ChanukahWomen & Judaism

A Woman is a Hanukkiah of Light that Adds More Light Each Day

I must confess I wasn’t too special last week. I got a bit angry and the atmosphere at home totally changed. My older children were quiet and the little ones began to quarrel, I started getting angry and my husband turned inward to himself and it was most certainly unpleasant. What was even funny was when I asked my husband “why is everyone so maddeningly quiet? What happened?”

He answered me something totally astounding; “the wife/mother decrees and the house fulfills it.”

These words went off ringing in my head like a thousand alarms- what an accurate assessment of the situation. Because of that sentence I decided to write:

A Mezuzah on the right doorpost and a Hanukkiah (for those who light in their entrance) on the left doorpost- this is true all year, not only on Hanukkah.

What do I mean? Hanukkah is after all a weekday holiday. G-d comes down to you and helps gather the light trapped in the weekdays for you, the light concealed in routine. He lights it up for you along with the light of your Hanukkiah which adds more light each day (another candle is added each day of Hanukkah).

How much light do you have hiding in dark corners? How much light there is concealed in specifically in the routine of daily life? And this is the time to make Hanukkah “Hanu- Kaf Hei” a resting encampment on the 25th of Kislev.

“Hanu”- to stop and make an encampment: to sit down and contemplate. About what? About ‘Kah’ in your life. What does ‘kah’ mean? Here and now. Do you understand this? Contemplate on the here and now of your life and light it up. Even if there are bad parts of the here and now you must put them into context as part of a whole beautiful picture (and don’t focus exclusively on the bad).

In Judaism the root ‘ra’ bad is also the root of portion or part of something complete. Like a shaky bridge (Raua) or the short shofar blast teruah which are actually small segments of a larger shofar blowing. Anything that seems Ra bad is really only a portion of a greater whole which is actually beautiful. All our life is actually like a puzzle made of small parts some nicer and some less so. But when they all come together to complete the whole picture it comes out beautiful and unique!  

So this is the time to stop and go into your woman/mother mode and create the ambience for the atmosphere of the whole house and all its light are revealed through you. Then it proceeds to light up the rest of the house. As my husband defined it: “The wife/mother decrees and the house fulfills it”.

When you collect the points of light, smile and create a positive atmosphere, when you’re happy and upbeat, everyone in the house is happy and calm. But if you’re feeling low you lower the whole house and if you’re sad you sadden the whole house.


A woman is a Hanukkiah of light, steadily increasing light, increasing in your faith, in hope, in love, (in weight), and mainly going forward burning brighter and not lower. As much as you’ve learned from life’s experiences, always remember that you are a Hanukkiah.

“A Mezuzah on the right doorpost and the Hanukkiah on the left one”. Open your door with a great big hello for all guests entering and also open in to let faith come in.  Create an atmosphere, make music, doughnuts, floor puzzles, dancing and singing and a lot of hugs and kisses.

That Hanukkah is the light that you put into it is something your family will never forget and in the puzzle of your life the Hanukkah parts will burn bright and illuminate in your own unique way engraved forever in your family’s hearts. It’ll never get lost (unlike puzzle pieces that sometimes get lost and ruin the puzzle)!

Happy Hanukkah! With Love, Chagit Shirah


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