Running for your wife! To Be in Jerusalem!
Rabbi Eli Goldsmith, also known as the Midnight Rabbi, and works @ the Jaffa Institute, like Midnightrabbi inspires
10 years ago I was going out on my shidduch. A shidduch is a date where both people are looking to get married. I was saying Tehillim (Psalms) as I walked towards the city center. I needed to davern (pray) Mincha (afternoon prayers), and it was getting late. I didn’t want to miss Mincha or my date.
I knew that there was a synagogue at the central bus station, so I decided to go for it. As I walked across the street, a police officer stopped me. “Why did you walk across traffic instead of waiting for the light? Show me your identification.” I didn’t have any identification on me. I usually do not carry my passport around town. I was determined to get to Mincha and to the date. What could I do? I pulled out my Gemmara (Talmud), pointed to the inside cover “Eli Goldshmith, Yeshiva Ohr Somayach.” The officer looked at me and let me go. I ran into the bus station, prayed and then went to my date.
The prayers worked. This was the first time I went on a shidduch, and after several more meeting we decided to get married. We have been married for 10 years, have six inspired children, and live in Jerusalem.
From Rav Moshe Wolfson Yaakov Avinu Descended to Charan to Find his Kallah
Yaakov went to Charan to the house of Lavan to find his marriage partner. Charan is a
place far removed from G-dliness. It is called חרן because it was “10 מקום חרון אף של מ קום “, ‘a place of the wrath of Hashem’. The people there were evil and Lavan was especially so. That
was where Yaakov was headed in his quest to find a wife.
The Midrash11 states that Yaakov Avinu recited the psalm ‘ “שיר המעלות… עזרי מעם ה
” עשה שמים וארץ 12 , ‘My help is from Hashem the creator of Heaven and Earth’. Yaakov
entreated, “Hashem, You are really the ruler of the Earth, too. Reveal that your presence is
even in Charan and in the house of Lavan. Reveal the unification of Heaven and Earth – that
there is nothing and nowhere where there is no manifestation of G-dliness”.
It is especially apt that he requested this as he was on his way to find his mate and
create a representation of the union of the masculine and feminine aspects of G-dliness, (the
holiness and elevation of Hashem being openly revealed on the Shechina, in his dwelling on
Eliezer Lighted the Chanukah Menorah (lamp)
This Shabbos heralds the last week of Cheshvan. We are already very close to Kislev.
In Hebrew, the word for close is סמוך , which also means ‘to lean’. If we are close to Kislev, we
can already lean upon it. The week we are entering, ends with the Shabbos that blesses the
month of Kislev.
Eliezer went to Charan to light up the darkness of the place. He planted seeds of
Chanukah and Purim, days that light up the darkness of exile. We are introduced to the
essence of Chanukah with the illumination of the Menorah in Charan.
There was a Neshama (soul) in Charan that is the Menorah of Chanukah. She is
Rivka. She is a silver Menorah that is filled with pure olive oil equipped with a premier quality
wick. She waits for someone to ignite her.
She is a lonely beacon of goodness in a place of evil, just as the Chanukah Menorah
is a light that shines in the darkness of the night, low and to the left, the place where evil
resides. She was the daughter of an evil person, the sister of an evil person and the people of
her community were all evil13.
רבקה is gematria, has the numerical value of כסלו , when you spell out the letters, כף
סמך למד ואו , (they both equal 307). The entire month of Kislev is infused with the light of
Chanukah and Rivka is the personification of Chanukah.
The 24 days of Kislev before Chanukah
The Zohar notes that there are 24 letters in the words .ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד
They correspond to the 24 days of Kislev preceding Chanukah. On these 24 days the Avodah
is יחידא תתאה , to reveal the oneness of Hashem below, that he is sovereign in the mundane.
Chanukah, which begins on the 25th day of Kislev, corresponds to שמע ישראל ה’ אלוקנו
ה’ אחד , which has 25 letters, .יחודא עילאה
Fascinatingly, רבקה when we spell out the letters ריש בית קוף הה , is gematria, שמע
ישראל ה’ אלקינו ה’ אחד (they both equal 1118). She is the personification of Chanukah.
Chanukah – A Yom Tov of Increasing in Holiness
Rivka, the Neshama of Chanukah, was blessed that, “14 אֲחתֵנוּ אַתְּ הֲיִי לְאַלְפֵי רְבָבָ ה “, ‘our
sister may you [multiply to] be to tens of thousands’. She will inherit the blessing of Avraham
Avinu who was blessed “15 הרבה ארבה את זרעך “, ‘I will greatly increase your offspring16. Her blessing was one of increasing because Chanukah is a Yom Tov of increasing in holiness.
We light one candle on the first night, two on the second, three on the third, and so on.
הרבה ארבה את זרעך” “, the blessing of increase, is gematria ” “שמע ישראל ה’ אלוקנו ה’ אחד
which corresponds to Chanukah, the Yom Tov of increasing holiness (they both equal 1118).
On Chanukah We Have a Unification of יחודא עילאה and יחודא תתאה
We light the candles by the door. To our right is the Mezuzah, in the upper third of the
door, which contains the verse of Shema, יחודא עילאה . To our left, below ten handbreadths,
are the Chanukah candles, which proclaim Hashem’s Sovereignty below, יחודא תתאה . There
is a unification of יחודא עילאה and .יחודא תתאה
When Mashiach will come it will be “17 ה’ אחד ושמו אחד “, Hashem will be one with His
name, i.e. with his manifestation on Earth. There will be a union between יחודא עילאה and
יחידא תתאה . Therefore ה’ אחד ושמו אחד is gematria מזוזה נר חנוכה (they both equal 404). Both
in ה’ אחד ושמו אחד and in מזוזה and נר חנוכה does the union of יחודא עילאה and יחודא תתאה
Rivka is Surrounded by Kelipos (Impure Forces)
In his time, Lavan was the chief of all the Kelipos. The Zohar18 states, that he was one
and the same as the original snake that enticed Chavah in the Gan Eden.
Rivka was surrounded by kelipos. Rivka’s birth is announced in the Torah amidst the
birth of twelve people who were the persona of kelipos. This is how it always has to be, the
rose grows surrounded by thorns19.
Lavan Hates יחודא תתאה
Outside, in public, is the place where evil dwells. Indoors is the place for holiness.
Originally, Chanukah candles were lit outdoors to spread holiness in the place of impurity,
this being the entire theme of Chanukah. Only due to gentile ire in exile, are they now lit
Lavan will grudgingly recognize that Hashem exists in Heaven. But he will not tolerate
the revelation that Hashem exists on Earth, among evil, as well. That is the place where he,
Lavan is chief! Why is holiness interfering in his realm?!
He protests to Eliezer, the one who came to Charan to light up the Chanukah Menorah
of Rivka within its gloomy borders. “!?20 למה תעמוד בחוץ “, Why do you insist on remaining
outside, in my territory?! Why do you insist on entering my region of impurity and spreading
holiness there?! Why don’t you light Chanukah candles indoors?! ” ואנכי פניתי הבית “, I have
cleared the house for you, do your religious ceremonies in their proper place, indoors, where
תעמד בחוץ is gematria חנכה when you spell out the letters, חת נון כף הא (they both equal
620). The Chanukah candles stand proud outside in defiance of Lavan and his likes. We will
light up the dark.
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