Daily Zohar # 1837 – Behaalotcha – How often do you light candles?
21. שָׁמַע רַבִּי יוֹסֵי וְשָׂמַח. בָּא אֶל רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר. אָמַר לוֹ רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר, נִכָּנֵס, שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא הִקְדִּימָנוּ הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה לְהַרְחִישׁ לָנוּ בְנִסִּים. נִכְנְסוּ. כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּכְנְסוּ, רָאוּ שְׁנֵי בְּנֵי אָדָם שֶׁהָיוּ עוֹסְקִים בַּתּוֹרָה. אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר, (תהלים לו) מַה יָּקָר חַסְדְּךָ אֱלֹהִים וּבְנֵי אָדָם בְּצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ יֶחֱסָיוּן. קָמוּ אֵלֶּה, וְיָשְׁבוּ כֻלָּם, וְשָׂמְחוּ כֻלָּם. אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר, מַה יָּקָר חַסְדְּךָ אֱלֹהִים, שֶׁמָּצָאנוּ אֶתְכֶם. חֶסֶד עָשָׂה לָנוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בְּמָקוֹם זֶה. עַכְשָׁו הַדְלִיקוּ נֵרוֹת.
This is a literal translation of paragraph 20 of the Zohar.
Rabbi Elazar, the son of Rabbi Shimon, and Rabbi Yossi were walking all day and when the night came and it turn dark they went up to a place and found a cave. Rabbi Elazar said “one will enter the cave to see if he could find a proper and better place.”
Rabbi Yossi entered and saw another cave with a light coming from a candle. He heard one voice saying “’When you mount the lamps, the seven lamps will give light in the front of the lampstand.'””. These words are a quote from the portion of Beha’alotcha, Numbers 8:2.
The assembly of Israel took light that the supernal mother is adorned with and all the candles illuminate from her light. Two fine flames soar from her. All the best men connect to the upper one and from there downwards.
The Torah is concealed under 70 levels. The Zohar reveals many secrets of the Torah but the secrets are still under some levels of concealment. The Zohar protects the energy revealed from the Torah from becoming available to those who have no merit for it.
Here is what the Zohar teaches us.
“בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ, אֶת-הַנֵּרֹת, אֶל-מוּל פְּנֵי הַמְּנוֹרָה, יָאִירוּ שִׁבְעַת הַנֵּרוֹת.”
“’When you mount the lamps, the seven lamps will give light in the front of the lampstand.’”
Rabbi ELazar and Rabbi Yossi were studying until they came to a difficult point. They agreed that one of them will make a deeper meditation to reveal the secret they were trying to reveal.
Rabbi Yossi found a light that is the explanation to the beginning of the portion of Beha’alotcha.
When the high priest prepares the Menorah (lamps), he sets the vessels in Malchut to receive the Light of Binah from the upper levels.
The seven candles of the Menora gather the light from its two sides, that are the aspects of Right and Left columns. The flames, like best men, support the connection between Malchut and Binah.
Rabbi Yossi was happy with this revelation and went back to Rabbi Elazar. They blessed God for the miracles revealed to them on that day and entered the new level of understanding. They saw two people studying the Torah. Rabbi Elazar quoted Psalms 36:8
“מַה-יָּקָר חַסְדְּךָ, אֱלֹהִים: וּבְנֵי אָדָם–בְּצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ, יֶחֱסָיוּן”
“How precious is Your loving kindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.”
All of them rose up from their seats to make a connection to each other, then they sat together to be as one in their studies.
Rabbi Elazar said: “Now light candles!”. As they study, the light of the candles connect the Light of Binah to Malchut and the study of Torah does just that.
With every study of the Zohar we light spiritual candles that help us draw the Light of Binah to our lives. We light the two candles of Shabbat for the same reason. When we light candles for Tzadikim we make connections to their souls, especially on the day of their passing (Hilulah).