Vayeshev 5777

Where to focus first?

Halacha states to light the Chanuka candles in the most visible place at one’s home. If possible one should light candles by the front entrance to the corresponding side of the mezuza, if that cannot be done one should light by the window facing street view or otherwise on the table inside the home.

It’s been found that in recent years people tend to light their candles indoors and forget about the halachick preference of lighting outside. Rabbi Orenstein zt’l in Hadarush Ve’haneum says this reflects the behavioural changes of our times.

The light from the menorah is meant to spread the light of Jewish though, and placing it outside promotes us to go out and search for those lacking faith and knowledge in attempt to strengthen the awareness of Judaism out in the world. The evolvement of the practice seen today is a reflective motion of the different areas of focus a family and particularly a parent is busy with. Lighting the menorah indoors on the table means engaging in light and stressing the emunah to your household first.

We live in a time that darkness can breakthrough and reach even the most protected fortresses. We are advised to check ourselves, our home and our children and bring forth the light of belief back inside and climb up back to surface level. I am not attempting to suggest we all begin lighting inside and not by the door and windows, but I do like the thought of this idea and hope you enjoy it just the same.

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