I am focusing again on the teachings of Rav Shalom Noach Berezovsky, the Slonimer Rebbe zt’’l, this time from a new volume titled, “Nesivos Shalom on the Torah” translated by Rabbi Yehoshua Dyckman and published this year and by Feldheim.
This volume is a collection of the Rebbe’s teachings based upon the weekly Torah readings. This work marks the first time that the Rebbe’s teachings based upon the weekly parsha readings appears in English. Given last week’s introductory, I choose to devote this week’s essay to the presentment of the Rebbe’s teachings concerning Chanukah within the context of his dvar Torah on parsha Miketz.
The following is his teaching:
“The idea of the Chanukah candles is similar [to the lighting of the Shabbos candles], as their purpose is to illuminate the Divine light.
“The sefer B’nei Yissaschar quotes from the Roke’ach that he had a tradition from Eliyahu Hanavi that the hidden light is revealed in the Chanukah candles. The Ramban explained [in parshas Baha’alosecha] the teaching of our Sages that Hashem said to Aharon regarding the light of the Menorah, ‘Yours will endure forever.’ This is a reference to the Chanukah candles which are a continuation of the light of the Menorah in the Beis HaMikdash, [the Holy Temple] and this light will endure until the ultimate redemption, when Mashiach comes.
“Thus Chanukah derives its light from the light of the Menorah in the Beis HaMikdash, which in turn was derived from the hidden light. Just as all forces of evil flee from the great light of Shabbos, so too the Chanukah candles illuminate the space below ten handbreadths, the lowest levels, a place ruled by the forces of impurity.
“The Me’or Einayim wrote that the Divine Presence never descends below ten handbreadths. However, on Chanukah the Divine light descends below ten handbreadths so that the lowly ones will not be excluded forever from connecting to Hashem.
“This spark of light illuminates the life of the Jew wherever he is, and with this power he can overcome all forces of evil. Just as a Jew can draw illumination for the whole week from the illumination of Shabbos, so too Chanukah is a once-a-year opportunity for a Jew to become illuminated with enough Divine light to last throughout the year.
“Then Hashem will end the darkness and the evil inclination will be uprooted from the world.”
May these holy teachings of the Slonimer Rebbe resonate with our people forever more.
Happy Chanukah to all.