For Jews living outside Israel the experience of Hanukkah is quite different. The X-mas holiday, which is perfectly marketed as a gift giving holiday, is celebrated by most of the world. You see decorations everywhere. Houses, stores, public buildings etc. The most significant decoration element is light. Lots of lights. They celebrate on the 25th of December, we celebrate on the 25th of Kislev, the 9th month at the level of Yessod where all the light comes to the world.
We want to connect to the light of Hanukkah because the energy of miracles is manifested in this month. The moon, like a mirror, reflects the light form the Sun and we follow the correct cosmic days to draw the energy. Hanukkah is unique because it is spread over two months, Kislev and Tevet to signify the power of renewal that is in this month and holiday.
The miracle holidays of Hanukkah and Purim are related to Netzach and Hod, the two Sefirot that define the vessel. In both holidays, the miracles happened because the desire to have the light beyond the fear of death was awakened. Mordecai in Shushan was not afraid for himself or for the other Jews, because he knew that without the light, life could exist only as submission to the negative side.
The Maccabees didn’t think about their lives. As priests they knew that if they don’t go back to the Holy Temple to restore services to draw the light, the whole world will suffer and fall into darkness.
The great desire from below, Malchut, created a huge vessel and affinity with Netzach and Hod. This and together with the power of the month of Kislev, Yessod opened the central column to draw the light of Keter to make the miracles.
The Hanukkah candles should be lit in full light. We should not use the menorah as a ‘physical’ light source because that is not its purpose. We should look at the light of the candles and/or stay near them for at least 30 minutes to meditate and connect to this special energy. Meditate on renewal and especially to see the Third Holy Temple in its place to channel light for the whole world.
When we sing the song Ma’oz Tzur, which has a lot of secrets in it, we builds the vessel to draw the spiritual light from the candles that we just lid. We should focus especially on the sixth (Yessod) and last part.
חֲשׂוֹף זְרוֹעַ קָדְשֶׁךָ וְקָרֵב קֵץ הַיְשׁוּעָה
|Bare Your holy arm and hasten the End for salvation –
Avenge the vengeance of Your servants’ blood from the wicked nation.
For the triumph is too long delayed for us, and there is no end to days of evil,
Repel the Red One in the nethermost shadow and establish for us the seven shepherds.
It asks for the revelation of the light to remove the negativity from the world and awaken the seven shepherds for us. This analogy is parallel to the seven lights of the Menorah in the Holy Temple and also to the seven chariots to the seven Sefirot; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aharon, Joseph and David. They are considered sleeping and when the time comes, the Creator will wake them up to channel the whole system of the Sefirot in full light forever.