A Hannuka Meditation on the Infinite Eight
I stand upon the rooftop, enacting that ancient human rite
of watching the night fall. As blue deepens into black I witness a single star
shutter forth, trailed by another, and another. The darkness kindles starlight upon the sky
as surely as I kindle light upon my menora.
By the time the eighth star appears the entire sky releases her storehouse of sparks.
Dazzled by stars beyond count, I face the seeming infinitity of space. Beholding this limitlessness from my rooftop perch, I am reminded of the infinitity of my very soul.
The eight lights of the Hannukia will be the grand finale of the entire Hannuka journey. And finales, with all their pagentry, always signal that we have reached an end. Just as the rooftop is the upper limit of the house, eight is the limit of our Hannukah lights. And yet, just as standing upon the roof allows us to grasp a sense of the skies limitlessness, looking upon the full eight lights we are reminded of God''s light, the ''or haganuz'' that has no end.
The eight lights of hannukah harken to transcendance. Just as the seven days of the week represent linear time and the completion of the physical, the number eight is an elegant leap beyond the linear, and beyond physicality. Perhaps its no coincidence that the sideways figure eight symbolizes infinity, the transcendance of time. Just as miracles themselves break through the limits of the physical realm, so does the number eight beckon us to transcendance.
Although the eighth night is the exuberant end of this holiday, it also hints at the limitless holiness of every day. Yes, there were eight nights of miraculous oil, but beyond that - every day holds its own miracles. When we are in touch with the infinite light of our own souls, the very rooftop of our selves, then we are in touch with the infinitude of God. From that place, miracles are not only possibile, they are a given. Hannukah celebrates our transcendant spirits, and God''s promise of His miraculous daily presence in even our most mundane lives.