Alumni Corner: Simcha Eckhaus
Entering the World of Eight
Chanukah can be viewed as a contraction of the words - חנו-כה, which means the inauguration of the 25th of Kislev.
When you play around with the numbers a bit you find something amazing.
כ"ה is 25, and the Mispar Katan* of 25 is 7. The number 7 corresponds to nature. We have 7 days in a week, 7 years in the shemitah cycle, 7 colors of the rainbow, 7 primary chords in a musical scale, and so on.
נר as well has a gematriah (via Mispar Katan) of 7. (As does יין)
סוד as well has a similar gematria - and it contains the secret of what 7 respresents. 7 is merely a mask, as we see it. Chanukah is about a time to peak behind the mask of nature, of 7, and to elevate ourselves above nature - למעלה מן הטבע - lifting ourselves outside the realm of nature and into the realm of miracle. Perhaps this is precisely why the oil burned for 8 days, the נר ceased to exist in the realm of 7, and entered into the world of 8.
This Chanukah may we enter into the realm of ruchniyus and miracles, and ultimately bring Mashiach.
~ Simcha is an alumni of Lev Zion, originally from Lakewood, NJ. He currently lives in Jerusalem.
Mispar Katan is an alternative form of quantitative gematria-calculation. The Mispar Katan method calculates the value of each letter, or the whole total of the word, as its standard value but simply truncates all of the trailing zeros. Thus, the Gematria of Chet is 8, Tet is 9, but Yood is 1 (not 10), Kaf is 2 (not 20), etc - In our case here, ה would remain 5, but כ would be only 2, totalling to 7. Alternatively, Mispar Katan can be used to truncate the zeros from the total number, as with the case of סוד, equalling 70, which is then truncated via Mispar Katan to 7.