Lights II Print

Chanukah“I shall eliminate from them the sound of joy and the sound of gladness, the sound of the groom and the sound of the bride, the sound of the mill and the light of the candle.” (Jeremiah 25:10) Targum is bothered by the switch from sound to light, and explains that the verse refers to the sound of people who rejoice with candles. It is still difficult to understand why the verse switched after a long list of sounds, to light.

Perhaps this verse is an allusion to the Sinai experience, when Israel “saw the sounds.” The Children of Israel empirically understood that Torah lifts us above our physical senses and allows us to “see” what others can only hear.

Jeremiah is warning Israel that when they lose all the sounds of joy listed in the verse, they will forfeit this ability to reach beyond the physical and perceive sound and sight on an entirely new level. We cannot retain this gift of Torah without joy.

The “light of the candle” is the light that comes from a joyous connection to Torah, that fills us until we reach a level at which we break the bonds of the physical, and perceive new and higher worlds.

ToolsApplication:
Make a special effort between now and Chanukah to study Torah with extra joy.

Recall moments of clarity that made us feel that we experiencing something beyond this world.

Remember insights that came from Torah study that made us feel that we were touching the Infinite.
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