The Chanukah lamp reminds us of the great miracle when the bit of oil burned for eight days. It is also a reminder of the Menorah in the Holy Temple, which we no longer have today.

The Chanukah lamp is here to console us in the long dismal night of exile. It reminds us of the Menorah in the Holy Temple and of G‑d saying to us, "Although the actual Menorah is gone, I left you an impression of it." This impression is the Chanukah lamp, and it will last until He sends the Mashiach to redeem us and build the Holy Temple.

G‑d is guarding the impression of that holiness in the depths of our hearts….

This should console each one of us in our personal exile. Although at times we lose some particular holiness, we must not despair, because G‑d is guarding the impression of that holiness in the depths of our hearts and we will some day regain it.


The Menorah in the Holy Temple had seven branches symbolizing the seven days of the week. The seven days of Creation encompass G‑d's conduct as it relates to the natural world. The Jewish People, however, received a channel from G‑d which is beyond space and time. They therefore were not in need of the light of the Menorah because they had a direct light from G‑d.

With the miracle of Chanukah…the infinite was being revealed from inside the finite….

This changed with the miracle of Chanukah, when the light from the sphere above and beyond nature began to shine through the seven-branched Menorah. The infinite was being revealed from inside the finite. The seven branches were transformed into eight, the number which represents the world beyond nature. Their light is one which is eternal.

Standing by the Chanukah lamp, we too can experience the transformation of seven to eight. We can, in the glow of the lights, see not only the Menorah of the Holy Temple, but also the miraculous one which, G‑d willing, will be built speedily in our days.


There are two sources of light. One source is from material which is burning, such as the sun or the light of a candle. The other source of light is the independent creation called the Divine Light.

G‑d wanted…that the finite and the infinite should merge and radiate to create an even more penetrating light….

The westernmost light on the Menorah burned miraculously without interruption. Its light did not come from burning fuel but from the Divine light. However, G‑d wanted Aaron to kindle the Menorah each day so that the finite and the infinite should merge and radiate to create an even more penetrating light, a light which will permeate into the very actions of man, not merely reflecting off him.

In a similar manner, when we stand by the Chanukah lamp and kindle the lights with open hearts, we are standing in front of the Menorah in the Holy Temple. And as we kindle the tiny wicks, the All Merciful G‑d shines His pure light into our deed. Suddenly we overcome our limitations and our exile…the light passes over the limited oil and wicks and shines forth infinitely.


The Holy Temple is the "footstool of G‑d" (Lamentations 2:1). It is the place where we can experience G‑d's kingdom in the world. All the world is humbled before His majesty and no creature dares to deny His sovereignty. He not only rules the heavens but the earth. And nowhere on earth can we find G‑d's kingdom more clearly manifest than in the Holy Temple. It is a microcosm where G‑d dwells. Symbolically, the Temple is that aspect of Creation which humbles itself totally before G‑d, thereby being a place to establish His kingdom. Such a place must exist at the beginning of Creation. Thus the verse: "A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary" (Jeremiah 17:12).

Both the Temple and the Jewish Nation establish G‑d's kingdom in the world….

The Jews were chosen to proclaim G‑d's kingdom in this world. Therefore, they are the creatures whose very nature it is to be humbled before G‑d and to prepare the place for G‑d's rule. Thus, they too must have been in existence from the very beginning of creation. This accords with the Sages' statement on the verse "In the beginning, G‑d created heaven and earth" (Gen. 1:1) that "beginning" refers to the Jewish People, who are the very beginning of Creation (Midrash Rabbah, Gen. I).

Both the Temple and the Jewish Nation establish G‑d's kingdom in the world. The Greeks aspired to disrupt the divinely ordained order by oppressing the Jews and defining the Temple. They were finally defeated. Both the Jewish People and the Temple were liberated, securing G‑d's place in the world once again. The inner deep truth of the universe streamed forth through the Menorah in the Temple, revealing G‑d's sovereignty over the natural world.

The Temple is now in ruins and the Jewish People are in exile, yet we believe that soon they will both be completely uplifted and that the final redemption will be accomplished.

When one kindles the Chanukah lamp, he sees before him the Menorah of the Temple, and it shines into him and realigns his heart with G‑d. The Menorah whispers to him from within the Temple saying, "You and I are dependent partners. Let us do our job together to proclaim G‑d's kingdom." And his heart, which has now been transformed to the heart of the Jewish nation, answers, "Amen. So be it!"