Monday, January 28, 2008

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The Spiritual Perspective, Part 14

by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

Another example of searching for the spiritual perspective by moving up the ladder of holiness involves the Chanukah menorah (candle holder). The holder has a degree of holiness since it is used to fulfill the mitzvah of lighting the Chanukah lights. We treat the menorah with respect, but the menorah comes only to hold the oil or candles. The oil or candles have a greater share of holiness since they are essential to light the required flame. But really, it is their wicks that are the essence of the lighting. The oil or candles are there only to feed the wicks. But the wicks come only to hold the flame, so the flame is holier than the wicks. But the flame burns only to give light, so the light is more holy than the flame.

All these ingredients come to create light for us to gaze upon in order to remember the miracles of Chanukah. This is the purpose of the mitzvah, and all of the steps along the way serve this purpose.

Use this same method of inquiry with all of your deeds. Try to understand what the real purpose is for your actions. For instance, why do you eat? Is it primarily to experience taste? Or do you eat mainly for health reasons? To stave off hunger? Do you eat just to gain energy in order to accomplish your goals? Any and all of these are good and proper reasons to eat, but when we have our priorities in order and keep them in mind, we do things differently.

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