"All who are faithful to G-d, follow me!" Rallying cry of the Maccabees as they defied the massive and powerful Greek army.

The holiday of Chanukah, celebrated around the world by Jews of every level of observance, is a celebration of miracles. It marks the miraculous victory of a small group of Jewish faithful – the Maccabees - over their powerful Greek oppressors almost 2200 years ago.

The Greeks worshipped physical beauty, physical strength and the rational mind. They were opposed to Jewish belief not because of the wisdom of the Torah or the details of Jewish practice, but because of the supra-rational faith of the Jews. Unlike other enemies, they didn’t seek to annihilate the Jews, but rather to assimilate them. Their campaign was aimed at severing the essential unconditional connection of the Jewish people to G-d and the Torah.

That is why the Greeks were so intent upon defiling the Temple, the holiest site of the Jewish people and the center of their spiritual service. In addition to sacrificing pigs and placing idols in the Temple, they defiled all the pure oil that was needed to light the Temple’s Menorah.

When the Greeks were finally defeated and the Temple restored, the Jews searched in vain for pure oil. At last, they found one sealed container, just enough to burn for a single day. They knew that it wouldn’t be enough to last until a new supply of oil could be made. Nevertheless, they used that one container of oil to light the Temple’s Menorah once again. Miraculously, that one container of pure oil burned for 8 days.

Today, Chanukah is celebrated for those same 8 days, in remembrance of the great miracles of that time.

But as always, Kabbalah tells a deeper story.


G-d made the world, including the entire natural order, in seven days - six days of creation and the seventh day of rest.

This cycle of seven contains within it, in seed form, all of Creation, everything that can exist within the natural order. (Interestingly, throughout history, virtually every culture on earth has measured time according to this seven-day cycle, which unlike the day, the month, or the year, corresponds to no astrological or natural phenomenon.)

The number eight, on the other hand, reflects a light that transcends Creation. Eight is above the limitations of space and time, above the laws of nature. Eight is the level of miracles. That’s why eight corresponds to the time of geula and the revelation of Moshiach, when the limitations of the physical universe and the natural order will no longer block the deeper reality.

The Menorah in the Holy Temple had seven lights. The menorah of Chanukah has eight.

Inside of you, at your deepest core, you also have that level of eight, a repository of “pure oil” that is not limited by anything in nature. Although you may not be in touch with it, beneath your everyday sense of “who you are” lies a vast, untainted potential.

When you operate from the level of ‘seven’, you are constricted by your circumstances. Who you are and what you have to work with truly might not be enough to allow your light to shine.

But when you choose, like the Maccabees of yore, to go beyond measured reason and use whatever you do have, regardless of whether or not it seems like enough, a new reality comes into play. Through committing yourself to do what you can to illuminate yourself and your world, with pure faith and trust that G-d will provide the rest, you can begin to ignite your “pure oil” – the light from the realm of eight.


Often, in the course of ordinary life, we feel blocked from fulfilling our true potential. We tell ourselves that we could be better, more - if only…

This “if only” can take many forms. If only I had a more nurturing childhood. If only I had more money. If only I were married. If only I were divorced. If only my friends were more supportive. If only I had more time. If only I wasn’t afraid. If only I was sure it would work. If only I was a different type. If only I knew how…

“If only” is from the realm of seven. When you operate in your life from ‘seven’, what you have, who you know and how you feel actually does make a very big difference. If you need oil for eight days and you only have enough for one, you’re out of luck.

The power of eight isn’t affected by “if only”. When you operate from ‘eight’, you disregard your limiting circumstances and commit yourself to creating the world you want to experience from the pure source of who you are, even if you don’t know how. When you do this with trust and faith in G-d, as did the Maccabees, just a very small amount of oil can create all the light you need.


What is it that’s standing in the way of your light today? It doesn’t have to stop you – instead, you can use it to make your light shine! You just have to replace the “if only” with the vision of what you really want, and be willing to take action toward that vision, one little step at a time.

To get started now, ask yourself the following question:

“If only I had (whatever it is that you think you need) what would I do differently? What dreams have I given up on that I would start bringing to life?”

Then, once you have the answer, take at least one action on behalf of that dream, an action you wouldn’t have taken before. Write a letter of apology. Join a class. Make a phone call. Apply for a new job. Say yes, or say no. Reach out to someone. Do this even if you think it won’t be enough to get you through to your goal – and watch new things begin to happen in your life.

Author's Bio: 

Shifra Hendrie specializes in helping talented, spiritually-minded people create breakthrough results in their lives, businesses and relationships through a unique combination of deep spiritual wisdom and cutting-edge coaching tools.

To read more of her articles, listen to audio classes or download her fascinating f*ree ecourse, “Seven Kabbalah Secrets that Can Change Your Life”, visit www.KabbalahOfTransformation.com.