Wednesday, December 5, 2007


In Parshat Masei, Moshe recounts the different locations that B'nei Yisrael visited during the years in the desert.

The 25th place that B'nei Yisrael encamped is recorded as Chashmonah. The two similarities are fairly obvious. Chanukah falls on the 25th day of Kislev, and the protagonists in the story are from the Chashmunai family. Furthermore, the word Chanukah can be read as Chanu (they encamped) and kah (gematria of 25).

It is a well known fact amongst Kabbalists that the most seemingly mundane passages of Torah contain the greatest of Creation's secrets. One which is well known to many who are acquainted on even a low level with Kabbalah is the Kings of Edom from the end of parshat VaYishlach. The GR"A, in his commentary on Sifra Ditzniuta, relates the kings to the 6000 years of history, and by way of remez, indicates that the Keitz "B'itah" is some time after 5666, in the time corresponding with the last king.

The following is a translated paragraph from the last note on chapter 3 of Kol HaTor from within HaTekufah HaGedolah:

And I (Rav Kasher) will bring here what Rabbi Avraham Isaac of Yerushalayim wrote me, and these are his words: The Elders of Yerushalayim tell that the students of the GR"A begged him to reveal to them the Keitz, which he knew. After they begged him much on this matter, he said to them once that within the 42 travels in the desert includes the secret with all its details.

(I recommend reading the whole footnote, for other related items that are mentioned there)

The quotation then goes on to discuss the warning from the GR"A that one who figures out the details of the secret should not reveal it to another.

Sha'ar HaGilgulim Introduction 20:

... for in the future, Moshe himself will return by way of gilgul (reincarnation) in the final generation, and then he will rise, this is why it says "behold you lie down with your fathers and rise" (Devarim 31:16). And also in the last generation, the entire Generation of the Desert will reincarnate with the Erev Rav, and that is what it says "And the nation will rise up" (same verse). And the matter is that there is no generation that doesn't have Moshe Rabbeinu in it, in the secret of "and the sun shines, and the sun sets", "a generation goes, a generation comes", in order to fix that generation. And also the Generation of the Desert itself, with the Erev Rav, all of them will reincarnate in the Last Generation, "As the days of your going out of Egypt". Also Moshe will rise up among them. For they are all from the secret of Da'at: Moshe, the Generation of the Desert, and also the Erev Rav, as was explained in Parshat Shemot....

An essential Tikun of the Geulah is the Tikun of Dor HaMidbar (The Generation of the Desert mentioned above). There was great potential and unfortunately great mistakes occurred. Therefore, these souls return (on some level) to get a final chance to make things right.

So the question is this: Does Chashmonah hint at Chanukah, or does Chanukah hint at Chashmonah?

Essentially, at some point, the message of Chanukah needs to be internalized in all of us. At some point, we must turn Chanukah in to a metaphor and apply it to our situation.

What is the message of Chanukah? Basically a story of extremism, a big taboo in our days. The two sides were Torah and Hellenism. The choice was imposed upon us, the Hellenists/Greeks demanded abandoning our way of life. To apply the metaphor to Dor HaMidbar, Torah and Eretz Yisrael or returning to Egypt. The way to stay true to the Torah was made extremely difficult by the surrounding environment.

Our age is one of polarization. Western values/attitudes allow for, to a large degree, live and let live attitudes, and therefore invite coexistence between ideologies and religious beliefs. The terrorist threat is causing an essential defining of sides, and the West must define itself in to narrower boundaries. We will soon be pressed to choose between the West and the Torah, it will no longer be a mixture.

May we all internalize the meaning of these 8 days, the miracles, both physical and spiritual, and make these part of our daily life, so we know what to choose when the time comes.

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