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Haftarah: Machar Chodesh: Beyond By on


Countdown To Chanukah 10 – Celestial Light


Please allow me to continue to advocate for Psalm 43 (“Illuminating Path To Redemption”) to be added to the Chanukah liturgy:

“Vindicate me, O God, champion my cause against faithless people; 

rescue me from the treacherous, dishonest man.

2 For You are my God, my stronghold; why have You rejected me? 

Why must I walk in gloom, oppressed by the enemy?

3 Send forth Your light and Your truth; 

they will lead me; 

they will bring me to Your holy mountain, to Your dwelling-place,

4 that I may come to the altar of God, God, my delight, my joy; 

that I may praise You with the lyre, O God, my God.

5 Why so downcast, my soul, why disquieted within me? Have hope in God; I will yet praise Him, my ever-present help, my God (Psalm 43 –sefaria.org).”

 

Israel said (in Ps. 43:3), “Send out Your light and Your truth; they will lead me.” 

Great is the light of the Holy One, blessed be He! 

The sun and the moon give light to the world, but from where do they derive their light? They snatch some sparks of celestial light. It is so stated (in Habakuk 3:11), “[Sun and moon remain on high;] they go for the light of Your arrows, for the brightness of Your shining spear.” 

Great is the celestial light, of which only one part in a hundred has been given to mortals. It is so stated (in Dan. 2:22), “He knows what is in the darkness, and the light [dwells with Him].” Therefore [the Holy One, blessed be He, says,] “I made sun and moon so that they would give you light, as stated (in Gen. 1:17), “God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” (Numb. 8:2:) 

“Let the seven lamps give their light in front of the menorah”: (David) [Solomon] said (in Prov. 16:15), “In the light of the king’s face there is life.” 

R. Jacob bar Jose said, “Joy was withheld from the wicked and given to Israel, because the Holy One, blessed be He, was obliged to dwell among flesh and blood in the light. Thus he said to them (in Numb. 8:2), ‘[Let the seven lamps] give their light in front of the menorah.’ (Bamidbar Rabbah 15:9 – sefaria.org)”

Psalm 43 informs us of how to sing Hallel as a celebration of the Light of the Menorah:

  1. As sparks of the Celestial Light.
  2. What is usually visible is only, “one part in a hundred.” Chanukah Light is more.
  3. The Light of the Menorah is the Light of the King’s face.
  4. The Light of the Menorah is the Light of Joy – Living With a Sense of Purpose
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