Candle Lighting: 5:13PM
Torah Portion: Miketz
Eighth Candle of Hanukah
From our Sages: Hillel says: On the first day of Hanukah, one candle should be lit. Each subsequent night one candle is added, so that there are eight lights (Talmud: Shabbat: 21b).
Why not light eight candles every night?
Hillel teaches us two things. First, we must always seek to increase our enlightenment and not be stagnant. We should never be satisfied with whatever spiritual growth we have achieved, but should constantly seek to further our growth.
Secondly, it is a mistake to grasp too much too fast. Spiritual growth should be gradual, and we should adapt ourselves to each new level and integrate what we have achieved before going on to the next step. Overreaching can cause us to be top heavy, and our spirituality may be tenuous. Gradual growth provides us with a more firm foundation.
Eight lights the first night would be too much and too soon, and each night thereafter would show no increase in light.