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                 A Message from our Rabbi
                                  Rabbi Dale Polakoff

                                                                 Perhaps this can be explained as choosing the value of sha-
                                                                 lom bayit as a primary value. The Shabbat candles contrib-
                                                                 ute to peace in the home, allowing people to see obstacles
                                                                 that might lie in their path. Shalom bayit is clearly an
                                                                 important value.

                                                                 But perhaps there is another explanation as well. Shab-
                                                                 bat candles happen every week, whereas the lighting of
                                                                 the menorah is a one week per year experience. Shabbat
                                                                 candles might be rote and routine whereas the menorah is
                                                                 exciting and unusual. Although there is a natural tendency
                                                                 to choose that which is new and exciting over that which is
                                                                 rote and routine, the Halacha reminds us of the sanctity of
       On the Friday night of Shabbat Chanukah we are faced with
       two obligations that both involve the lighting of candles.   the rote and routine, of the everyday consistency of mitz-
       The first is the obligation of lighting Shabbat candles, and   vah observance. As exciting as lighting the menorah is, a
       the second is the obligation of lighting the candles of the   life of consistent and regular observance is more important.
                                                                 May our Chanukah this year combine the new and exciting
                                                                 with the rote and routine and may we learn to benefit from
       The juxtaposition of these two “lightings” presents several
       interesting halachik observations. Since Shabbat begins   both of them
       with the lighting of the Shabbat candles it is obviously
       necessary to light the menorah before lighting the Shab-  Ellen joins me in wishing you and your loved ones a
       bat candles. This runs counter to an important principle   lichtigen Chanukah.
       often applied in a situation of competing obligations - tadir
       veshe’eino tadir tadir kodem - when choosing between a
       more commonly occurring obligation and a less commonly
       occurring one, choose to first do the more common one.
       Due to the technicality of accepting Shabbat with the light-
       ing of the Shabbat candles, the application of this principle
       is an impossibility.

       Since the menorah is lit first, it’s also necessary to ensure
       that there is sufficient fuel, either a long enough candle or
       a large enough collection of oil, so that the candles of the
       menorah burn for at least a half hour after dark, usually
       about two hours’ worth.

       The Halacha also discusses what should happen if a person
       only has enough money to buy either Shabbat candles or
       Chanukah candles. Which one should he choose?

       The Halacha certainly considers the lighting of the can-
       dles of the menorah a significant obligation. The Rambam
       refers to it as a very precious and important mitzvah, and it
       includes a public component of commemorating the mirac-
       ulous events of the Chashmonaim victory, thereby sanctify-
       ing Hashem’s name.
                                                                    Shalom bayit is clearly an important value.
       And yet, the Halacha requires us, if faced with such a
       choice, to choose the Shabbat candles over the candles of
       the menorah.

                                                  SCOPE Magazine Chanukah 2022   4
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