Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Spirit of the Law: Chanukah #20

Note: since #17-19 of the Kitzur relate to Shabbos Chanukah, they will be posted presently b'ezras Hashem.
(Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:20) “The oil and wicks left over from the mitzvah of Chanukah must be burned.”
The Bnei Yisaschar, zt”l, explains that we burn the oil and wicks because they produce the light that is set aside for the world to come. This light may only be used on Chanukah. For this reason, many tzaddikim were known to spend hours gazing at the candles. Reb Nosson of Breslov, zt”l, writes that this light of the next world is full of tremendous mercy. This is an illumination which comes to us to give us life even in this long and difficult exile. We often haven’t got the strength to do anything. This is like a king who visits his trusted servant who is sick. The servant can really do nothing, but he is very encouraged that the king himself came to his very own home to comfort him. With the light of Chanukah, Hashem Himself comes to comfort us and strengthen us on the spiritual sickbed of our exile—and we are strengthened indeed!

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