Shabbat candles are lit before dark. They are lit inside our home. By contrast, Chanukah's candles send a light into the darkness of the night, and near a window facing out into the street.
Shabbat candles bring light within, but the Chanukah lights go further, also transforming the darkness outside.
The Chanukah Lights remind us in a most obvious way that illumination begins at home, within oneself and one’s family, by increasing and intensifying the light of God’s Word in the everyday experience, even as the Chanukah Lights are kindled in growing numbers from day to day. But though it begins at home, it does not stop there. Such is the nature of light that when one kindles a light for one’s own benefit, it benefits also all who are in the vicinity. Indeed, the Chanukah Lights are expressly meant to illuminate the “outside,” symbolically alluding to the duty to bring light also to those who, for one reason or another, still walk in darkness.
Yeshua said, “I am the light of the world.”
Then he said, Matthew 5:14-16
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
These words are so appropriate for the lighting of the 4th Hanukkah candle on this Shabbat evening.
Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.
Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.
* Special appreciation to www.chabad.org for Hanukkah resources and music by Itzhak Perlman.