harp’s page

logic. life. learner.


Posted by jbharp on December 12, 2007

Tonight ended the eight night Jewish holiday of Chanukah. I decided to observe some the holiday rituals this year. I purchased a Menorah and a box of 44 candles. It wasn’t a large Menorah. I wonder if it even met all of the proper traditions involved in lighting of the candles. It was a rather cheaply constructed Menorah. I briefly considered returning it to the store and getting a higher quality one. But I felt a great sense of ownership after I used superglue to repair the far right candle holder back onto its branch. If there was a guild of superglue workers, then I would be at the top of the trade.

Even though Chanukah is a well know Jewish Holiday (somewhat due to it occurring during the Christmas season) it is not one of their major holidays. That is not to say any celebration of God’s miracles and providences is minor in any way. It is just that Chanukah does not have as many commandments (mitvots) to fulfill as other holidays. But for Jewish Holidays, which are packed full of symbolism, meaning, self reflection and growth, this doesn’t say much. Chanukah certainly doesn’t deviate from having traditions packed full of meaning.

One interesting thing I learned was about the Menorah in the Holy Temple. Unlike the nine branched Menorah used to observe Chanukah today, the Holy Temple’s only had seven branches.

The Menorah in the Temple had seven branches: six outer lamps, which all faced the seventh center stem. The Menorah’s six outer branches represent the six realms of secular knowledge — physics, philosophy, astronomy, medicine, music and mathematics. But the Torah is telling us that society cannot rest on knowledge alone. Unless this information is focused and directed toward the center stem — symbolizing God, Torah and spirituality — then this wisdom is for naught. Or worse, it is destructive.

How true it is that everything else in life amounts to nothing without the central focus of God. It reminds me that God and science (and the other realms of knowledge) are not at war. But that God is the central piece to these forms of knowledge.

Chanukah was an enjoyable time. I was especially grateful to experience some of the evenings with others – the Horses, my cousin, and my roommate.


One Response to “Chanukah”

  1. Lindsey said

    off topic, but had to share!!!
    Latest poll results (today)


    Huckabee 23
    Rudy 19
    Romney 15
    McCain 11
    Fred 11
    Paul 5


    American Research Group

    Huckabee 21
    Rudy 21
    McCain 18
    Romney 16
    Fred 6




    Huckabee 27
    Romney 23
    Rudy 19
    Fred 9
    McCain 6
    Paul 4



    IVR Polls

    Huckabee 29
    Rudy 16
    Fred 14
    Romney 14
    McCain 7
    Paul 6
    Tancredo 3
    Hunter 2


    South Carolina-

    CNN/Opinion Research

    Huckabee 24
    Fred 17
    Rudy 16
    Romney 16
    McCain 13
    Ron Paul 11




    Huckabee 36
    Romney 23



    Paul 29
    Huckabee 22
    Fred 14
    Rudy 12
    McCain 9
    Romney 9


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