Chanuka I

More than preparing lamps, wicks, oil and a suitable place for lighting our lights in the coming days of Chanuka, we need to prepare our thoughts.

What does this little flame represent for us? Why is it so important? Fire we know provides us with light and warmth. It powers our vehicles and appliances. Where does it fit in with regards to Chanuka?

We know historically, that a great darkness fell on the Jewish people in those days. The light of Chanuka represents a cure for this darkness. Likewise, for us in our hectic lives, it represents a solution to our every problem...

    Chanuka II

The holy Temple stood in Yerushalayim for many years. With heaven's help, it will yet again stand tall in Yerushalayim. One way we connect with it is by seeing how it represents the human body and its parts.*

A few ideas are as follows:

The fires that burned on the main altar correspond to our stomachs that digest the food we eat, converting it into energy. The hot coals burning the incense on the smaller golden altar correspond with our sense of smell. And the small lights dancing on top of the golden menorah, represent our eyes -- our physical eyes, as well as our inner eye -- which see and interpret the world around us.

Our eyes show us the beauty of the world. At a deeper level, they show us the beauty of the world's Creator. And at a still deeper level, they show us the special mission our Creator prepares for us. The ability to see this mission lights up our worlds.

Our enemies wish to gouge out our spiritual eyes. With the lights of Chanuka, we protect and heal them.

    Chanuka III

We hear holocaust stories of Jews sacrificing their lives to light Chanuka candles. More than protecting them, we can say, this light inspired them. It connected them to a source of hope and rescue. It provided them with a rationale to their suffering.

Likewise for us, the Chanuka lights provide a connection to higher realities. Think of it as a pinprick of light emanating from a place that is all light. Through this light, and with prayer, study and thought, we connect and enter worlds of beauty.

Our lives are more materialistic than those who were living in concentration camps. Accordingly, our need to connect with the heavens is greater. Let's not wait for troubles before we turn to our Creator.

* Malbim, Parshas Truma

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