Countdown To Chanukah 8 – The Hallel of The Sun
As Rabbi Levi said: Why is a person’s voice not heard during the day in the manner that it is during the night?
It is due to the fact that the sound of the sphere of the sun traversing the sky generates noise like the noise generated by a carpenter sawing cedars, and that noise drowns out other sounds.
And that sawdust that is visible during the day in the rays of the sun, la is its name. This is what Nebuchadnezzar said: “And all the inhabitants of the world are considered like la” (Daniel 4:32), i.e., all inhabitants of the earth are equivalent to specks of dust.
(Apropos sounds, the Gemara cites that) the Sages taught: Were it not for the sound of the sphere of the sun, the sound of the bustle of the crowds of Rome would be heard throughout the world;
and were it not for the sound of the bustle of the crowds of Rome, the sound of the sun’s sphere would be heard throughout the world.
And the Sages taught: Three sounds travel from the end of the world to its other end, and these are:
1.The sound of the sphere of the sun.
2.The sound of the bustle of the crowds of Rome.
3. The sound of the soul at the moment that it leaves the body, which should be audible throughout the world.
4. And some say: Even the sound of a woman giving birth (Yoma 20b – sefaria.org).
Let’s begin with the surface connections to Chanukah:
- The Sun represents Light, symbolized by the Menorah. The former, physical light, and the latter, spiritual illumination.
- The crowds of Rome also represent an aspect of the Laws of the Menorah, as we are guided to light our Menorah as these crowds begin to head home before dark.
- The Zohar (Volume 3, 13, 24b) describes the power of one who studies Torah at night Explained (by the Rekanati on Noach) as one who finds the Spiritual Illumination in the world even when all seems dark, the soul escaping the confines of the physical world, as stimulating celebrations in Heaven, led by the Holy One, Blessed is He, inviting the spiritual creations to join him in song, much as we sing Hallel celebrating the Inner Light we can discover over Chanukah.
- We add a candle each night of Chanukah as if to say that we have brought more life-light into the world, and are committed to nurturing its existence. The Hallel we sing, acknowledging the challenges, hardships and pain we overcame to reach this point, is considered the joyous cry of the mother giving birth.