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Shalom Bayis, Torah and the Menorah of Peace

The Rambam makes the following fascinating observation upon his conclusion of the halachos of Chanukah, in his Mishneh Torah.

If one has insufficient funds for both Shabbos candles and for Chanukah candles, or for Shabbos candles and wine for Kiddush, Shabbos candles take precedence, because of the shalom bayis—the peace and domestic tranquility within the home and family, which they bring into the home.  The peace within the home is so important that only in the case of a Sota (Trial of the Bitter WatersNumbers 5: 18-27) the holy name of G-d Name is erased, in order to foster peace between a man and his wife.

At which point, the Rambam concludes with the following beautiful words. Peace is exceedingly great, for the entire Torah was given in order to foster peace in the world. As it says:

Her ways are ways of beauty, and all her paths are peace. (Proverbs 3:17)

One Chanukah eve, a holy rabbi waited a long time in lighting his Menorah, even though the preferable time for lighting the Menorah had already passed.  His students became impatient and wondered why was there such a delay.

It was not until his wife arrived that the holy rabbi lit his Menorah with great joy and happiness.

Chanukah Night1

Later, the holy rabbi was asked why he had waited for his wife, since, according to the Halacha (Jewish law), a man can light the Menorah in behalf of his wife, even in her absence. The holy rabbi explained to his anxious students that he was aware of that halacha. However, he knew that his wife always looked forward eagerly to this mitzvah, and she would be deeply hurt if he kindled the Menorah without her. Afterall was not Chanukah miracles brought about by the greatness of women? He therefore waited for her to return.

The ways of Torah are, indeed, ways of beauty and of peace.

May all your tales end with Shalom (peace)

Torah Tree of Life

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Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation. (Joel 1:3) Please share this story with others and feel free to comment or join in a conversation

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Shalom Bayis, Torah and the Menorah of Peace


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