Monday, December 26, 2005

FOR FRIDAY NIGHT: The Chanukah Lights (Chanukah)


Kislev 25, 5766 * December 26, 2005



The Chanukah Lights
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Chanukah begins this year on the evening of Sunday, December 25th. It is celebrated for just eight days; however, the message of the Chanukah lights is valid all through the year. We can understand something of this message by comparing the Chanukah lights with the Friday Night candles and the lights of the Golden Menorah in the Temple.

The Sabbath candles must be lit before sunset, and the lights in the Temple were lit even earlier; the Chanukah lights, however, are kindled after [1] sunset, when it is already dark. This shows how the Jewish people have the power to illuminate the darkness.

The Menorah of the Temple was inside, in an inner sanctuary. The place of the Sabbath lights is likewise indoors, on the Shabbat table. The Chanukah lights, however, are to be lit in such a place that their light should be seen outside. This too shows their power to transform the outer (possibly hostile) world.

The lights of the Temple and of the Sabbath remain the same in number and are not increased. By contrast, the number of Chanukah lights is increased every night. Thus we too should continually go higher and higher in service of G-d and illumination of the world [2].


1. Except on the Friday in Chanukah, when they are lit before the Shabbat Candles, and should burn for half an hour after dark (larger candles may be needed).
2. See the Lubavitcher Rebbe's Likkutei Sichot vol.1, pp.89-92, vol.30, p.310.


Chanukah is just around the corner!

Our extensive Chanukah website has how-to’s, stories, lessons, games and even recipes! It's sure to make your holiday more meaningful and insightful! All this at:

Tip: Join a public menorah lighting or Chanukah event in your area too!

Send Chanukah Greeting Cards to friends and family:

New! Featured Chanukah Videos:

SEASONS: A Chanukah Thought:
MIRACLES: A Chanukah Film:
MIRACLE LIGHTS: An Animated Production:

Wishing you and your family a Happy Chanukah!


By Dr. Tali Loewenthal, Director of Chabad Research Unit, London

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