The Unique Symbolism Of Hanukkah And Purim

Question: What is the reason that in the long run only Hanukkah and Purim will be celebrated and no other Jewish holidays?

Answer: This is a very important question going deep into the core of our “being”.

Jewish Holidays – as Judaism in general – has a deep symbolic meaning “under the surface”.

The cycle of Jewish Holidays describes the inner changes a Human being goes through through our development from an instinctive, egocentric, subjective “animate” being to the “truly” Human level, where we – through the purposeful, methodical changes we go through using the “Instructions of the Torah” – we become similar to reality’s single governing source (Human – Adam in Hebrew originates from the expression “similar”).

For example the Exodus from Egypt we celebrate soon at Pesach, symbolize our first detachment from our inherently egoistic, selfish, hateful and greedy nature (the Pharaoh), when we simply escape, run away from the ego.

The whole cycle describes many different states, changes, but overall we go through two major states until we reach perfection. The first “stabilized state” is when we become capable of “not harming others” according to the rule of “old Hillel”: “Do not do to others what you yourself hate”.

This state, reaching the ability of “bestowing for the sake of bestowing” is symbolized by Hanukkah. This is the mid-point of the cycle.

Then by the end we reach the state symbolized by Purim, that fulfills Rabbi Akiva’s rule of “Love your Friend as yourself”, when we become capable of “true love”, a completely selfless, unconditional love and service of others without any self-interest, egoistic distortions.

Purim symbolizes the “End of Correction”, thus this is going to be the most important Holiday, the real feast, when even the most evil becomes a “good angel”, contributing to the correction, loyally serving the overall plan. This is why by the end of the Purim feast we won’t be able to tell the difference in between the cursed Haman and the blessed Mordechai, since both qualities helped us to reach the final state.

Thus at the end we “only” need to remember these two rules, commandments, symbolized by these two Holidays.


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