Public displays of Chanukiot
December 4, 2020
Not every commandment is given a rabbinical justification as clear as that of the mitzvah (commandment) of lighting the Chanukah lights (whether they are candles or oil, which are both acceptable). The rabbis explain that we light them in order to publicize the miracle of the holiday (pirsumei nisa in Aramaic, the language of the Talmud).
This symbolic act shifted during the time of the rabbis from the lighting of a solitary candle each night of the holiday to the lighting of an increasing number of candles throughout the eight nights of Chanukah, according to the custom of the House of...