Answer: We relate a candle to warmth, light, and hope. That is how we perceive it according to our spiritual root.
The candles of Chanukah symbolize the outcome of man’s war with his ego. What is a candle, really? It’s a body that contains oil, a wick inside the oil, and a fire burning on the wick. Each of these components has a meaning: The body is the spiritual vessel or Kli, the oil symbolizes the Light of Hochma that becomes revealed to us, and the wick stands for the discernments we make. All of this together gives us fire, the Light.
When a person makes enough inner discernments, waging a war with his ego, desiring to ascend above it, independent of the egoistic approach where all his actions are aimed only at fulfilling himself, when he desires to get rid of his egoistic nature, this is called “the war of the Maccabees against the Greeks.”
In Hebrew the Maccabees are called Makabim, which is an abbreviation of the phrase, “Those who are going toward the Creator, follow me.” In essence we separate from the “Greeks” inside us – the rational thinking, the egoistic desire to enjoy – and slightly rise above everything earthly to bestowal and love for the neighbor. The level of Bina means, “Do not do to another what you hate.”
In other words, a candle is a good, beautiful symbol of the spiritual nature. That is why we feel so good and comfortable when it glows.
From the program “Kabbalah for Beginners” on 12/1/10