Topic: Holidays & Time Zones | Posted:November 28, 2011
We are now entering the month of miracles, and soon opening the gift of Chanukah, referred to by kabbalists this way because there is almost nothing required of us.
It is simply a gift. All that’s required is the desire and knowledge to receive it. On other holidays there are many prayers, meditations, and physical actions designed for drawing the Light.
At Chanukah, we light candles with a few short prayers, and that’s all. This is because the Light at Chanukah is so elevated and so powerful that there is almost nothing that we need to do in order to draw it.
There is a story about one of the great kabbalists who asked people who came to him with their problems if they would write down their names and the difficulties they were facing on a piece of paper. The sage would then meditate on what had been written.
One day, a man came to the master with two pieces of paper: one was his own piece of paper and the other was a paper from one of his friends. First he gave his own paper, and the kabbalist looked at it and meditated on his name.
Then the man handed over his friend’s paper. The kabbalists looked at it and said, “I see that this man’s soul is shining with tremendous Light.” He meditated on the friend’s name and prayed for him. A few months later, the same man came back to the kabbalist.
Again, he presented the kabbalist with both his own name and that of his friend for the kabbalist to pray and meditate on.
But this time when the kabbalist looked at the friend’s name, he literally threw it out of his hands, shouting, “How could you bring me this man’s name? He’s such a negative person. I don’t even want his name in my house!”
The visitor replied, “I’m very confused. A few months ago, I gave you that same person’s name and you told me that his soul was shining with tremendous Light. Now you tell me that he’s a terribly negative person?”
The kabbalist thought for a few moments, then said, “I understand what happened. A few months ago when you first came in with that person’s name, he was lighting the candles for Chanukah.
When a person lights the candles on Chanukah, no matter how negative he is and no matter how many negative actions he’s done, the Light of Chanukah shines in his soul. Unfortunately, your friend didn’t continue that connection with the Light when Chanukah was over.
He gave it up. Now I see the true darkness in his soul.” The lesson for us all is to understand the immense power of Chanukah and the concealed Light it reveals. The more we appreciate how powerful this is and what it can do, the more we can bring it into our lives.
Once we believe our power to be a channel for the Light of the Creator, there is nothing that is beyond us. Now we can draw on the energy of Chanukah to remove the negative, insidious voice that tells us we are helpless, that we can’t do great things.
As the kabbalists explain, every single one of us is destined to become a limitless conduit for the Light of the Creator. Lighting the Chanukah candles shows us what our purpose in the world really is. It is to have the Light of the Creator in our lives at all times.
It is to illuminate candle after candle, and ultimately to bring the removal of all darkness forever.