A Jewish holiday is not just a day off from work, or a day to be inspired and learn a lesson from a past historical event. In its truest sense, a Holy Day is a day that is inherently different than the days before or afterwards. A Holy Day is by its very nature an energy that is unique to this holy day, when compared to any of the other holydays, or even when compared to the same holyday as it was experienced the last year, or the year to come.
By the practices and observances of a holy day that were instituted by the Bible, and or by our great sages, we get a small glimpse and a feel for the amazing opportunities and strengths afforded by the holiday.
For example, when someone tells you to handle an item with extreme care and sensitivity, to wear gloves so you don’t cut yourself, and to keep the item away from frozen substances that might melt. Although, you’re still left in the dark regarding the exact description of what it is you are holding, you begin to get an idea, what it is you are holding and what it may be able to be used for.
When the Chanukah lights are lit, we are instructed to sit by the lights for at least a half an hour. Great mystics tell us, it’s to hear and listen to the tale each candle has to communicate with us every night. There is something very powerful being transmitted, for those who kindle and watch these special lights.
The code of Jewish law tells us, “the candle of Chanukah must be placed, at the door towards the outside… and if one lives on an upper level, they must place it by a window, towards the public domain.”
A candle is made with physical ingredients. We are fulfilling a G-dly deed, generating a charged energy, but it is accomplished not just through our minds and heart, with imperceptible elements. The ultimate goal, is taking and using the physical materialistic components all around us, as an ingredient and a main element in serving G-d, to create spirituality.
Chanukah comes from the root word of dedication and education. Education and dedication are essentially the same accomplishment. Both actions begin and start off something new.
The rule on Chanukah is that we must add a new candle every night. No matter what was accomplished up until now, a new day means a brand new chance to learn more, to do more, and dedicate ourselves every day to a fresh new start, notwithstanding how much was accomplished up until now.
Setting something down, is giving it a place to settle. We are not allowed to light the candle and then move it from one place to the other. Where we light the candle is where it must remain.
Our routine in life can’t be on a shaky unsure platform where things shift from one moment to the next according to the whims of society. Life and its routines needs to be permanent and on solid ground.
This realization of the above must be at the door towards the outside. Our obligation to ,”love our friend like ourselves” means, sharing this great lesson with as many people as possible outside your home, out in the public.
And if someone feels he lives on an upper level, and it is not befitting, or his time is too valuable to help others, he too must find the window to reach someone on the outside in the public domain.
The Talmud says, “I have learnt a lot from my teachers, and from my colleagues, but I have learnt most from my students. ‘ When a person dedicates himself to help others, he is helped first and more than even the people he is attempting to help.