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The Symbolism of candles and Hanukkah

 

The use of candles, oil burners and even good soft lighting can be powerful tools for transforming a person’s mood. By lighting candles in a conscious manner, we enhance the likelihood of moving from an agitated or unfocussed state to one of relaxation and focus.

Imagine the flame of the candle as a symbol for your soul. When you stare at the flame for a while, what thoughts go through your mind? Do you find yourself more connected to the sacred in life? Do you feel your daily life’s concerns slipping from your thoughts? Can this simple act become a part of your day?

It is the fifth day of Hanukkah -the Jewish Festival of Lights, and I thought I’d briefly look at the symbolism of the candle lighting in this festival.

One main aspect of the celebration is the lighting of a new candle every day for eight days, which relates back to a conflict between the Jewish people and the Greco-Romans in the second century B.C. As a consequence of the conflict, the sacred oil in the Jewish Temple of Jerusalem was defiled by the enemy. The eternal flame had only enough oil left to burn for one day but miraculously remained burning for eight days- just enough time in which to have some more sacred oil brought in.

An article written by Rabbi which not only explains the origin of Hanukkah in depth but also goes on to discuss his views on Judaism and Science, which relates to the origins of the celebration of Hanukkah.

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