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More or Less Candles?

Chanukah a celebration of positivity.

Chanukah Messengers

For various holidays, such as Nissan and Purim, messengers were sent from Jerusalem into the world to let people know when the new month and thus the holiday would begin. This also happened for Chanukah.

When the miracle of the oil occurred in 139 BCE, the Jews celebrated. The rabbis then declared that these eight days should become an annual holiday on the Jewish calendar. The following year, 138 BCE, Hanukkah was celebrated for the first time, complete with the lighting of the Hanukkah menorah.

However, the main emphasis in the beginning was on the lighting of the Menorah in the Temple. After the destruction of the Temple, it became a commandment for Jews to say the candles of the Menorah with the accompanying bracha/ blessing.

Shammai reduce the candles

We have the opinion of Shammai. This one teaches that we should turn away from evil and turn toward good. (Pslam 34:15). Just as at Sukkot, 13 bulls were brought on the first day, 12 bulls on the second day, 11 bulls on the third day, etc., so each day the sacrifices became fewer sacrifices because the people had become more repentant.

Hillel multiply the candles

The second opinion is of Hillel, which is followed today, that 1 candle is added every day. Repentance is important, but we should not dwell too long on the past, but immediately replace bad habits with new ones and thereby increase divine service and thus divine light.

The Rebbe explained that this teaching is illustrated in the verse "And these are the laws that you must set before them." (Ex. 21:1) The term "before them" means that a person should take the "positive" path to repentance and self- improvement.

Noahides, choose the positive path

Noahides may light the candles of the Chanukah Menorah, without the bracha/blessing. Add a candle each day, so that the focus on the positive changes are with yourself. How beautiful it is to think of something small each day at a candle, in which you could show positive growth.

See also the following Youtube about Chanukah and lightning the candles:

Brought By Angelique Sijbolts


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners and intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.




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Very well written Achoti! B"H! Thank you for sharing! I definitely like Hillel's perspective better! 😁 I'm glad that is the custom we follow!

I think that it is a beautiful concept that Noahides can learn so much from Chanukah and draw closer to HaShem by learning about it. Just as I fantasize about what it would have been like if all of Egypt repented and returned to the Laws of Noah during the 10 plagues, I also often fantasize about what it would have been like if the entire Greek Empire became Noahides. Can you imagine? They were THE elite Culture and Empire of that time.

How beautiful it would have been if the Greek Culture of that time…

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