The Light of Thirtysix

The Light of Thirtysix
PDF Version
By: Pinchas Winston
Length: 168 pages


The deeper meaning of Chanukah vis-a-vis its c
ion to the Supernal Light of Creation.


 

 

In stock

Description

The mitzvah of Chanukah is a candle for the entire household.

Hamehadrin is to light a candle for each member of the household.

Hamehadrin min hamehadrin,
according to Bais Shammai:
light eight candles on the first day and one less each day.

Bais Hillel says to light one on the first day and add an
additional one each subsequent day. (Shabbos 21b)

WHETHER OR NOT ONE lights a menorah for every member of the household depends upon one’s family tradition.

However,
whoever does light the menorah must follow the opinion of Bais Hillel,
whose opinion of hamehadrin min hamehadrin, the most beautiful way to perform the mitzvah,
is to light a single candle on the first night of Chanukah,
and then an additional candle each subsequent night.

The Talmud does not explain why an additional candle is added each day of the holiday.

However, doing so makes the total candles over the course of the eight days of Chanukah 36,
and the question is,
is this incidental,
or intentional? From the Talmud,
the former seems more likely,
even though 36 is a very significant number.

After all,
if the goal of all the additional candles is to reach this special number,
what would have happened had the original menorah only burned for six additional days,
or eight?

How would the order of lighting achieve the goal of 36 candles?

On the other hand,
perhaps this is precisely the point:
Chanukah was destined to be an eight-day holiday,
so that an extra candle could be kindled each night,
and the total number of candles after eight days could be 36.

How much more so must this be the case given the special meaning of the number eight itself.

For example, Bris Milah occurs on the eighth day from birth because
the number eight symbolizes our unique relationship with God.

Furthermore,
because the natural world was created in seven days,
the number eight alludes to a supernatural level of existence.

This is why, according to the Talmud,
Moshiach will come in the eighth year of Shmittah cycle,
since all redemptions of the Jewish people are miraculous (Sanhedrin 97a).

 

Thus,
eight alludes to the supernatural relationship between God and His people,
which was clearly the basis of the miraculous victory of the Chashmonaim in their time.

As it says:
You, in Your great mercy,
stood up for them in their time of trouble,
and fought their battle, judged their judgment,
took revenge for them,
and handed over the strong to the weak, the many to the few,
the impure to the pure, the evil to the righteous,
and the scoffers into the hands of those who learn Torah. (Shemonah Esrai)

A miraculous victory that occurred in the year 3597 from Creation (165 BCE),
in none other than the 36th century of history.

Also just incidental?

Therefore,
Chanukah could not have been a holiday of seven days or nine days,
or of any other amount of days for that matter.

It had to be an eight-day holiday, as we sing:

From the remainder of the jars,
a miracle was done for the shoshanim.

The children of Binah (understanding),
they established eight days of shir urnanim. (Maoz Tzur, Chanukah)

For,
Binah is the eighth of 10 sefiros,
spiritual filters for the light of God through which He fulfills His will for Creation.

And, as will become clear,
the light of understanding that it represents has everything to do with the concepts embodied in the holiday of Chanukah,
and the number 36.

The mitzvah of Chanukah is a candle for the entire household.

Hamehadrin is to light a candle for each member of the household.

Hamehadrin min hamehadrin,
according to Bais Shammai:
light eight candles on the first day and one less each day.

Bais Hillel says to light one on the first day and add an
additional one each subsequent day. (Shabbos 21b)

WHETHER OR NOT ONE lights a menorah for every member of the household depends upon one’s family tradition.

However,
whoever does light the menorah must follow the opinion of Bais Hillel,
whose opinion of hamehadrin min hamehadrin,
the most beautiful way to perform the mitzvah,
is to light a single candle on the first night of Chanukah,
and then an additional candle each subsequent night.

The Talmud does not explain why an additional candle is added each day of the holiday.

However,
doing so makes the total candles over the course of the eight days of Chanukah 36,
and the question is, is this incidental,
or intentional?

From the Talmud, the former seems more likely,
even though 36 is a very significant number.

After all,
if the goal of all the additional candles is to reach this special number,
what would have happened had the original menorah only burned for six additional days,
or eight?

How would the order of lighting achieve the goal of 36 candles?

On the other hand,
perhaps this is precisely the point:
Chanukah was destined to be an eight-day holiday,
so that an extra candle could be kindled each night,
and the total number of candles after eight days could be 36.

How much more so must this be the case given the special meaning of the number eight itself.

For example,
Bris Milah occurs on the eighth day from birth because the number eight symbolizes our unique relationship with God.

Furthermore,
because the natural world was created in seven days,
the number eight alludes to a supernatural level of existence.

This is why,
according to the Talmud,
Moshiach will come in the eighth year of Shmittah cycle,
since all redemptions of the Jewish people are miraculous (Sanhedrin 97a).

Thus,
eight alludes to the supernatural relationship between God and His people,
which was clearly the basis of the miraculous victory of the Chashmonaim in their time.

As it says:
You,
in Your great mercy,
stood up for them in their time of trouble,
and fought their battle, judged their judgment,
took revenge for them, and handed over the strong to the weak,
the many to the few,
the impure to the pure,
the evil to the righteous,
and the scoffers into the hands of those who learn Torah. (Shemonah Esrai)

A miraculous victory that occurred in the year 3597 from Creation (165 BCE),
in none other than the 36th century of history. Also just incidental?

Therefore,
Chanukah could not have been a holiday of seven days or nine days,
or of any other amount of days for that matter.

It had to be an eight-day holiday, as we sing:

From the remainder of the jars,
a miracle was done for the shoshanim.

The children of Binah (understanding),
they established eight days of shir urnanim. (Maoz Tzur, Chanukah)

For, Binah is the eighth of 10 sefiros,
spiritual filters for the light of God through which He fulfills His will for Creation.

And, as will become clear,
the light of understanding that it represents has everything to do with the concepts embodied in the holiday of Chanukah,
and the number 36.

Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.

כִּֽי־עִ֖מְּךָ מְק֣וֹר חַיִּ֑ים בְּ֜אֽוֹרְךָ֗ נִרְאֶה־אֽוֹר:







For with You is the source of life; in Your light we will see light.







Tehillim 36:10

 

Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.