Hanukkah: A Light Meditation

Looking into the flame.

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Cosmic Inner Structure and the Word Ner

The entire cosmic inner structure and dynamics are reflected in the Hebrew word ner (candle). The word ner (nun (50), riesh (200) = 250) has a number equivalency with The Name (havaya (26)), the Tetragrammaton, the ineffable transcendence, as the name is joined with adonai (65), with elokim (86) and with eheyeh (21) (26+65 = 91; 26+86 = 112; 26+21= 47), in total 91+112+47= 250.

Havaya represents the utter transcendence, beyond all definitions or relationship with time or space, and yet havaya is projected within adonai (Master of the world), elokim (Lord of the world), and eheyeh (the ever unfolding process of becoming). There is absolute oneness and unity.

Yet all shades of the flame rests upon empty space. Just below the flame, where fire and wick converge, there appears to be an empty region. The fire begins slightly removed from the wick, or so it seems. Ultimately, if we wish to exude light, warmth and wisdom we must first disappear, attain a measure of bitul, and then the light we project outwardly will be a warming, gentle and overwhelmingly inspiring.

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Rabbi DovBer Pinson

Rabbi DovBer Pinson is the Rosh Yeshiva of the IYYUN Yeshiva, a Yeshiva for adults. He is also the founder of the IYYUN Center, a center for Jewish enrichment in Brooklyn, New York, and and is the author of more than ten books on Kabbalah and spirituality.