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Introduction

The History of Chanukah

The Menorah Files

   Light 1: The Contract

Light 2: The Consultant

Light 3: Quality

Light 4: Quantity

Light 5: Prozac

Light 6: Miracle Whip

Light 7: The Battle

Light 8: Darkness Shines

How to Celebrate Chanukah

Stories

Thoughts on Chanukah

Q & A

Letters From the Rebbe

Children's Corner

The Significance of Chanukah

 
 Light 1: The Contract Light 3: Quality


The Menorah Files

Light 2: The Consultant
Published and copyright © 1997-1999 by by Tzvi Freeman
In memory of Rabbi Yosef Y. Kazen o.b.m.

The scene up there is far beyond the capacity of our earthly imaginations, since we imagine everything in coarse material terms. Perhaps I can attempt to explain it in whatever terms we share, as long as you promise to keep in mind that in truth, it is something far abstracted from any of what I might say.

On the appointed day, an angel of wisdom, known as a "maggid", stood in still reverence, waiting for the assembly to be called to order.

His eyes scanned the 70 members of the Heavenly Supreme Court. They stood (nobody sits up there- it's just not in the repertoire) at a semi-oblong table, allowing all to see one another. But the central position of this table is not locatable, beyond dimension or place, since it is the (un)space of The Chief Magistrate of All Things.

To the right hand of The Chief stood the ChairAngel (a.k.a., "Av Beit Din"), a powerful radiance about his face and magnificent robes flowing down from his shoulders. To the left stood the next wisest of the angels and from that point on, in either direction, the remainder of the esteemed judges stood solemnly by rank in G-dly wisdom.

On cue, the maggid made his case.

"My lords, esteemed masters of justice and righteousness," he spoke, moving his hands gracefully, "Today you convene to discuss a matter of serious, practical implications for every generation of the Jewish people from now unto eternity. Indeed, whereas the lights of other festivals may at times of darkness be all but extinguished, and eventually are destined to be entirely absorbed within the great light of the World to Come, the lights of Chanukah are constant and eternal- as per the talmudic gloss of Nachmanides and his commentary to parshat Behalotecha."

"We are well aware of the gravity of our meeting today," patiently interjected the ChairAngel. "Is there anything in particular you feel has not been taken into account in our planned adjudication?"

The eyes of the maggid widened. "As you know, I am the maggid appointed to instruct an illustrious student, one by who's light all the Community of Israel shall proceed through the thick darkness of the last leg of their exile until the final redemption. He is none other than Yosef Karo, illustrious author of the Beit Yosef as well as the Shulchan Aruch, the most authoritative code of Jewish Law."

Angels are an excitable group. At the mention of that holy name, heartbeats accelerated, ethereal wings began to flutter and amidst the scattered exclamations of "Yosef Karo!", "the Beit Yosef!", a spontaneous chorus of audio-oriented beings burst into harmonious accolades of praise and appellations upon the aforementioned.

Eventually, the court was called to order.

"My illustrious student," continued the maggid, "will write about the very issue we are gathered here today to discuss in his halachic gloss, Beit Yosef- "the House of Yosef". Indeed, the matter will from that time on be known by his name, 'the Difficulty Posed By the Beit Yosef'. It is only appropriate therefore, that he be invited to sit in on our proceedings as an outside consultant."

The ChairAngel scanned quickly the faces of the assembled heavenly judges, noting their unanimous approval. "Clerk!" he called, "Bring us Yosef Karo!"

The clerk looked back, bewildered. "But, your honor, Yosef Karo does not live for the better part of another two millennia!"

"Bring us Yosef Karo," the ChairAngel commanded firmly. "This is heaven. And we need him now."

An Angel of Sympathy who stood near the clerk's post read his confused face, leaned over and whispered, "If we don't consult with him now, eventually we're going to have to retro-write history according to his decision anyway."

The clerk shrugged and walked out the door, still shaking his head. But he was back in no time. Trumpets blasted in royal fanfare and drums rolled as the entrance of Yosef Karo, was announced. The entire heavenly court rose in awe and glowed in neon colors. The vocal ensemble once again joined together in celestial chorus.

Then he entered. In jeweled turban and flowing robes, his piercing eyes shining like sapphires, he walked forth in all humility, yet with the elegance and majesty of a mighty king. A heavenly court clerk rushed him a portfolio and a nametag and led him to his place at the consultant's desk.

The proceedings commenced.

 Light 1: The Contract Light 3: Quality



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