The Ninth Day of Chanukah

by Rabbi Yaakov Asher Sinclair -
Why Aren't There 9 Days of Chanukah in Diaspora
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Why don't we keep nine days of Chanukah outside the Land of Israel?

After all, if in London and New York we keep eight days of Pesach as opposed to seven days in Israel, why don't we also add a day onto Chanukah? Come to think of it, why don't we also keep two days of Purim?

The Land of Israel is like a giant dynamo, pumping the spiritual energy that keeps the whole world turning. When a person is in Eretz Yisrael, he absorbs spirituality much more easily than in the rest of the world.

So, outside of the Land of Israel we are given a second festival day which helps us to absorb their holiness in a way that could not be achieved in one day alone.

This is the case with the Torah festivals of Pesach, Shavuot and Succot, which Hashem gave us. On these festivals, the holiness comes from above and reaches downward to the earth.

But Chanukah and Purim represent Israel's aspiration to lift itself out of this physical world toward the heavens - the striving from below upward.

Through our own deeds we earned the festivals of Chanukah and Purim. Thus, their sanctity is much more accessible to us. They are close to our inner soul and we are able to experience them equally, wherever we are in the world.

The lights of Chanukah are as bright for us in Los Angeles as they are in the Holy City of Jerusalem.

Source: Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov

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