Listen to the Lights

Once, a certain Rebbe asked Reb Zushe of Anipoli if he had studied the kabbalistic intentions of lighting the Chanukah menorah:

Reb Zusha responded:[1]

“I am not accustomed to studying beforehand. Rather, when I do the mitzvah, I appreciate all the secrets that are embedded within it.”

This is perhaps reminiscent of a similar thought from the 5th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Shalom DovBer Schneersohn, in the name of this father, Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch:[2]

“We must be attentive to what the candles—of Chanukah—tell us.”

It is not enough to study thoughts, ideas, or essays on Chanukah—we ourselves must experience it. When we sit by the lights, we should focus on the story that the lights teach each and every one of us, in our own personal lives.

[1] Zahav HaMenorah, Pg. 16.

[2] Sefer HaSichot, 5706, Pg. 22.

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