The Jewish Eye
Bnei Yisaschar: Your Light Shines Bright Even If It Is Blown Out
The Halacha is that if you put enough oil in the Menorah to last the required time period, you have fulfilled your obligation even if it blows out right away. You are not even required to relight it. The Bnei Yisaschar is amazed by this Halacha. The whole Yom Tov of Chanukah revolves around the mitzva of Hadlakas Ner Chanukah, so how is it that the Halacha is so lenient about the candles blowing out? One would think that the flame must actually last for a specified period of time since the mitzva is all about Pirsumei Nisa, publicizing the Nes!
He answers that the light of the menorah represents the wisdom of Torah. Torah is very special in that when you work on it, it is never in vain. Even if after toiling in an area of torah for a long time you realize that your understanding is completely wrong, you still have the Sechar of Torah. Torah is about a "labor of love" and not results. The goal is the journey, not the finish line.
This says the Bnei Yisaschar is the secret to the burnt out flame. Torah shines a light onto the world. We say of a great tzaddik that his light shines from one end of the world to the other. What happens to us lesser people whose torah doesn't produce much light? Chanukah teaches us that even if your Torah is completely useless and it produces no light you still have the mitzva. If you put your heart into your learning no matter how wrong your conclusions are you have the entire Mitzva of Talmud Torah. So too paskens the Shulchan Aruch even if the light of your menorah doesn't shine as long as you poured your oil, your soul, your heart into it, Hashem considers it as dear as the light of the Menorah that gives off a beautiful glow.
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