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Are you ready to be elevated?
The Arizal explains that when the lighting of the candles takes place, there is a spiritual elevation happening almost in an automatic way. Sadly, people are more occupied within the material side of it, from how the picture is going to look to how tasty the donuts are going to be. Chanukah is a very spiritual holiday. If people concentrate on meditations, there is a possibility of actually experiencing how the spiritual elevation becomes more tangible.
The actual potential of elevation depends on how prepared the person is to receive inspiration. There is a huge risk on being elevated without its proper preparation, a person could r’l end up being crazy, confused or worse. Hashem knows where the person is holding and the elevation is going to happen accordingly. Therefore, a person needs to focus on the preparation so that the result ends up being positive.
There is a kabbalistic concept, taught by the Arizal and the Rashash, of elevating the holy sparks from the public domain to the private domain. The concept at a more individualistic level explains that the house (private domain) is within one’s being, and the public domain is the light that remains outside one’s being. There are two possible ways of interaction, to emanate light from within to the outside and to bring light from the outside to the inner being. The first cannot happen without the second, one needs to have light to be able to give light. The goal is to help others. For this to happen, the person needs first to be in conditions of being able to be a source of light to others.
To be Hashem´s representative is not an easy task. A wise person knows when is time to give and when is time to absorb in order to give. Chanukah is a propitious time to absorb light. Even though it seems exactly the opposite, it is part of its meditation according to the Arizal and the Rashash.
Shabbat is a source of elevation itself, so does Chanukah. What goes first? The Arizal explains that Shabbat is the highest of the elevations, there is nothing like Shabbat. The Halacha (Jewish law) mandates that the Chanukah lights should be lighted before Shabbat candles. The Arizal explains that since Shabbat is the highest source of elevation, Chanukah elevation would be, as manner of saying, nullified within the Shabat elevation. This is why people light Chanukah candles before. This way they would be able to experience the elevation of Chanukah and then boost it with the spirituality of Shabat. It is important to note that one should be careful not to desecrate Shabbat in order to light Chanukah candles.
Shabbat Chanukah 5782 happens during parashat Mikets. Through the Torah portion it can be seen that Pharaoh had prophecy through his dream. The goal of all human kind is to connect with Hashem, prophecy is the highest way of connecting to Hashem, it is actually the most significant gift that Hashem could give to anyone, to be connected at such a high level. The result of such intimacy with Hashem is prophecy. How is it possible that Pharaoh, a wicked man, could get such a high merit, and it can be also asked about Nebuchadnezzar that he also had a prophecy through a dream.
The Zohar explains that generally a prophecy is a level that only few people can accomplish. It requires hard preparation, devotion and an extensive work in oneself. But there is an exception, Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar where not looked as an individual rather as representatives of the world. At their time, both Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar, were the most powerful kings on Earth; so, it is not a message for themselves but to the public, in their cases, to the whole world. At a smaller scale, it also applies for regular people: a person could receive a message from Hashem that is for a family member, a friend or other people that are related to him. The principle is that Hashem wants to be recognized by every individual. Chanukah is a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of the auspicious time, elevate the sparks from the public domain to the private domain so that the person could become a source of light to others.