Countdown to Chanukah 27
The Chanukah candles should be lit within ten tefachim of the ground. (Shabbat 21b) Ten tefachim, approximately 30 inches, is mentioned in another context: The Divine Presence never descended within ten tefachim of the ground. (Succah 5a)
The latter Talmud is explained (Arugat HaBosem, Vayeishev) as related to yet another Talmudic teaching (Avodah Zarah 20b): Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair taught ten levels of growth from Torah to prophecy. Ten tefachim reminds us that if we desire to connect with the Divine Presence we must possess at least the lowest rung on Rabbi Pinchas’ ten-rung ladder, so that we have risen to where we can begin to touch the Shechina.
We light the Chanukah candles within ten tefachim of the ground in order to illuminate the lowest area so that we can rise onto Rabbi Pincha’s ladder and begin to climb all the way up.
Acknowledge and celebrate the Divine light that you shine in the lowest area so that you may begin to rise to the higher levels.