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Lights XII

In Job’s eleventh and final response to his friends, he sees that his friends don’t have an answer to his arguments, so he speaks of his previous greatness and righteousness. (Ralbag; Job 29)
“And Iyov continued to use more of his proverbs, and he said, ‘I wish that I was now as in previous months, as in the days when God guarded me, when He illuminated all my ways as if He shone His candle above my head, and by His light I would go in the darkness.,” (Job 29:1-3) 

Job was a great prophet and would, as most prophets, speak in proverbs and parables. (Rabbeinu Tam, Job 27:1)  Iyov is beginning to see sparks of light and prophecy again; gifts he lost in his misery. He grasps onto those sparks and dreams of previous illuminations of God’s Divine Providence. (Ibn Yachya)

He saw the sparks of illumination and began, despite his misery, to dream of a world suffused with God’s light; a world filled with good, and all evil destroyed. (Rabbi Yosef ben Shimon Kara [11th Century France], Job 29)

Once Job ceased to look to his friends for answers, he was able to glance sparks of his original prophetic powers. He immediately recognized them for what they are, and fanned the sparks into the illumination of Divine Providence, and then expanded them even more into a vision of the world perfected through the revelation of God’s Light.

We should look at the Chanukah candles in the same way that Iyov glimpsed the sparks of his earlier prophetic powers. The candles are hints to moments of illumination that we have experienced. As we kindle the candles and watch the flames rise, we should picture the sparks increasing into clear expressions of God’s Divine Providence and then expanding into total illumination and perfection of creation.

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