At the end of Hilchos Chanukah, the Rambam brings down an interesting ruling. He says, if a person has only enough money to buy and kindle one candle (either a Chanukah candle or a Shabbos candle), he should forgo the Chanukah candle and use the money to purchase a Shabbos candle to light in his home. When there is light in the home and light at the Shabbos table it promotes shalom bayis and harmony.
Our rabbis give another reason for lighting a candle before Shabbos – when one can see what he eats, it becomes more enjoyable, which increases Oneg Shabbos and makes for a more satisfying Shabbos meal. Seeing your food, especially its color, plays a big role in the enjoyment of Shabbos and even the taste of the food. Read about the impact of color on our plates in Rabbi Gornish’s fascinating article about food colorants and the role they play in the food industry and the kosher certification process. See for yourself the truth in the saying, “You eat with your eyes!”
In this issue you can also join us as we head up to the kosher world of Alaska where you will see that it’s not just the Chanukah candles spreading light and warmth in Anchorage. The stove in one of the only kosher kitchens there is doing its part as well!
Just as the small amount of pure oil in the menorah of the Bais HaMikdash endured for eight days and nights, many of us need to “burn the midnight oil” and keep going long after we are tired. People turn to energy drinks to help them make it through these marathon days. Read about the dynamic energy drink industry and the challenges faced in certifying these drinks.
Whether you are planning a beautiful Chanukah party, sitting by your menorah, or running around to finish those last items on your “To Do” list, this issue of Kosher Spirit has an article for you.
Wishing you a Freilichen Chanukah filled with light, warmth and energy!
Rabbi Chaim Fogelman