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Countdown To Chanukah 22 – Reflections


“He found him in a desert region, In an empty howling waste. He engirded him, watched over him, Guarded him as the pupil – Ishon – of His eye (Devarim 32:10 – sefaria.org).” Rabbeinu Bachya points out that the Hebrew word for the pupil of his eye is Ishon, which contains within it the word Ish, the Hebrew word for a man.  Ishon can be understood as “small person.” 

“Hark! Your watchmen raise their voices, As one they shout for joy; For every eye shall behold in the other  God’s return to Zion (Isaiah 52:8).” The phrase,” For every eye shall behold in the other,” is connected to the earlier thought in that it reminds us that the image of the person at whom we are looking is reflected in my eye – the other person is there is small form.

Rabbeinu Bachya reminds us that our eyes absorb images and can contain images and worlds. They can even absorb how others behold God’s returning to Zion.

When we look at the Chanukah Candles burning, their image and what they reflect about me and my growth, the light I have brought into the world is reflected back into my eyes and absorbed!

Was the Miracle of the Oil anything other than God reflecting back to us what we had accomplished; we took a small band of soldiers, an insignificant number, and battled against a superpower.

This is why the song we sing on Chanukah is called Hallel, related to Halo, to light; it can be an expression of the illuminations we absorbed staring into the candles. 

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