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THEMES of Featured Contemporary Kabbalists Articles

The Menorah and Us
Both the Temple and the Jewish Nation establish G d's kingdom in the world. The Jews were chosen to proclaim His kingdom and the Holy Temple is the place where we can experience it, as it is that aspect of Creation which humbles itself totally before G d.
Transformation from Below
Although the Chanukah lights commemorate the lights of the Menorah in the Holy Temple, yet they differ from them in the number of candles, the time they are lit and the positioning of the menorah.

The light descended into the Holy Temple according to the chain of levels, unlike the light of Chanukah, which brings light down from above the chain of levels through self-sacrifice. We light eight candles because the number eight is above this natural chain.
Soul Unions
The Greeks believed in the Temple as a site of holiness from where He directed His blessings toward the Children of Israel. Thus, the Greeks wished the Temple to continue to stand in order to draw down to themselves the Divine sustenance that now stemmed from the Temple directly to Israel, and through Israel to the rest of the world. To achieve this, they attempted to prevent the soul-union between the Holy One and the Community of Israel.
Who Knows Eight?
In Hebrew, the word shemonah (eight) has the same exact letters as hashemen (the oil), neshama (soul), and mishna (transmitted teaching). The Syrian-Greeks entered the Temple and sullied all its oil, representing the deepest level of the Jewish soul, his potential to awaken from the deepest slumber of exile, to come to life even under the most trying circumstances.
The Demise of the Left
The Greeks wanted to "level the playing field" by forcing Jews to receive life-force from the same place they did: the Left Side, that of gevura. When the Macabees rose and defeated the Greeks, they instituted the practice of lighting of the menorah on the left side of door, causing the rectification of the Left Side; there evil is mitigated and ultimately vanquished.
Essence of the Greek Kingdom
Torah and Mitzvot belong to the system of holiness, whereas transgression and the forbidden belong to the system of impurity. Besides these two, there is the realm of the "permitted". A man who works honestly and keeps the Mitzvot, believing that his salary and livelihood come from the L‑rd and not due to his own power and efforts, broadens the realm of permission and inserts this space into the realm of holiness.

The Greeks didn't wish to annihilate the bodies of the Jews but rather to impose on them the denial of G-d. They attributed all of existence to nature, that all depends on the powers of the individual, his body and his wisdom. By lighting the Chanukah candles, we are to meditate on the "above nature" reality.