Recommended Posts

Haftarah Discussions: Shabbat Chanukah I

I. Measuring The Good That We Do: “And the Satan was standing on his right side to accuse him.” (Zechariah 3:1) “The heart of a wise person is to his right.” The Yetzer Tov, the Good Inclination, is on the right. Satan, who usually stands on the left, chooses to stand on the right of a wise person in order to shed doubt into his good deeds and intentions. He knows that he will have difficulty attracting the wise person to sin, but it is easy for him to cause a person to doubt himself. There is only one solution: “May God denounce you, O Satan!” (Verse 2) [Sh’eirit Menachem – Zechariah]

Can you think of any strategies to overcome this tactic of the Yetzer Harah?

II. Nourished By Heaven
“There is a Menorah made entirely of gold.” (4:2) The golden Menorah always symbolizes the Oral Law. It began to spread through the teachings and guidance of the Anshei Knesset HaGedolah – The Men of the Great Assembly – including many elders and prophets such as Zechariah and Zerubbabel. (Megillah 17b) Zerubbabel is also Nehemiah, so named because he was conceived in Bavel – “zeru” – seeded – Bavel – in Babylon.  Mastery of the Oral Law can only be acquired through great toil and effort. This is what Zechariah saw in his vision: The golden Menorah, the Oral Law, although it demands tremendous work, time and effort, he will not master it by his efforts alone, but with the Divine Sustenance he receives from heaven, Wisdom and Sechel –the “Two olive trees above it,” (Verse 3) for oil is always the symbol of wisdom. (Pri Tzaddik, Beha’alotecha 10)

Consider how you can use this thought as a Kavanah when lighting the Chanukah candles.

III.The Souls of Israel
“There is a Menorah made entirely of gold.” (4:2) The Golden Menorah represents all the souls of Israel, because, “The soul of a man is the candle of God.” (Proverbs 20:27) Israel can only achieve perfection by combining the light of all seven “Candles,” which are the seven attributes. They share one essential quality: They illuminate the entire world. The “Two olive trees,” represent the Written and Oral Laws that nurture all the souls and allow them to shine. The Written and Oral Laws enter the Seven Attributes, (Sanhedrin 24a) which empowers their illumination. Likutei Sichot, Beha’alotecha)

Consider how you can use this thought as a Kavanah when lighting the Chanukah candles.

Go Back to Previous Page

  • Other visitors also read