וְאֵילָךְ פּוֹחֵת וְהוֹלֵךְ.
וּבֵית הִלֵּל אוֹמְרִים: יוֹם רִאשׁוֹן מַדְלִיק אַחַת, מִכָּאן וְאֵילָךְ מוֹסִיף וְהוֹלֵךְ. …
“The Sages taught:
The basic mitsvah of Ḥanukkah is each day to have one light kindled per household.
And the “mehadrin” (beautifiers of tradition) kindle a light for each and every one in the household.
And the “mehadrin min hamehadrin” (extreme beautifiers) adjust the number of lights daily.
Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel disagree as to the nature of that adjustment:
Beit Shammai begins with eight lights and decreases each night.
Beit Hillel begins with one light and adds one each night…” (TB Shabbat 21b)
Perhaps we aren’t so different from our early teachers as we might have thought,
neither in the questions we ask
nor in the responses we generate.
How much light is sufficient?
One light that can pierce the darkness.
But the world deserves more than the minimum.
Every person contains light within themselves,
and sharing it is beautiful.
But really, it’s even better than that.
Some of us feel inner illumination from the start,
and some build our way into that inner light.
Some of us feel just a small inner space where the light lives
and release more and more of it each day.
Because we all do our work in the world,
there’s abundance in the beginning
and there’s abundance in the end.
You are bathed in light.
We are enough for this world.
There is beauty ahead.

“How Much Light? A Ḥanukkah Meditation” by Rabbi Menachem Creditor was first shared on the second night of Ḥanukkah 5782 (2021) via the Open Siddur Project discussion group on Facebook.

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