Difference between Bais Shamai and Bais Hillel
Hillel and Shamai
There are two schools of Talmudic law; one is Beis Hillel, of Hillel and his students, the other is Beis Shamai, of Shamai and his students. Beis Hillel usually rules leniently while Beis Shamai usually rules strictly. We usually rule according to the opinion of Beis Hillel, because their lenient rulings are in accordance to the present, imperfect state of the world.
The Arizal revealed, that when Mashiach will come, we will rule according to the opinion of Beis Shamai. Their rulings resonate with the supernatural, heavenly era of Mashiach, when
evil will not exist. For now, in a world were evil does exists, we cannot rule according to their opinion, because it leaves no room for imperfection.
Beis Shamai maintains that one should light eight candles on the first night of Chanukah, seven on the second and so forth. He places the most importance on the first night of Chanukah
and insists we stress its essence by lighting all eight candles - which demonstrates miraculous nature of Chanukah most clearly.
Beis Hillel maintains that, to the contrary, one should lights one candle on the first night, two on the second and so forth until the last night, when all eight candles should be lit. According to them, it is the last day of Chanukah, which is ‘Zos Chanukah’, that is the epitome of Chanukah.
Shiurei Harav Wolfson, shlita