Kabbalistic Chanukah: The Downloading of Primordial Light

God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.(Genesis 1:3)

The 36 candles on the menorah correspond to the 36 hours when Adam and Eve were bathed in The Primordial Light of creation. Today, as we kindle our own lights, we call forth a revelation of this now hidden and intense light. (12th century Kabbalist, R. Eliezer of Worms)

The Primordial Light of Creation is hidden in the 36 candles of Chanukah. (B'nei Yissachar, Kislev)

Introduction

The mood of Winter shares with us the tender gift of returning to our inner wombs, where our wisdom resides and from which our destiny will once again shine forth in Divine Timing.

Chanukah, the Festival of Lights invites us to turn our senses inward to find, cultivate, and rededicate our inner sanctuary. It is a time to empty accumulated garbage, to create an open and receptive space, and to cultivate an intimate relationship with our emotions as the sensory system of our soul. As we become more peaceful inside, we gather back our power, one candle at a time. The more supportive and nurturing our inner container, the more the Ohr HaGanuz, the Primordial Light of Creation becomes available to us during this time of year.

Spiritually, the eight nights of Chanukah are a cumulative and progressive process through which the light of the menorah grows to reveal the inherent light of Creation. The total number of Chanukah lights over the eight days is 36 (1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8). As Rabbi Eliezer writes, these 36 lights arouse that very same Primordial Light which illuminated Adam and Eve on the dawn of their creation, the first 36 hours of their existence. The Talmud teaches: "36 hours the Light served . . . and Adam HaRishon (Primordial Man) saw with it from one end of this world into the Other". (Yerushalmi, Brochot 8:5)

The Midrash teaches that this intense light needed to be removed from the universe, hidden away for a time still to be realized. All this so duality could exist and the evolution and purpose of the universe could unfold.

Ever since the dimming of that Primordial Light, we yearn for it, search for it and pursue it, in our prayers, studies and meditation. Yet, even in our darkest hours, we can access this memory born of the 36 hours when we, humanity as a whole, were bathed in this light. "Where was this Light to be hidden?" asks the Midrash. It answers, "in the Torah." When we immerse ourselves in the truth and wisdom of the Torah, in its inner radiance, we can experience this Primordial Light of wisdom, purpose, and the intent of creation.

The significance of the number 36 will lead us into some further deeper understandings.

God's Name

God's Name in Hebrew is Elo-him (language of Moses)

God's Name in Arabic is Al-lah (language of Mohammed)

God's Name in Aramaic is Elahh (language of Jesus)

They all share a common three letter root in Hebrew: Alef, Lamed and Heh. The sum gematria, or numerical value of the three letters is 36 (Alef ? 1, Lamed ? 30, Heh ? 5).

Torah

Concept of light (in one form or another), appears exactly

36 times throughout the entire Torah (Rokayach).

Moses

It took Moses 36 days to explain the Torah to Israel (Seder Olam Rabbah 10).

Moses himself was born exactly 36 years after the oppression in Egypt began.

When Moses was born, it is said that the house was filled with light.

It is written there, "And she saw him, that he was GOOD"

(Exodus 2:2) and there (in Genesis 1:4) it is also written, "God saw the light, that it was GOOD" (Talmud; Sotah 12a)

Commentary to above: "She saw him, that it (he) was good" - "it" being the Ohr HaGanuz ? Hidden Light of Creation, as a Presence that came into the world with Moses. (Sha'arei Leshem, p. 130)

The word in the Torah used to describe the Hidden or Primordial Light is "tov" meaning GOOD. When it appears in the Torah for the first time, the first letter "Tet" of "tov" (good) has a very unusual feature. The letter "tet", like many other letters in a Torah scroll have tiny "crowns" extending from them (which kabbalists teach is a hidden language of its own). What is unusual about this letter here is that is has four "crowns" instead of the usual three. According to the Kabbalist, the B'nei Yissachar, when the four is multiplied by the number nine (the value of the "tet" itself), the total is 36.

