The oil the wick and the vessel provide the three essential components to light the flame of the Chanukah candle. How was this candle first kindled?
The candle was lit through the dedication and the sacrifice of the men of faith, who rejected the secular philosophy of the Greeks. The Greeks relied on external logic and rationality as the basis of their thought, whereas the way of the Jew is the way of faith in the Goodness of the Almighty. Often God’s way is hidden from us, and we cannot see or understand His goodness. But the miracle of Chanukah, when the candle stayed alight in a way which no cold logic could have predicted is an open revelation of God’s light. That was the miracle.
In this letter, Rabbi Baruch Shlaom Ashlag looks at the components of the candle from their inner perspective and teaches how this miracle may be kindled in our own lives, thought our faith and service to God.
This podcast is based on a letter of Rabbi Baruch Shalom Halevei Ashlag taken from the book Bircat Shalom, Mamarim bavodat HaShem al derech haemet.
Dedicated for a Refuah Shlemah to Chava bat Shifra Hinde
Other talks on the inner meanings of Chanukah
The triumph of the soul over the ego
What is a miracle?
The Chanukah candle placed outside the house for all to enjoy and see the miracle
Rabbi Ashlag looks at the details of the laws of Chanukah as explained in the Talmud and teaches a wealth of inner work as he elucidates their inner meaning.
We are taught by the Sages of the Gemorrah that the Chanukah candle should be placed outside the house opposite the side of the mezuzah
in the doorway.
Rabbi Ashlag teaches that this detail actually teaches about the root of the spiritual light of Chanukah when God gave the people of Israel a miracle over the Greeks in those days. But what does this mean for us now? When we try to give to others or to God unconditionally we find that many obstacles lie in our path. But the most difficult to overcome is our own inner adversaries.Our own inner Greeks, who represent our rational mind that opposes faith. We find that much as we want to we are unable to overcome our own selves. Finally we realize we need God to reveal His light to us just as He did in these days to our forefathers and show us a miracle. The inner miracle of Chanukah.
From the Bircat Shalom Sefer HaMaamarim of Rabbi Baruch Shalom Ashlag
Other talks on chanukah:
Faith: Torah from the Years of Fury
Chanukah: The Triumph of the Soul over the Ego
Chanukah: What is a miracle?
No one can or should remain untouched by the tragic events at Newtown Connecticut. Some people in their grief and anguish ask ” But why did God allow this to happen?” It is hard to feel the love of God in such times and to have faith in His Name that He is Good and does Good to all.
The holy Rabbi of Pieczetsna, Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, taught his community during the last years of the Warsaw Ghetto. A witness to the daily murder of innocent men, women and children, he faced this issue of faith in God in the worst of all imaginable circumstances. He did not survive the war, but in a miraculous way some of his teachings did. When it was clear the ghetto was doomed, he hid the teachings in a milk churn, buried beneath the rubble. They were discovered accidentally by a Polish worker digging in the foundations and eventually found their way to Israel where they were published under the name “Aish Kodesh” “Holy Fire”.
Here follows a talk containing his teaching on Chanukah from the year 1941 in which he addresses this very issue of faith in the midst of suffering.
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The talk is read from the translation of Aish Kodesh by Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira : Sacred Fire: Torah from the Years of Fury 1929-1942 published by Jason Aaronson Inc. 2002
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/heather/327818264/”>heather</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>
Rabbi Ashlag teaches that since a person is as a small world events on the outside are reflected within ourselves.In this way we can find the elements of the Chanukah story within ourselves. The Greek part of ourselves represents that part of the ego that likes the certainty of logic and reason… whereas the Jew is the aspect of ourselves that relates to faith, which belongs to a different paradigm altogether. This is our own inner enactment of the story of Chanukah, in whihc God delivered the many into the hands of the few, and the mighty into the hands of the weak.
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