Countdown To Chanukah 29 – My Angels of Light
Rabbeinu Yehudah ben Yakar calls our attention to the following verse to explain the intention of the word pierces:
אָ֣ז יִבָּקַ֤ע כַּשַּׁ֙חַר֙ אוֹרֶ֔ךָ וַאֲרֻכָתְךָ֖ מְהֵרָ֣ה תִצְמָ֑ח וְהָלַ֤ךְ לְפָנֶ֙יךָ֙ צִדְקֶ֔ךָ כְּב֥וֹד יְהוָ֖ה יַאַסְפֶֽךָ׃
“Then shall your light burst through like the dawn And your healing spring up quickly; Your Vindicator shall march before you, The Presence of the LORD shall be your rear guard (Isaiah 58:8).”
In the First Gate of the Shulchan shel Arbah he explains that the light that bursts through is “Your Vindicator,” that marches before you. Just as the angels sent by Jacob to confront Eisav were the “Angels of Light created by his merits (see Shelah haKodesh, Vayishlach, Torah Ohr 3) so too we all can use the light of our merits to walk before us and burst through barriers and pierce any darkness. He explains this as the source of the custom to use the wood of a dining room table on which one hosted the poor as the wood for one’s coffin.
We connect to this phrase in our Shabbat prayers because Shabbat, a day celebrating all the Light we have brought into the world – Shabbat Candles – Havdalah flames – is the day on which we can use all the Angels of Light we brought into existence of the past week to pierce the Highest Heavens with our prayers.
The Chanukah menorah and the miracle of the oil are acknowledgements of the Illumination we nurtured by connecting to our potential and insisting we possess the ability to illuminate the darkest places and the darkest times.
We hope to access this power of Illumination, these Angels of Light, to bring light and joy to our world and time.