The Shikkerdovid is in Israel for a “Shavua Aleph” of learning. This morning during a moment of mussar the Rabbi at Bircas Hatorah gave an interesting thought to support Beit Shammai’s opinion that we light candles starting with 8 candles on the first night and diminishing to one candle on the last night. The famous and accepted opinion is Beit Hillel who says we start with one and go to 8 on the last night,
The Rabbi explained Beit Shammai as follows: it is human nature to be excited and full of energy and intensity the first time something is done such as a mitzvah. It is human nature for excitement or intensity to diminish as one repeats or does something repeatedly. This is Beit Shammai- the realization of the human experience. It is the fact of our experience. However, we follow Hillel because the work of the Jew is to find intensity, energy and joy in doing mitzvoth repeatedly, or the idea of “ma’alin bikodesh” going up in holiness.