The Menorah should be light before the Shabbat candles and under
no circumstances after sunset (which is 18 minutes after candle
N.Y. City Candle lighting 4:14 Shabbat ends 5:18
For Shabbat times anywhere in the world go to
The Menorah should be lit after Shabbat ends after Havdalah
Mevarchim Tevet. The Molad is Sunday, 7:20 and 11 Chalakim a.m.
Rosh Chodesh is Monday and Tuesday
Shalom and Bracha!
This Shabbat, because of Chanukah, we read from two Torah
scrolls. In the first we read the portion of Mikeitz and in the
second we read the portion of Chanukah.
The portion of Mikeitz continues the narrative of Yosef in
Egypt. Through interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams, Yosef was
appointed viceroy of Egypt. During that time, his brothers came
to Egypt and bowed down to him, fulfilling one his prophetic
dreams in last week’s portion. The conclusion of the portion is
the ruse concerning the theft of his cup, which was done for the
purpose of awakening full repentance on the part of his brothers
for having kidnapped him.
The Egyptian exile was a precursor to the current exile. Just as
the Egyptian exile was necessary before the receiving of the
Torah and the receiving of the land of Israel, The current exile
is a necessary step before the coming of Moshiach, receiving the
new depths of Torah he will reveal and the receiving of Greater
Israel. As such, the Torah’s teachings concerning Egypt are
pertinent to us in our daily lives.
The arrival of Yosef to Egypt was preceded by dreams. Pharaoh’s
message from Hashem concerning the famine was also through
dreams. This is because Galut (exile) is likened to a dream.
When we dream our perception is muddled and there is no
consistency. Similarly, in Galut we develop a false perception.
Rather than realizing that everything comes through Hashem’s
grace, and that we should dedicate ourselves to following His
will, and that thereby we will receive His blessings, we see
observance of the Torah as a stumbling block in achieving our
personal goals. The lesson is that we must know we are in a
dream and adjust our awareness. Furthermore, Galut creates a
mentality in which the inconsistency of good and evil in our own
lives doesn’t bother us. This aspect has a positive quality as
well: the negative aspects of our lives don’t prevent us from
striving to great heights and performing great acts far above
As we look at the specific dreams, there is a striking
difference between those of Yosef and of Pharaoh. Pharaoh’s
dreams were passive: the characters weren’t accomplishing.
Further, they were in a downward trend, healthy cow and then
sick cows, the first dream was the animal kingdom and the second
the plant kingdom. Yosef’s first dream was gathering of wheat:
active work and uniting of the dispersed. His second dream was
of the heavens. The tendency of Galut is to drag us down. Yosef
teaches us that we must always be accomplishing and striving
higher. If we do, even the sky isn’t a limit.
This teaching is exemplified by the Chanukah Menorah. Each day
we light an additional candle. We can never be satisfied with
our previous accomplishments. What was sufficient yesterday
isn’t enough for today. We must progress only one step at a
time, but we must always progress.
Through following the teachings of Yosef may Hashem speedily
have mercy on Israel and grant us the final redemption through
the coming of Moshiach immediately.
Shabbat Shalom, Chodesh Tov and Chanukah Sameach!
Shabbat Chanukah-Light From the Darkness
Tuesday is the Eighth Candle
May Hashem grant you, your family and all those who are dear
to you a wonderful and inspiring Chanukah! As these are days of
miraculous victory and blessings, May His blessings flow in a
Although the Menorah of Chanukah commemorates the miracle that
occurred with the Menorah in the Temple, there are striking
differences. The Menorah in the Temple had seven branches, not
eight. The Menorah in the Temple was only lit during the day,
whereas (excluding Shabbat) the Chanukah candles are always lit
after sunset. The Menorah in the Temple was lit inside, whereas
the Chanukah candles shine into the street. The Menorah in the
Temple was on the right side, and the Chanukah Menorah is on the
left. (The custom mentioned in the Talmud is to light the
Menorah in the doorway on the left side, so that when we enter
the doorway we are surrounded with Mitzvot: the Mezuzah on the
right and the Menorah on the left.)
King Solomon taught that “I have seen the quality of folly
from wisdom light the quality of light from the darkness.”
Seemingly his words are obvious and perplexing. Wisdom is better
than folly and light is better than dark. Obvious! The phrase
light “from the darkness is perplexing. Light’s quality is over
darkness or compared to darkness. Shlomo Hamelech is alluding to
a higher form of light, a light born from the darkness.
Similarly, wisdom born from folly has a depth beyond
The differences all stem from one major difference. The Temple
Menorah illuminated in the period of peace, whereas the Chanukah
Menorah illuminates in the time of oppression. When the Greeks
sought to defile the sanctity of the Torah, this brought forth a
deeper service of Hashem amongst the Maccabees than had existed
before. They risked their lives against impossible odds, which
required serving Hashem with the very depths of their souls.
Hashem responded by granting not only a miraculous victory, but
also the miracle of the oil, demonstrating His love by
transcending all rules of nature. The number seven represents
nature, whereas eight represents transcending nature. Hence the
candles eight candles in the Menorah.
When we serve Hashem with our very essence, we accomplish more
than we could otherwise. Illuminating the dark and evil side of
the world is beyond our regular capabilities. This is why the
Temple Menorah was lit during the day. The right side represents
our divine nature and the left side represents our animal
nature. This is why the Temple Menorah burned on the right side.
The Maccabees reached a higher level: they illuminated the night
and the left side. The street represents the profane world: the
Menorah’s light reaches there as well.
There is an interesting parallel in this week’s portion. Yosef
had two sons in Egypt: Menashe and Ephrayim. Menashe means
Hashem caused him to forget the tribulations of his life.
Ephrayim means Hashem made Yosef fruitful in the land of his
oppression. What is the meaning of fruitful in the land of
oppression? The Jewish people’s presence in exile is for a
purpose. It is not simply a punishment or preparation for a
further stage. While in exile we have the capability to serve
Hashem from the depths of our souls more than in the times of
the Temple. The darkness brings forth our deepest powers. Using
those powers to their utmost will bring forth the ultimate great
light, the light of Moshiach.
Shabbat Shalom and Chanukah Sameach!
Dedicated in memory of Gittel Bat Shalom, Geri Fessler of
blessed memory. May she be bound in the bond of eternal life
with Hashem and may Hashem grant comfort, strength and
inspiration to her family and friends. As the lights of Chanukah
increase from day to day may the influence of her goodness
continuously illuminate the world and the hearts of all who
A project of Chabad of Great Neck
400 East Shore Rd. Great Neck NY 11024
516 487 4554 fax 516 487 4807
The Chanukah lights increase from day to day. Wouldn’t it be
great to convince one more Jew each day to light a Menorah?