The Patriarch Isaac

Abraham was a righteous person whose very life embodied the values of the Hidden Light of creation. But when Isaac was born, he was the first in history to be circumcised on the eighth day. Since eight represents transcending the physical, he became infused with all that "eight" represents (transcendence), raising him forever above the natural world. This is why he, at such a young age warranted to see the Divine Presence like his father. Contrary, to popular legend, Isaac was 37 years old when he was "sacrificed". According to the mystical tradition, Isaac was a very willing and enthusiastic participant in offering himself up as a sacrifice to G-d, and that although no slaughter took place, Isaac nevertheless left his body.

The event took place when Isaac was 37, for the reason that he had already reached his spiritual climax at the end of a complete 36 year life cycle. According to Midrash, although Isaac had not died physically, a part of him transcended even further beyond his earthly identity, causing him to be likened to an angel. The text says he was blind after the Akeidah (binding, sacrifice). It wasn't physical blindness he suffered from, but being "blind" to garments of this existence, especially the aspect of duality (this is why he was "blind" to his own twin's characteristics, Esau and Jacob). The energy of the 36 facilitates a non-dualistic consciousness since it is a light which Primordial Man bathed in, before the "Fall".

Rachel and Leah

The total amount of years it took Jacob to transform on his life journey was 36 (from when he left home, and then returned with his new family). (Rashi, Bereishit 28:9)

Jacob then meets his soul mate Rachel (archetype of free-will), but gets tricked into marrying Rachel's sister, Leah (archetype of destiny).

The gematria of the Hebrew name Leah (lamed-aleph-heh) is also 36.

The letters are also a rearrangement of the holy Name of God as mentioned above (Alef, Lamed, Heh).

According to Kabbalah, Leah is the Biblical archetype of unanticipated destiny. She may not be what we choose to have happen to us in life, nor is she even desirable, but when she is accepted and embraced (Jacob accepted her as part of the family) it is through her that transformation happens. It is through the influence of Leah that the tribes of Israel are born and Destiny is fulfilled. It is through Leah that the seed of the Messiah is produced (through Judah, House of David, etc..) who will eventually come to initiate humanity into an Age where the Ohr HaGanuz, the Hidden Light, will be revealed.

Now we look at Rachel who gives birth to only two sons. Her first son is Joseph, and the younger one, Benjamin. However, Rachel dies in Bethlehem while giving birth to Benjamin, at age 36. It was at this age, that Heaven felt she had fulfilled her life journey. Like Isaac, her grandfather, legend tells of her absolute willingness to offer her life (one incarnation) for a higher cause (in this case, Benjamin).

In history, Benjamin comes to represent Jerusalem and the Holy Temple since they were both built on the tribal land of Benjamin. It also happens to be the same exact site (Temple Mount - Mt. Moriah) where years earlier Isaac was willing to sacrifice his own life.

Temple Mount in Jerusalem is one of the most powerful energy vortexes in the world.

It is the same site where the Chanukah miracle would take place later in history.

Interestingly enough, Chanukah is the ONLY Jewish holiday that takes place in ISRAEL, and specifically on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The story of Chanukah is hardly given a mention in the entire Talmud. Less than one page is devoted to it, while other holidays receive entire Tractates reviewing the holiday in depth and detail. The rabbis of the earlier generations tried to play down the story of Chanukah for political reasons, but it would not go away. Today, it is one of the most popular and beloved Jewish holidays, treasured especially by children and mystics ? guardians of the Hidden Light.

When does the Chanukah Story take place in history? In the 36th Century of the Hebrew Calendar.

The 36 Hidden Saints (Lamed Vav Tzaddikim)

According to tradition, there are 36 lofty souls present in every generation who sustain, nurture and guard this Hidden Light. Those that guard it, remain hidden and unassuming as well. These 36 righteous people are sparks of that Hidden Light. Through their refined consciousness, this light, warmth and wisdom flows into and permeates the world.

