When Lights Are Not for Light

Rabbi Aviva Richman

The Absurdity—and Beauty—of Hanukkah Candles

The mitzvah of Hanukkah candles is a late, rabbinic innovation, yet it mimics one of the most ancient mitzvot, the lighting of the Menorah in the Mikdash (Temple). Both of these lights are sacred, not used for their light but rather just to be lit. What can we learn about Hanukkah from the Temple Menorah?