Question: A miracle happened on Hanukkah when a candle that could only burn for a day kept burning for eight days. What is a candle, a wick, and oil from a Kabbalistic perspective?
Answer: A candle is a barrel with oil and a wick floating inside it. Thanks to the wick, we can light the oil that rises up the wick and burns. Separately the oil and the wick will not burn, but when the oil enters the wick, the candle lights up.
The wick embodies the rejection of light. The oil represents the fuel, but it cannot burn by itself. Therefore, we must understand that our growing egoism is transformed through our work into its opposite, as it is written: “The evil angel becomes the good one” or “The angel of death becomes the angel of life.”
The Maccabees found the barrel of oil because they tried to reach the quality of love and bestowal, the connection between them, and they were able to light it because they had great resistance to those segments of the population that bowed to the Greek idols and built Greek temples in Jerusalem.
The war of the Maccabees was internal, within themselves, not an external one with the Greeks or the Hellenists inside of Israel. When they overcame their egoistic resistance, they transformed their resentment between them into the wick inside the oil and were able to light it.
Therefore, the barrel of oil with a wick embodies specifically the person’s spiritual work. It means nothing to simply find a keg—the main thing is to be able to light it. When the Maccabees, by overcoming the resistance of their egos, united, the barrel was found that they were able to put the wick into and light. In other words, they transformed their egoism and it began to be illuminated by the upper Light, and their souls lit up, illuminated by the Light. This is the miracle of Hanukkah.
Question: Why did the candle burn for eight days instead of one?
Answer: It is because, if you work for the purpose of love and bestowal, you ascend higher. There are eight Sefirot from Malchut to Bina, eight parts of desires. Even though there is only one Malchut, through resistance, i.e., faith above reason, it illuminates all the Sefirot to the highest one—Bina.
The Maccabees were able to rise to the real quality of bestowal, which is called faith above reason. Reason is in Malchut, while faith— in Bina. The rise from Malchut to Bina embodies the miracle of Hanukkah.
From KabTV’s “Kabbalistic Meaning of Hanukkah,” 12/7/17