Master Kabbalist - The Holy Ari (1534-1572)

Rabbi Yitzchak Luria Ashkenazi - The ARI - reverently known as Ari HaKadosh, was the lion of his and all generations when it came to revealing the depth of Kabbalah and its understanding of the Universe as a whole. Until this very day, nobody comes close to his greatness and light in terms of revealing the metaphysics of existence contained within the secrets of Torah.

For our own interest here, the ARI remained hidden for most of his life, until his maggid, a non-physical guide, announced it was time for him to reveal himself. He had received his mission to reveal the hidden when he was only 36 years old. He died some 2 ½ years later.

Conclusion

Our world is filled with mysteries, and it is in the darkest months of the year, that the most luminous energy becomes available. The hidden is revealed and its radiance is accessible to all those who wish to partake and be nourished by it.

The Chanukah lights, unlike the Shabbat candles, may not be used for personal pleasure. "These lights are holy. We must not use them for pleasure, we may only gaze upon them" (Chanukah liturgy). For these Chanukah lights celebrate a primordial light, untouched, reminding us that there are higher forces at work. It is our connection with these higher forces that replace the false perception of separation and fear with experiences of oneness, Divine assistance and trust.

In Earth school, we are in the process of learning and training ourselves to reach higher levels of consciousness. Indeed, the Chanukah lights serve as an antennae for holiness, drawing down the energy of the 36. With every day of Chanukah that passes, the light gets increasingly stronger. We place our lit candles in the window as a beacon to all passersby to remind the world that darkness can indeed be dispelled, obscurity can be illuminated, and that it is God's Light which will prevail in the end.

May the up and coming year be a new journey of discovery for us all and may we jump with all our heart into the evolutionary unknown holding our candles of faith, and common love for each other.

In Spiritual Fellowship,

Rabbi Michael Ozair

Copyright 2004 ? Rabbi Michael Ezra Ozair

Rabbi Michael Ezra Ozair has been providing spiritual guidance for the last 15 years to a very wide and diverse range of people. He is an ordained rabbi, a well sought after scholar in the area of Kabbalah, published author, life coach and spiritual counselor. Michael's expertise stems from merging his knowledge as a teacher of metaphysics with his experience in practical counseling. He can be reached at [email protected] or by visiting his site at http://www.KabbalahCoach.com

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

The Herald Journal

Can psychology, religion play well together?
The Herald Journal
There is sometimes a public perception of an unbridgeable chasm between psychology and religion. I had run into it early on when I divulged to a few friends that I was going to grad school in psychology. With concerned faces they asked: “Don't most ...


Religion News Service

Too many liberals in the liberal arts?
Religion News Service
EDITOR'S NOTE: Sightings is sponsored by the Martin Marty Center for the Public Understanding of Religion at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Sign up to get Sightings in your inbox twice per week (on Mondays and Thursdays). You can also ...


Religion News Service

Pope laments 'hemorrhaging' of priests and nuns in Europe
Religion News Service
... Francis voiced alarm Monday at the “hemorrhaging” of nuns and priests in Italy and Europe, saying God only knows how many seminaries, monasteries, convents and churches will close because fewer people are being called to lives of religious service.
The pope says God made gay people just as we should be – here's why his comments matterThe Guardian
Pope Francis tells gay man: 'God made you like this'The Guardian
Pope Francis tells gay man: 'God made you like that and loves you like that'CNN

all 217 news articles »

TMZ

Rep. Steve Scalise Blames Texas School Shooting on Not Enough Religion
TMZ
GOP House Whip Steve Scalise says maybe if there was more faith, religion and God in schools across America the mass shooting at a Texas high school last week could've been prevented. The congressman was at Reagan National Airport on Monday and ...


