The holiday of Hanukah is all about Light. In its essence it connects us to the concealed light of Creation ‘אור הגנוז’.
The sages tell us that the name of the holiday comes from the two words חנו and כה , ‘rested’ ’25’. It means that the Maccabees rested on the twenty fifth of the month of Kislev (Sagittarius) . On that day they finished the cleaning of the Holy Temple from the impurities that the Greeks brought into it. They also found pure oil with the seal of the High Priest to light the Menorah.
The purpose of the Menorah was to channel the Light from Binah to our world, Malchut. The Menorah has seven candles that were lit with pure oil that was examined and selected by the High Priest.
The first time the word “light” appears in the Torah is in the twenty fifth word of Genesis 1:3
“וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי אוֹר; וַיְהִי-אוֹר ”
“And God said: ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light. ”
The first light of Creation included within it the ability to see beyond time and space. We learn from the sages and the Zohar that God decided to reduce this light in order to limit its use because if people were to have access to the higher light, they might have used it for negative purposes. The light that was taken away is called “The Concealed Light”, “אור הגנוז”. It is reserved only for few righteous people living in this world and for the world to come that will be after the world is corrected and cleansed from all negativity.
This secret is revealed in the verse above. The two ‘Light’ are two different levels of light. After God said “Let there be light” it comes again “And there was light”. It was not because the Torah is surprised that God managed to create light with his words but because of the difference between the first ‘Light’ and the second light that came to be.
In every generation there are 36 righteous people that are special channels for the light of Creation to feed and sustain the world. The only opportunity we have, to come closer to this light is when we light the Chanukah candles. During the eighth day we light up 36 candles that connect us to the ‘Concealed Light’. It is very important to sit next to the candles and look at them in the first half an hour.
The eighth candle that we light on Hannukah is one more than what the Menorah in the Holy Temple had. This one is for the Level of Binah that is above the realm of this world. The eight days of Hannukah are called ‘Days of Binah’,’ימי בינה’. There are many secrets related to the ‘eighth’ as in the day of circumcision, the eight day of Sukkot that is the Joy of Torah. The day of Shavuot is one after the seven weeks and it is when we connect to Mount Sinai and the receiving of the Torah.
Another aspect of eight is revealed in the Zohar and it is connected to the word אז (Numerical value 8), ‘then’ as in the song of the sea “then Moses will sing” that Moses and the Israelites sang after crossing the Red Sea on their way to the Promised Land.
The Zohar used to be referenced as the book “יהי אור’ “Let there be light”. The name Zohar means “radiance of the Light”. The Zohar is our second level of connection to the ‘Concealed Light’.
The following Zohar section is from Tikkun 13 of the Tikunei Zohar. It connects us to the power of miracles and the level of Hod that is another secret in the correction of the left column (will explain in another time B”H).
May we all enjoy a happy and enlightening Hannukah
Read/ Scan this Zohar text everyday of Hannukah immediately after the lighting of the candles.
Click here to download the Zohar Text in PDF