The Temple Institute: Temple Talk: Kislev 27, 5767/December 17, 2006

"And Yaakov was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day."
(Genesis 32:25)

Rekindling the Menorah, Revealing Our Inner Lights

Each year we light the chanukiah, adding once candle each of the eight days of Chanukah. As the holiday progresses and the light intensifies, our spirits revive, our commitment to HaShem is renewed, and our windows of Torah perception are swung open, allowing us to deepen our our knowledge.

Our sages teach us that the source of the light of Chanukah is from the original supernal light of creation. This light, known as the ohr ganuz, was hidden away by G-d shortly after creation, and kept for the righteous to enjoy in the world to come. When we kindle the Chanukah lights, and enjoying their glow, as we are commanded to, we are re-seeing the world through enlightened eyes.

If we are re-seeing the world, then where have we seen the world in this light before? Again, our sages teach us that before we are born, while still in the womb, we are given access to this hidden light - this ohr ganuz - and, in fact, learn the entire Torah, down to its deepest depths, for the first nine months of our lives! Only upon leaving the womb and coming forth into the world, are we struck with "amnesia" and our profound Torah knowledge is lost to our conscious minds. We spend a lifetime relearning and rediscovering this Torah. We spend a lifetime of remembering and recalling the knowledge that has been within us from the start. We spend a lifetime returning to ourselves.

Being true to ourselves by rediscovering our Torah origins is a lifetime celebration, each day rekindling another flame, each day burning brighter as we draw ever closer to G-d. On Chanukah the life process is laid out before us as for eight days we celebrate the miracle of of the kindling of the light. May each of us shine yet brighter, as we each day increase our depth of Torah knowledge, rediscovering our original selves along the way.

Tune in to this week's TEMPLE TALK, as Rabbi Chaim Richman and his special guest, Yishai Fleisher, discuss the hidden light of Chanukah, the Torah reading of Miketz, and much more.

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Part 1
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