The Cosmic Clock Part 4: Hannukah * Thanksgiving * Ison Perihlion Nov/Dec 2013
What is the essence of Hannukah?
When one is first in a state of constricted consciousness, and moves into expanded consciousness, an act of Coupling has taken place, and the lesser state of mind too is joined into the Higher Mind. By its very nature darkness longs to be included in the light. ‘There was evening’–the lesser state of mind, ‘there was morning’, the expanded state. ‘One day’–the two form a single unity.
From where do the Chanukah candles derive their power not merely to dispel darkness, but to transmute it into light?
The opposites that form the graceful symmetry of Chanukah are those of darkness and light, or as referred to in the Aramaic idiom of the Zohar — “transforming chashocha (darkness) into nahora (light).”
We can now begin to understand how the Chanukah candles succeed in transforming darkness into light. Reflective symmetry is the result of two inverse elements possessing a hidden reference to each other. By defining themselves in perfect contradistinction to one another, such elements enter into a symmetrical bond which attests to an underlying unity forming their common source. So it is with darkness and light. Just as light itself possesses the potential to blind one with its radiance (thus testifying to the source of “darkness” included within light), so too does darkness hold within it the potential for illumination (the power of the color black to “shine”).
In truth, the hidden light inhering within darkness is infinitely more beautiful than the revealed light which we naturally experience. This is apparent as well from the verse in Ecclesiastes (2:13) which reads: “As the advantage of light over darkness, so is the advantage of wisdom over folly.” Although this is the accepted understanding of the verse, a purely literal reading of the words suggests an alternative interpretation: “As the advantage of light from darkness, so is the advantage of wisdom over folly” — the implication being that the light which emerges from within darkness itself is the true source of wisdom’s superiority.
The hidden light which inheres within darkness must be “sparked” into consciousness if it is to transform the opaque realm of Creation into a translucent expanse of Divine light. Herein lies the secret of redemption, expressed in Kabbalah as the process of redeeming those fragments or “sparks” of Divine light which were scattered throughout the universe when the primordial vessels of light fashioned at the dawn of Creation shattered, descending into the lower realms. Parallel to the cosmic restoration of these Divine sparks, there takes place a process here below whereby the lost souls of Israel are aroused to reembrace their people, their land, and their God.