Countdown to Chanukah 21
The Ari Hakodesh (Siddur HaAri; Kavanot Chanukah) taught that one should keep in mind one of the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy each day of Chanukah, in order to stir all 13 Attributes: Please note that there are different opinions as to the list of the 13:
First Day: Hashem – Kail
Second Day: Hashem – Rachum
Third Day: Kail – Chanun
Fourth Day: Rachum – Erech
Fifth Day: Chanun Apayim
Sixth Day: Erech Apayim – V’Rav Chesed
Seventh Day: V’rav Chesed – Emet
Eight Day: Emet – Notzair Chesed
According to the Ari, the Kavanah for the eighth day should be “Notzair Chesed,” which corresponds to our will: Notzair = Ratzon. (Likutei Torah L’HaAri, Ki Tisa) Only through our will and desire can we access these attributes of mercy.
The Alshich (Numbers 14:7) and the Reishit Chochmah (The Gate of Humility, Chapter 1) explain that the Covenant of the Thirteen Attributes can only work if we achieve D’veikut – Attachment to God’s Sanctity; meaning, we develop the ability to connect the physical and spiritual worlds.
Our Chanukah service must be to achieve increasing levels of attachment as we light each candle. (See Arugat HaBosem, Miketz, “v’Kail Shakai”)