When we give something that we own to someone else, by definition, we lose the object. This means there is some type of loss involved in the giving. Often, the loss we experience is offset by the joy that we experience by seeing this object in the hands of its new owner.
Rabbi Schuck goes on to explain how the light of the candle enables us to give on a different level:
Light is different. When you light a candle, the light of the candle fills the room; it enables us to see things that would otherwise remain unseen in the dark. Despite the giving of the candle, the light is not diminished. It is one of the few exceptions to the rule of giving. A candle gives and gives, it illuminates everything in its vicinity, but loses nothing. We stand before the candles and we are bathed in their light. There is no shame in taking that light. The more of it we take, the more we will then emit. We will be moved, in a sense, to imitate the candles and learn how to give without feeling loss, without feeling that in some way we are diminished by the act of giving. This is very difficult, but it is a path on which those who work to refine their moral character must set out.
Read all of Rabbi Schuck’s “Hanukkah Thoughts for 5768” on his blog.
My family joins me in wishing everyone a Chag Urim Sameach – a very happy Hanukkah!