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{Reposted from The Foundation Stone, the website of Rabbi Simcha Weinberg}

And the sun shone for him (Jacob), [Bereishit 32:32 – sefaria.org]” Rabbi Berachia said, “And for whom did the sun not shine? Therefore, the verse is teaching us that the sun healed Jacob from his wound from the wrestling match, but for all other people, it simply  provided light.

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Rav Huna Taught in the name of Rav Acha, “For lo! That day is at hand, burning like an oven. All the arrogant and all the doers of evil shall be straw, and the day that is coming—said the LORD of Hosts—shall burn them to ashes and leave of them neither stock nor boughs. But for you who revere My name a sun of victory shall rise to bring healing (Malachi 3:19-20). The same sun that will heal Jacob will consume his enemies (Bereishit Rabbah 78:8).”

For some, the sun provided light.

For some, the sun was a raging fire of destruction.

For Jacob, the sun brought light, warmth and healing.

The same sun served different functions for different people.

We may look and see the familiar sun but there is more hidden within its blaze.

So too are the Candles of the Menorah. They are physically candles, but, Halacha reminds us, in the words of the song that celebrates this Mitzvah:

“During all the eight days of Chanukah these lights are sacred,

neither is it permitted us to make any profane use of them;

but we are only to look at them,

in order that we may give thanks unto thy name for thy miracles, thy deliverances and thy wonders.”

We do not look at them as candles that offer necessary light.

We look at them so they will trigger: “in order that we may give thanks unto thy name for thy miracles, thy deliverances and thy wonders.”

We look to the candles as Jacob looked to the sun early that morning after his wrestling match. We look at them for spiritual healing.

A very holy, wise, spiritual woman has over the years invited thousands of Shabbat guests to begin the Shabbat Feast by acknowledging and celebrating the Illuminations with which they have been blessed over the past week. “What new light has been added to your life?”

I suggest we steal her idea in these final days before Chanukah to prepare to celebrate Light of Healing, Illuminations of Clarity, The Warm Hug of Shalom we can see, if only we know how to look, in the Lights of our Menorah.

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Rabbi Simcha L. Weinberg, is founder and President of the leading Torah website, The Foundation Stone. Rav Simcha is an internationally known teacher of Torah and has etablished yeshivot on several continents.