The Jewish Eye
Rav Tzvi Meir Zilberberg: The Incredible Kedusha of Neiros Chanuka and Dealing With Reality
Have you ever heard Rav Tzvi Mayer Zilberberg talk about the kedusha of Neiros Chanukah? He can go on for hours. Groups and groups of malachim come to hear your bracha. The hidden light inside will strengthen your neshama. It is segula for Torah, tahara , and so much more. After listening to him your entire haldlaka is transformed. Your adrenaline rushes and you feel a sense of kedusha overcome you. You feel like the Kohen in the Bais HaMikdash.
Unfortunately we live in the real world and things aren't so simple. Life is not fantasy land nor is it Gan Eden. As we start our ascent into the stratosphere of Kedushas Hadlakas Ner and get ready to light the menorah some very earthly things may shock us back to reality. Your wife is on the telephone. Your kid is playing. No one prepared the candles. You ran out of wicks and your son was so busy he forgot to buy more. On and on goes the list of nightmare scenarios that turn into reality just as you are about to fill your soul with heavenly light.
Rav Tzvi Mayer, in all is kedusha, reminds us of a very clear gemara in Shabbos 23b that says, "PSHITA LI Ner Beiso V'Ner Chanukah, Ner Beiso Adif, Mipnei Shalom Bayso", although Ner Chanukah is so important that the Shulchan Aruch paskens (OC671:1) that you must sell the shirt off your back to purchase oil, nevertheless it is so obvious and undebatable that Ner Shabbos comes first because that is a matter of Shalom Bayis. It is clearly more important to maintain the peace and keep your cool than to bitterly lash out at those who ruined your "moment".
So don't be confused. Although Chanukah is an opportunity that comes around once a year and the Rambam (Chanukah 4:12)uses the rare language that it is a Mitzva "Chaviva Hi Ad Me'od" a dear and precious mitzva, do not forget that all this takes a back seat to shalom bayis (which the Rambam himself mentions two halachos later). So when the people around you try to "steal" your Chanukah from you, just smile and know that Hashem sent you and opportunity even greater than the "precious" and Holy mitzva of Ner Chanukah!
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