LIGHTING UP THE EXILEWITH THE OIL OF TORAH
the man hng o add n dyng anddemnang (he eachng of he toah ngeneal, he qaly Yaakov embode, bmoe paclaly) he nne dmenon of hetoah, he ol (he ece of he ece) ofhe toah. And h demnaon hold ben a manne ha hne “pon one’ dooayfom he ode” – a Mohach old heBaal shem tov, “pead yo ellpngoad” – “nl he tamodan haveceaed apng abo (he makeplace).”
Translated by Boruch Merkur
FROM EXILE TOREDEMPTION IN THISGENERATION
Our generation is the finalgeneration of exile and the firstgeneration of redemption. Thisunique period, transitioningfrom exile to redemption, isalluded to in this week’s Torahportion, Parshas Mikeitz, whichis described as both “
” the end of thedays of exile [“all instances of “
” denote “end” –Rashi onMikeitz, beg.], as well as “
,” the beginning of theredemption [“
” can mean“beginning” –Even Ezra onShlach 13:25].This connection with theredemption also finds expressionin the holiday of Chanuka.Chanuka was founded uponthe miracle of the oil, and oil iscited in the verse, “I have foundDovid, My servant; with Mysanctified oil I have anointedhim” [see ibid, pg. 201: Indeed,the Messiah is called “Moshiach”in reference to “
– the anointment with oil” […] and from himthere shall be the primary andcomplete revelation of the oilof Torah (the secrets of thesecrets of Torah), for he shallteach “the secret of its reasons[underlying the Mitzvos] and itshidden mysteries” (Rashi on ShirHaShirim 1:2)]. And the concept of redemption is especiallypreeminent on ShabbosChanuka, for Shabbos isconnected with redemption[as underscored in the Songof the Day, “
Mizmor shir l’yomha’Shabbos
– A Psalm, a song forthe day of Shabbos” – “A Psalm,a song for the Future Era, fora day that is entirely Shabbos(rest) and tranquility for alleternity” (Tamid, end)].
AN INCREASE THAT ISTANGIBLE AND OVERT
The practical application of the above is that – in accordance with the lesson of the daysof Chanuka, “thereafter theyprogressively increase” [referringto the custom to add a candleeach night of Chanuka] – everyday there should be an increasein activities that bring aboutthe redemption in a way that istangible and overt.Thus, there should be astrengthening in the faith anddesire and yearning for thecoming of Moshiach, to theextent that one feels that all the while that Moshiach Tzidkeinuhas still not arrived – tangiblyand overtly – one’s days areincomplete, his life is trulylacking. Yaakov expresses thissentiment by saying that even the130 years of his life were seenas but “few” [meaning lacking],for the redemption had not yet been realized in the world (asdiscussed above).The main thing, however,is to add in studying anddisseminating (the teachings of the Torah in general, the quality Yaakov embodies, but moreparticularly) the inner dimensionof the Torah, the oil (the secretsof the secrets) of the Torah.
Rosh Chodesh Teives 5773