Our egoistic desire is regarded as “the Greeks” or “knowledge,” which means that we wish to advance following the mind and heart we possess at the moment. And indeed, what can we lean and rely on? Only on what we have. This, however, is the root of the problem since with these Kelim (vessels) we cannot enter the spiritual world.
But the spiritual world is here and now; there is neither distance that we need to cover, nor a dimension where we have to attain it. We attain the spiritual world in additional organs of perception that we must grow within above our own intellect and rationality, that is, above the ego that we have to correctly prepare in order to begin experiencing the spiritual world with it for the first time.
This is regarded as the Maccabean Revolt, and their victory in this war is Hanukkah which means “stopped here” (“Hanu Ko”) because we make a stop on the journey. This state is called “Hafetz Hesed” (wishing nothing for himself) or Bina; it is the revelation of the Creator or the first correction of the ego.
At this stage, a person rises above his ego and starts acquiring an additional sensation called “bestowal.” With its help, he begins to feel the spiritual world. But even though a person does sense the spiritual world, he remains in its reality passively, like an embryo in its mother’s waters.
This is what is regarded as a “stop” specifically because a person isn’t prepared yet to possess clear knowledge and perception called “attainment” when everything is transparent and open for him, and when he becomes exactly like the Creator and manages the entire spiritual world.
To compare this state to the arrangement with the guest and the Host: Despite the growing desire to feel pleasure, at the stage of Hanukkah a person refuses to receive from the Host. At this point, it is the spiritual work of a person, meaning that he doesn’t wish to receive anything or participate in the spiritual world; he wishes just to be present in it.
This is why during this holiday, it is prohibited to use the light from the Hanukkah candles, but only observe it. Besides, Hanukkah is considered to be the time when a miracle takes place because we exit from our ego to the outside. In other words, this is a miracle of victory over the ego after the ascent or exodus from it (from Egypt). It is liberation from desires and thoughts that hold us in this world and don’t allow us to experience the spiritual world.
Kabbalah for the Nation Introductory Lesson Series, “Hanukkah” 11/30/10