Monday, December 10, 2018

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Zoth Chanukoh

by Aharon Rubin at Mystical Paths

Today, the last day of the festival of Chanukoh, is called Zoth Chanukoh (lit. 'this is Chanukoh'), after the Torah reading portion of the day, which ends with זאת חנוכת המזבח - 'This is the inauguration of the altar'.

In the Torah reading for the eight days of Chanukoh, we recount the inauguration of the Mishkon, the Dwelling Place for G-d, during the Jews' forty years sojourn in the wilderness, prior to their entry to the holy Land of Israel. In today's final reading, immediately following G-d's saying, 'This is the inauguration of the altar' (Bamidbor 7:84), comes an amazing verse:

וּבְבֹ֨א מֹשֶׁ֜ה אֶל־אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵד֮ לְדַבֵּ֣ר אִתּוֹ֒ וַיִּשְׁמַ֨ע אֶת־הַקּ֜וֹל מִדַּבֵּ֣ר אֵלָ֗יו מֵעַ֤ל הַכַּפֹּ֙רֶת֙ אֲשֶׁר֙ עַל־אֲרֹ֣ן הָעֵדֻ֔ת מִבֵּ֖ין שְׁנֵ֣י הַכְּרֻבִ֑ים וַיְדַבֵּ֖ר אֵלָֽיו׃  

"And when Moshe came into the Tent of Meeting to speak with Him, he heard the Voice addressing him from above the cover that was on top of the Ark of the Pact, between the two cherubim; and He spoke to him."

This verse is immediately followed by G-d instructing Moshe regarding the kindling of the Menorah.

Inaugurating the Mishkon, a place for G-d to dwell, had a special power. It enabled G-d to reveal Himself as it were, to speak with Moshe from within that Tent.

In the specific prayer of Chanukoh, Ul HaNissim ('On the miracles'), and Bimai Mattisthyohu ('In the days of Mattisyahu'), we say:

‘And for You (G-d), You made a great and holy Name in your world … And, afterwards, Your children came to Your Sanctuary, cleared out Your Palace, purified Your Temple and lit lamps in Your holy courtyards’.

G-d's Palace is our heart and our mind. By lighting the menorah, we purify our own private Dwelling Place for G-d, realising His Providence and Presence. Through realising G-d's Immanence, we make a great and holy Name in our own world.
That Name is our individual and private acknowledgement of G-d's Being. It is the centre of the wheel around which everything else revolves. That centre is sacred. It is our Holy of Holies.

This is Chanukoh - the inauguration of our own dwelling place for G-d.

(© Excerpt from Eye to the Infinite)


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