Friday, May 20, 2022

Chagigah 11: The Lamp of Hashem

On this daf, we find a halacha regarding sacrifices.

One of the many things compared to a sacrifice is lighting a lamp in a shul.

Tosafos (Bava Basra 8a) writes that although we do not accept charity from non-Jews, we do accept candles or oil to light in shul. These lamps are like sacrifices to Hashem, which we accept from non-Jews.

Rav Chaim Palagi writes at length about the greatness of light in shul. “The Pesikta reveals that one who pays to light a shul is protected from on High, since the soul is compared to a candle.

“In Bamidbar Rabbah, we find that a lamp is greater than a sacrifice. A sacrifice is only brought when we have a Bais Hamikdosh, while candles can always be brought. The reason Shaul’s father merited a son who became king was due to lighting candles in shul.”

The Peleh Yoetz has a different version: “It is well known that Shaul became king because his ancestor did kindness with others, lighting dark passageways and the like.”

The Kitzur HaShelah reveals an important segulah in this regard: “One who has a child who is dangerously ill should accept upon him or herself to donate candles to the bais haknesses each year on the child’s birthday. In the merit of this, Hashem will send the child a speedy recovery.”

The Kav Hayoshor further expands on this theme: “Many sources discuss the greatness of a candle lit for a mitzvah. These lights are precious before Hashem and have boundless holiness. This is true of a light lit to perform any mitzvah. How much more dear are lights that enable people to learn Torah. Mitzvah lights assist one’s neshamah in many ways” (Yafeh L’lev, #151; Kitzur HaShelah, Inyonei Bais Haknesses; Peleh Yoetz, Hadlakah; Kav Hayoshor, Chapter 96)

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