Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted:December 9, 2015
It is not coincidental that the portion Miketz falls during Chanukah, because there is a great correlation between the Light and wisdom of Miketz and the Light of Chanukah. At the most simple level, we know the story in the Torah is that Joseph is in jail, he is in the lowest place, in the greatest darkness, and this portion begins with the moment that great darkness becomes great Light; it is the beginning of the process of the transformation from complete darkness into complete Light… which is also the Light of Chanukah. And no matter what place a person might find themselves in before Chanukah, the Light of Chanukah has the same power as the portion of Miketz, which is the ability to propel an individual from the lowest darkness to the greatest Light.
It is one thing to be in a dark place and slowly climb out, but that is not what happened with Joseph, and that is not what Chanukah is about. Chanukah is not about an assistance to climb out of the darkness, but rather the ability to be completely propelled in one second from the lowest depths to the greatest Light; that is what Chanukah is about and also what Miketz is about. What was it that enabled Joseph to go from that state of greatest darkness to greatest Light, and what, therefore, is also the Light within Chanukah that we can ask for?
There is a concept which says the Creator does not give Light except to those who are thirsty. Which means if a person comes to the Creator and says, "Everything is pretty much okay, but I would like some assistance in this area,” the Light does not come in. The Light only comes in when the individual is desperate, when he is thirsty, when he comes to the Creator and says, "I am desperate, I am completely thirsty, I have not drank in years, and I desperately need water and I desperately need Light."
What does it mean to be spiritually thirsty? It means that the individual comes to a true appreciation of his lack. We have to ask ourselves - how much are we lacking? If we look at our lives and our spiritual development, are we clear on how desperately we need the assistance of the Light of the Creator, on how much lack we have in our life?
When the Creator desired to give the Light of Immortality to the world, it says that Moses went up to the Heavens and was with the Creator for 40 days and 40 nights. There is a story that when Moses went up to the Heavens, the angels wanted to harm him, and they asked the Creator, "How can a human being be here among us, the pure forms of angels?" The Creator, it is interesting, does not say "I will answer them," or "I will protect you." Rather, He says, "Moses, you have to give them an answer." The angels were saying, "Do not give the Torah to humans. Let that great Light remain here in the Heavens; do not send it down into the world." And Moses tells the angels, "Only to human beings can the Light of the Torah be given, because you angels do not have any desperate need, you do not have any desperate lack."
This is the secret of the answer that the Creator told Moses to tell the angels. We can receive the Light of the Creator, which is represented by what is called the Torah, the great Light of the Creator that can bring Immortality to the world, because we have been, or still are, under the subjugation of the force of the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone and all the darkness that comes with that. And only because we experience that darkness, can we receive the Light of the Creator. The Light of the Torah, the Light of the Creator, comes to us when we know that we cannot live without It; whereas, the angels are always with the Light of the Creator.
In the relationship between an individual and the Light of the Creator, if the individual thinks, "I will get a little bit more Light from the Creator," then the person does not get Light. But if a person thinks, "I cannot live today without the Creator giving me some more Light," then the Creator gives the individual Light. And that is why, again, the angels cannot receive the Torah; yes, they want the Light of the Creator as an addition to their Light, but they don’t desperately need it. That is also why the Creator said to Moses, "Tell the angels they do not deserve the Torah, they cannot receive the Light;” because they do not have a desperate need and lack, and, therefore, they cannot receive the Light of the Torah.
This brings us back to Joseph. We know the whole story of the Torah is not a physical story of Joseph being in jail. He came to the state where he said, "I am in the lowest place." The Torah uses the word "dungeon," but what it means is that the consciousness of Joseph came to a state where he said, "I have nothing. I desperately need the Light of the Creator." What happens when he comes to that state? As the Zohar tells us, "All darkness ends right away." Any other consciousness that Joseph would have had would not have brought Miketz, would not have brought an end to the darkness. It is only because Joseph realized he is in the lowest place and was completely lacking that the end of darkness came in a second.
The process a person goes through who thinks he has any bit of Light and wants a little bit more can take years and years. But Joseph merited going from the lowest place to the highest place in one second because he knew he was in the lowest place. If we come to a true understanding of what we lack and how much we lack, the Light will come in. We need to say to the Creator, "Awaken me to the understanding of my great lack, and how I, like Joseph, am in the lowest place.” Because then, we get all the Light, and we get the complete transformation in a moment.