By: Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
The Torah-Bible informs us that G-d created the world in six days and ceased working on the seventh, the Sabbath. The number six can thus be said to represent the natural world that was created in six days (time) with its six spatial directions (east-west, north-south, up-down). The number seven represents G-d’s immanence, the hidden presence of the Divine at the heart and core of this world.
The next number, eight, represents G-d’s transcendence above and beyond this world. Chanukah happened from the level of “eight”, that which is beyond natural law.
In Hebrew, the word shmonah (eight) has the same exact letters as hashemen (the oil), and neshama (soul). The number eight is also associated with the revelation of Moshiach – the Messiah. This is reflected in the Talmud which states, “the harp of the era of Mashiach will be of eight strands.”
And it’s all related. Oil, Moshiach, the eight days of lighting on Chanukah and soul.
All kings from the Davidic lineage were anointed however it is specifically and specially the ultimate king and redeemer of the world, who is called Moshiach. Moshiach, which literally means – the anointed one.
Oil and the Messiah-Moshiach have a very powerful and meaningful connection.
Oil represents and is associated with wisdom. Tekoa, a city south of Bethlehem, was renowned for its olive oil. The Talmud says that because the residents of Tekoa “where regulars with olive oil, wisdom was found in them.”
The Talmud says. “If someone should tell you there is wisdom in the world believe them. If someone should tell you there is Torah in the world do not believe them.” Many times people can know it’s bad to eat too much or engage in certain practices, but they will do it anyway.
The study of G-ds wisdom – our oil, the Torah, effects change in people. One of the characteristics of oil is that wherever it is placed it will saturate.
This wisdom, is imbued with an element and aura which surpasses the mind and is therefore able to accomplish eventually this change in those who study it. This recognition that Torah is G-ds wisdom, who allowed Himself to be understood only in limited measure, creates a very special approach to its study. One of reverence, holiness, and purity.
All this the Greeks were not able to swallow. It was the oil and wisdom of the Bible, the Greeks were out to extinguish. They viewed the study of the Bible no different than any other philosophy and therefore saw nothing wrong in using impure oil for the light of the Menorah.
There was wisdom in the Greeks, however it was G-ds wisdom they were out to eradicate. The Bible which is G-ds wisdom makes its prohibited to use impure oil. The Greeks argued. Purity and impurity is beyond logic and cannot be rationally grasped. Therefore the Greeks did not pillage the oil from the Temple in Jerusalem they merely made it impure.
The prophet says that when the Messiah comes, “the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the waters fill the oceans.” Then, the light of clear and unambiguous wisdom will shine brightest. “The stones will shout from the walls,” all that it saw and heard throughout the ages. The times of Moshiach are associated with the best times for the Universe, because truth and clarity will reign. No more darkness, no more falsehood and confusion.
Moshiach is acclaimed as, THE anointed, with oil. This very special human being from the Davidic dynasty will usher in a grand era of the highest wisdom and light. Lighting the Chanukah menorah all eight nights and especially the 8th night of Chanukah, (this year Saturday night December 15, 2012 only when it is already dark outside) connects us with the deepest levels of our soul and the light within. This level of soul is the shine of Moshiach in each one of us. This adds more light to the world and brings us many steps closer to this wonderful and ultimate era for the entire universe.
To read more articles from Rabbi Ezagui visit him at http://koshercaffeine.blogspot.com/