Financial Express

No discrimination against anyone on basis of religion, says Rajnath Singh
Financial Express
India does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of religion or sect, and such things are not allowed in the country, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today. His comments came in the wake of the Archbishop of Delhi referring to a “turbulent ...
No discrimination against anyone on basis of religion: RajnathTimes of India
India does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of religion or sect: Rajnath SinghScroll.in
No discrimination on basis of religion, says Rajnath after archbishop talks of turbulent political atmosphereThe Telegraph India

all 81 news articles »

United Methodist Women letters urge Chevron to curb harmful methane waste
Religion News Service
Driven by concerns for climate change and dangerous health impacts from pollution, United Methodist Women members urged Chevron's new CEO Mike Wirth to address methane waste during their quadrennial “The Power of Bold” Assembly, May 18-20 at ...


Center For American Progress

Pruitt's Misuse of Religion to Sell Out Our Air and Water
Center For American Progress
Throughout the first year of his appointment as the head of the EPA, Pruitt has continually and wrongfully attempted to legitimize his dangerous ideologies and actions under the guise of religion. He has consistently quoted scripture to justify his ...

and more »

Religion News Service

Miroslav Volf delves into the theology of joy: A Q&A
Religion News Service
But Volf, 61, the leader of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, says studying the theology of joy with students and scholars is “hard work.” He spoke with Religion News Service about the difference between joy and happiness, biblical lessons on joy ...


The National Interest Online (blog)

Religion Corrupting Policy, and Vice Versa
The National Interest Online (blog)
He has said that “religions like Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism…lead people to an eternity of separation from God in hell.” The other Texas preacher who was given a speaking role in the ceremony—televangelist John Hagee—has said that according ...
Religion Corrupting Policy—and Vice Versa – LobeLogLobeLog

all 57 news articles »

Cosmos

Religion and delusion determine fake news belief
Cosmos
Throughout the latter period of his election campaign and during his incumbency, Mr Trump has enjoyed consistent support from the US evangelical community – a religious and socially conservative group who should, on the face of it, be repulsed by the ...

Google News

Praying Church or Playing Church?

The western church is seen by the world as anything... Read More

A Partnership With God

Hey, God is trying to partner with you! He wants... Read More

Is It Good For Man Not To Marry?

Are we doing what the word of God say to... Read More

Are These People Putting You In Danger Of Eternal Hell Fire?

Most people put a lot of effort into being like... Read More

Vegetarianism

Millions worldwide suffer from malnutrition and the threat of starvation.... Read More

Mexican Catholics Forgotten

Many Mexican and Latin Catholics are dismayed that the Cardinals... Read More

Religious Tolerance and the Internet

The internet is a great resource of information on all... Read More

No Word Yet on Pedophiles With New Catholic Pope

The new Pope is not expected to break ranks with... Read More

Crucification

Most of know how Jesus was crucified. Do we ever... Read More

The Freemasonic Order of the Golden Centurion

I think most people who will read this will not... Read More

As the Old Year Fades, So Does My Memory

Memory is a very tricky thing, at least for me... Read More

Rebuilding Society and The Tax Protest Movement: Part Three

Part Three continuedIt is important to recover and relearn the... Read More

Jesus the Pharisee

RESPONSE TO PAULINE CHRISTIANITY: - The whole of Christendom is... Read More

Story of Solomon

Without question, the greatest story in the Bible of someone... Read More

The Fruit, the Whole Fruit, and Nothing but the Fruit

Once we become a new creature in Christ, we are... Read More

Facing Our Fears

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.... Read More

Sexual Deviants and the Catholic Church

It is unfortunate that the Catholic Church seems to continue... Read More

Reconstrictionism + Dominionism = Warfare Theology

The Christian Church believes that at the close of the... Read More

The Rapture

Here is the 50 million dollar question - will there... Read More

The Big Bang Theory - Evidence Start of Cosmos and Human Evolution

What is The Big Bang Theory! What do we mean... Read More

Do You Have Disciples?

Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."... Read More

Catholics Need To Take a Second Look at Morality

According to CNN, Catholics voted for President Bush over Senator... Read More

Meaning and Marketing - The Will

You are now inside one of the top theological schools... Read More

Preachers In America Will Cause Americas Demise

American Preachers Are At The Forefront Of The Travesties Committed... Read More

Keep on Singing

The prisoners of Sing Sing, one of the most repressive,... Read More