Jewish Soul Journey


              Chanukah, unlike the Yomim Tovim, seemingly
requires very little of us; we are not asked to refrain from most of our daily
tasks. We achieve this zeman’s spiritual goal by lighting the menorah on each
of the eight nights of  Chanukah,  at the appointed time, and in so doing we declare
the ability of  the compassionate Creator
to rekindle our (neshamos) souls even as we experience the depths of  galus.

What is the theological “technology” that enables  a relatively small flame that burns only  for a brief period of time to light up the “spiritual
darkness” that envelops the world?

  It is well
documented that light and sound can have a profound effect upon the human
psyche, affecting health and mood. 
Alternative medical practitioners, utilizing these principles, have
developed light-wave and sound-wave therapies which are growing in popularity. It
is claimed that these therapies allow the body and psyche to “re-balance and
realign” themselves.

To us, as Jews this should come as no surprise as
we have been blessed  with the holy Torah
that has guided us with the inner secret wisdom of spiritual rectification at
its source– at the level of soul. Thus we begin our year on Rosh Hashanah with
a unique (mitzvah) commandment in that through listening to the sounds of the
shofar we become spiritually retuned in harmony with the Creator’s  “blueprint”, in plan and purpose, for our
neshamas.  This supernal “sound wave
therapy” helps to guide us in our spiritual journey throughout the New Year.

Due to the harshness of the long galus, Chazal
have added to our “prescriptions” of spiritual antidotes, a subtle but highly
effective “lazer light wave therapy.” The precisely directed (neiros) lights of
Chanukah possess the inner illuminating power to dispel even the most obscurant

         Now let us examine more closely the flames
of  Chanukah and their profound symbolism.  Chanukah represents a bonding of the
spiritual with the physical, as seen through the menorah holding the oil and
the wick as the flame hovers above. What is the significance of the flame
always ascending upward above the wick, the oil and the menorah? This is a physical
expression of a spiritual truth that reveals the relationship between the neshama
and the (guf) body.  Even as the flame
hovers over the wick and the oil unlocking their energy bringing  forth a radiant light into this world, so too
the neshamah infuses the body with lofty goals that reveal spiritual treasures
previously hidden within the creation. Without the fuel, the wick and the
menorah – the flame would not exist but without the flame – the fuel, wick and
menorah would remain inert elements.

what does this compare?  When Moshe Rabbanu
ascended to Heaven to receive the Torah, the angels protested saying that the
Torah should remain  in Heaven.   Moshe responded that the mitzvoth of the
Torah could only be fulfilled in this world by human beings that were given (bechira)
freedom of choice.         This means
that down here on earth there are certain “spiritually conducive atmospheric
conditions” that don’t exist in the heavens.

                 Through this
mitzvah of kindling the light of 
Chanukah beginning from 25th of Kislev, (which is
alluded to by the 25th word of the Torah being – ohr – light)
we our privileged to tap into the “light from Above” – the (Ohr ha-Ganuz)
hidden light. This supernal beneficence at this auspicious time brings with it
insight, clarity and purification.

yes, before we conclude, let us also not forget to enjoy and appreciate the
latkes or other fried foods that will be served on Chanukah. This custom
celebrates the role of the flask of pure oil found in the restored Bais
Hamikdash. Shemen zayis symbolizes wisdom. Perhaps by eating these foods fried
in shemen zayis on Chanukah we are simultaneously proclaiming, as well as
benefiting from the plentiful flow of Divine wisdom that is available at this
auspicious time.

(Shemen zayis is the desirable component of one of the praised seven
fruits of Eretz Israel (shivas ha-minim). It is obtained by squeezing the
olives with intense pressure. A well know (moshal) example compares the
potential within each Jew to the untapped value with the olive, in that our
best achievements are often produced when we are under pressure to meet a
challenge.)                      May our
eight day dosage of ner Chanukah’s “supernal illumination” revitalize us, helping
to dispel the “darkness” of (galus) the exile and ushering in  the long awaited final (Geulah) redemption, shining
in radiant splendor, soon in our days.     

All articles appearing on this blog are copyrighted by Rabbi Yehoshua Binyamin Falk. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to share/download/copy this information as long as it is accompanied by the copyright. Separately authored/copyrighted materia

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