Let There be Light
Halogen, fluorescent, incandescent, mercury vapor, high pressure sodium, candles. The options for
lighting, though limited, are numerous. The type of lighting you choose, and even what kind of lighting
fixture you use, are determined by the mood you want to create, the room in which they will be
found, and, of course, your taste.
Chanuka, the Festival of Light, begins on the 25th day of the month of Kislev.
The 25th word of the Torah is "ohr" -- light, for, on the first day of creation, G-d said, "Let there be
light, and there was light."
Judaism teaches that nothing is random or arbitrary: everything is part of the Divine Plan. Thus, it is
no coincidence that Chanuka, which begins on the 25th of Kislev, revolves around light and that the
25th word of the Torah is light. In addition, just as G-d's act of creation began with "Let there be
light," so the mitzva of Chanuka begins with the lighting of candles.
Exactly what kind of light was it that G-d created on the first day? The sun, moon and stars were not
created until the fourth day of creation; the light created on the first day was a spiritual light.
The Midrash explains that the light of the first day allowed Adam to see from one end of the universe
to the other. But upon Adam and Eve's sin G-d chose to conceal this light, in order to prevent its
misuse, and to unveil it in the future, in the times of the Redemption.
Physical light enables us to see our surroundings, the outer shell of everything that exists. Spiritual
light, however, enables us to uncover the inner beauty and divinity existing at the core of every being
or object created.
Jewish mysticism explains that each time one performs a commandment, in addition to establishing
and strengthening the connection to the "Commander," one also brings spiritual light into the world.
The special mitzvot involving physical light -- such as lighting Shabbat candles and Chanuka candles
-- actually bring an even greater spiritual light into the world as well.
When we kindle the Chanuka lights on the Festival of Light we are availing ourselves of a stronger
potential to unveil and actually see the Divine spark within every person and all of creation. Thus,
Chanuka is a prelude to and foretaste of the Messianic Era, when the Divine core of everything will