Chanukah 5777 Part V: Days of Joy

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Chanukah is listed as period where we thank God for the glorious salvation that was afforded to the Jewish people at the time of the Chashmonaim. There is an added element of simcha during this time as well. It’s widely known that this is a time, like other times of great Divine miracles from our history, we refrain from delivering eulogies. Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl, mentions that that it’s not only limited to that. He quotes Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, who maintains that this is a time where we aren’t even supposed to share bad tidings. This sense of tranquility is sometimes hard to do on Shabbos, our respite from a busy week, where we seek to create a serene environment without sadness for 25 hours.  On Chanukah, where we’re engaged in melacha all the while (excluding Shabbat and while the lights are kindled) this is a much more difficult task. I’d like to extend this further posit that we should also exclude any machlokes from these eight holy days. The Shelah HaKadosh comments in Shemos on the words “lo sevaaru eish bechol moshvoseichem byom hashabbos” that we are to not light any fire on Shabbos, that this aish, or fire, refers to the aish of machlokes and kaas, the fire of dispute and anger. He says that these embers of should be far from our hearts, and they are things that should not be part of our weekday routine. The holiness of Shabbat is cannot be compromised because of these sparks of dispute and anger. Just as we careful about doing work while the candle flames are lit, we should also keep in mind to stray far from the flames of sadness and disagreement.

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