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Just as the world was created on the twenty-fifth of the month - for the world was created on the twenty-fifth of Ellul, and when people say that the world was created in Tishri, this refers only to the creation of humanity; the beginning of Creation was on the twenty-fifth of the month - so too is Chanukah [begins] on the twenty-fifth of the month [of Kislev]. And just as the beginning of creation was 'Let there be light', so too is the commandment of Chanukah concerning lights. Just as the first light was hidden and not available for use, so too these lights are forbidden for our use.

Isaiah HaLevi Horowitz (c.1570-1626), Shnei Luchot HaBrit

('The Two Tablets of the Covenant') (Jerusalem: 1975), Torah Shebichtav, v. 2, p. 29a-b.

Horowitz linked Chanukah with the creation of the world, both festival and creation bringing light into the chaotic universe. So too did the Emancipation and the Enlightenment. Both brought about the possibility of a progressive approach to Jewish tradition which sheds light into the dark shadows pervasive in much of traditional Jewish circles. We have brought light into the Jewish world through our celebration of inclusivity and our understanding that Tikkun Olam is both a personal mystical discipline and a physical commitment to work for the future health of our world. When we can all work together towards our Messianic goal of an equitable society and a healthy environment, then we will be helping that hidden light to enter our world and enrich our lives.

Rabbi Dr Jackie Tabick


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