Our tradition teaches, “The flame of God is the soul of the human being.” Paradoxically, as firefighters extinguished rousing flames, the Baal Shem Tov explains that we bring kindness into the world by igniting a spark and creating a flame in our soul.
There is a difference between a Shabbat candle and a Hanukkah candle. The Shabbat candle should be used to enjoy, oneg Shabbat, celebration and delight. Hanukkah is meant to stare into the flame. We are even prohibited to use the light for other purposes.
The word for candle is ner, spelled with two letter, nun and resh. The Sefat Emet teaches these letters stand for nefesh and ruach, soul and spirit.
As the days get shorter in our darkest time of year, may we look into the flames of our Judaism and rediscover our soul and spirit to engage in the holy work of fixing our broken world.