By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron
Discover the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land
As is quite obvious, Nachshon tied this painting to Hanuka. We will not dwell on the obvious references to Hanuka in this painting but will make an attempt to analyze some matters that are less obvious. As Nachshon wrote elsewhere, the letter “Shin” in the painting hints to God’s Name “Shadai” as it does on a mezuza/tefilin, as is customary. This matter in this painting seems to hint at the Divine intervention and miracle in the Hanuka story and during the auspicious days of Hanuka at all times. We see that this “Shin” is enflamed with a red fire at the center of the painting and green fire in a smaller Shin seen as if “in the distance” in the painting. This implies Divine intervention or publicizing the Divine miracle in different locations, a matter that is very dominant in Hanuka – publicizing the miracle in many locations. Also, within the central Shin are seven white doves in ascent, and there is also an eighth dove above the fire with an individual “riding” upon it. Our Sages say that the People of Israel are compared to a dove. The fact that there are eight doves may hint at the idea that Israel had and have a spiritual ascent during the eight days of Hanuka. It seems that the reason the eighth dove is above the fire while the others are within is due to the idea, discussed extensively in the Maharal, that the number eight represents the supernatural, while seven represents the natural “within” the confines of this world. Therefore, seven doves are “within” the fire, while the eighth is “above” the fire. The individual “riding” upon the eighth dove may hint to the supernatural level of the Jew, who, through the Divine Aid is victorious overall in the Hanuka story and throughout the ages, despite all the odds. Indeed, in this parsha Miketz which always occurrs with Hanuka, we see the greatness of spirit of Yosef, representing the illumination of the Jewish People even in the darkness of Egypt, shining in spiritual victory, despite all the odds. This is also the message of Hebron, the first settlement of the Jewish People in our Holy Land, that shined with renewal even after the First Temple Destruction, shined with renewal about 400 years ago even after many years of exile, and shines with renewal to this very day since our return after the Six-Day War. This is the Eternal Jewish City through the kindness of the Eternal One, Who had compassion on our ancestors in the Hanuka and renewed the lighting of the Menora in its pure eternal light.