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Chanukah Explained

Topic: Holidays & Time Zones | Posted:December 19, 2011

Question:
Besides lighting menorahs and giving gifts, is there any deeper meaning to the holiday of Chanukah?

Answer:
Kabbalistically, the purpose of a holiday is not merely to commemorate historical events or to continue a tradition. It's a time when a particular spiritual channel becomes available for us to connect with the Light of the Creator.

These channels are gifts given to us by the spiritual giants of previous generations. By their positive actions they created spiritual viaducts through which Light from the Upper Worlds enters our physical realm, reappearing each year at the same time.

The Israelites who lived during the age of the original Chanukah were willing to go beyond all limits to combat the powers of negativity in order to allow the revelation of the Light of the Creator. Their selfless dedication revealed the Light of miracles, thereby making the channel of miracles available for every one of us to connect to during the holiday of Chanukah.

It is important to realize that we all need miracles all the time. If we endeavor to develop spiritually, to transform our natures, we need the assistance of the Creator, which is given to us in this time through the power of miracles.

But miracles are not just the remarkable out of the ordinary things that happen when we pray for them. As my father and teacher The Rav constantly reminds us, the greatest miracles are the ones we do not see.

During the eight days of Chanukah we are given the free gift to draw the light and power of every type of miracle into our life. How do we open this gift? The Kabbalists teach that we need to do physical actions in order to awaken and draw spiritual Light.

The actions we do on this holiday were established centuries ago, following the destruction of the Holy Temple. At that time, there was almost no oil found to light the Temple's candelabra. The little that was found was only enough to light for one day, but because of the people's sincere desire to light the candelabra, that small amount of oil remained, burning for eight days, enough time for them to prepare more oil.

This is one of the reasons why lighting the candles of a candelabra (using oil instead of a wick) was established as the primary tool to reveal and draw to ourselves the great light of miracles. Great spiritual light flows out of the physical flames of the candelabra.

It is for this reason that we do not simply light the candles but rather stay by them for at least a half hour in order to absorb this awesome Light.

One of the basic principles of Kabbalah is the amount of Light which any spiritual action reveals is dependent on our understanding of its power. Therefore, as we light the candles each night of Chanukah, it is important that we think of the great Light that we are revealing. It is this understanding coupled with the physical lighting that draws to us the Light of miracles.

Once we understand the power and opportunity of Chanukah, we begin to appreciate the great gift available to us during this beautiful time of the year.

This holiday, I wish you many blessings and miracles!

Blessings & Light,

Michael Berg


Additional Resources

  • How To Light Chanukah Candles (with Diagrams): English & Spanish
  • The Light of Chanukah - Consciousness & Scanning: English & Spanish
  • To watch Kabbalah University lessons on Chanukah, click here.
  • Order the Chanukah Song Book with Candle Lighting as an eBook/PDF here.

 

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