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Rachel and Leah
The total amount of years it took Jacob to transform on his life journey was 36 (from when he left home, and then returned with his new family). (Rashi, Bereishit 28:9)
Jacob then meets his soul mate Rachel (archetype of free-will), but gets tricked into marrying Rachelís sister, Leah (archetype of destiny).
The gematria of Hebrew name Leah (lamed-aleph-heh) is also 36.
The letters are also a rearrangement of holy Name of God as mentioned above (Alef, Lamed, Heh).
According to Kabbalah, Leah is Biblical archetype of unanticipated destiny. She may not be what we choose to have happen to us in life, nor is she even desirable, but when she is accepted and embraced (Jacob accepted her as part of family) it is through her that transformation happens. It is through influence of Leah that tribes of Israel are born and Destiny is fulfilled. It is through Leah that seed of Messiah is produced (through Judah, House of David, etc..) who will eventually come to initiate humanity into an Age where Ohr HaGanuz, Hidden Light, will be revealed.
Now we look at Rachel who gives birth to only two sons. Her first son is Joseph, and younger one, Benjamin. However, Rachel dies in Bethlehem while giving birth to Benjamin, at age 36. It was at this age, that Heaven felt she had fulfilled her life journey. Like Isaac, her grandfather, legend tells of her absolute willingness to offer her life (one incarnation) for a higher cause (in this case, Benjamin).
In history, Benjamin comes to represent Jerusalem and Holy Temple since they were both built on tribal land of Benjamin. It also happens to be same exact site (Temple Mount - Mt. Moriah) where years earlier Isaac was willing to sacrifice his own life.
Temple Mount in Jerusalem is one of most powerful energy vortexes in world.
It is same site where Chanukah miracle would take place later in history.
Interestingly enough, Chanukah is ONLY Jewish holiday that takes place in ISRAEL, and specifically in on Temple Mount in Jerusalem !!!
The story of Chanukah is hardly given a mention in entire Talmud. Less than one page is devoted to it, while other holidays receive entire Tractates reviewing holiday in depth and detail. The rabbis of earlier generations tried to play down story of Chanukah for political reasons, but it would not go away. Today, it is one of most beloved Jewish holidays by both children and mystics Ė guardians of Hidden Light. -----
When does Chanukah Story take place in history? In 36th Century of Hebrew Calendar.
The 36 Hidden Saints (Lamed Vav Tzaddikim)
According to tradition, there are 36 lofty souls present in every generation who sustain, nurture and guard this Hidden Light. Yet they that guard it, remain hidden and unassuming as well. These 36 righteous people are sparks of that Hidden Light. Through their refined consciousness, this light, warmth and wisdom flows into and permeates world.
Master Kabbalist - The Holy Ari (1534-1572)
Rabbi Yitzchak Luria Ashkenazi - The ARI - reverently known as Ari HaKadosh, holy Ari (lion) was lion of his and all generations when it came to revealing depth of Kabbalah and Universe as a whole. Until this very day, nobody comes close to his greatness and light in terms of revealing Metaphysics of Existence, and secrets of Torah. For our own interest here, ARI remained hidden for most of his life, until his maggid, non-physical guide, announced it was time for him to reveal himself and what he knew. He was 36 when this occurred, and died some 2 Ĺ years later.
Our world is filled with mysteries, and it is in darkest months of year, that most luminous energy becomes available. The hidden is revealed and its radiance is accessible to all those who wish to partake and be nourished by it.
The Chanukah lights, unlike Shabbat candles, may not be used for personal pleasure. "These lights are holy. We must not use them for pleasure, we may only gaze upon them" (Chanukah liturgy). For these Chanukah lights celebrate a primordial light, untouched, reminding us that there are higher forces at work. It is our connection with these higher forces that replaces false perception of separation and fear on life journey with experiences of oneness, Divine assistance and trust.
In Earth school, we are in process of learning and training ourselves to reach higher levels of consciousness. Indeed, Chanukah lights serve as an antennae for holiness, drawing down energy of 36. We place our lit candles in window as a beacon to all passersby to remind world that darkness can indeed be dispelled, obscurity can be illuminated, and that it is Godís Light which will prevail in end.
May up and coming year be a new journey of discovery for us all and may we jump with all our heart into evolutionary unknown holding our candles of faith.
On a Side Note
This following article focusing on Ohr HaGanuz, Hidden Light, energy of 36, etc.. just came up this year as an interesting approach to appreciating Chanukah. Only afterwards was I reminded that my own birthday comes immediately after Chanukah (Capricorn) and this year I will be turning 36. Not planned intentionally. Again, another confirmation that higher forces are at work.
In Spiritual Fellowship,
Rabbi Michael Ozair www.kabbalahcoach.com
Rabbi Michael Ozair is a spiritual life coach, counselor and is available for consultantion. He can be reached at email@example.com or by visiting his site at KabbalahCoach.com