Being Jews, even joyful occasions are bound to inspire three or four hundred different opinions on how to celebrate. Chanukah is no exception. A halachic dispute between the Rema and the Taz in regards to menorah-lighting leads us into a discussion on the secret to “keeping the love alive” both in our family relationships and in our Jewishness.
A short story by Somerset Maugham, the celebrated English writer, dramatically illustrates the pitfalls of a relationship taken for granted. Can the father who spends little time with his children all year make up for it with an extravagant vacation once a year? Can the husband who all year is self-absorbed compensate by buying his wife an extravagant anniversary gift?
In the long run, the fate of the Jewish people resides with the fate of the Jewish family — the love and loyalty between husband and wife, and the way parents transmit to children the sacred values by which they live. This is the stuff that determines the destiny of the Jewish people.