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Menorah Files: A Fan Letter

Menorah Files: A Fan Letter

...and the author's response


Dear Heaven Exposed:

My friends and I read your radical exposé of the Menora Affair and want you to know how much we all appreciate you revealing the truth about what's really going on up there. I mean, it was really a good thing Rabbi Karo was there consulting on that job, otherwise, we could have had a real second-rate miracle, right? Only Rabbi Karo knew how to make the miracle happen for all eight days without bending any of those Halacha specs. Karo is cool.

So here's our question: Rabbi Karo demanded that the oil should burn and not burn at the same time, right? I mean, I want you to know, we think that's totally radical, only a human being could think of something so way out there. Those angels were really stuck in their cognitive loops. But R' Karo, he was able to jump out of the box and get past that.

Anyway, the problem is like this: When the eighth day is over, what happens with that oil? It's still there, right? So why can't they burn it for another day? And if they could, why did the miracle have to go for eight days instead of just seven—and on the eighth day, they'll just burn the oil that's left and it will burn perfectly naturally? Back to the same problem, right?

We are real confident you've got an answer to this, but in the meantime, we are all, yours truly…

Stumped, stumped and very stumped.

Dear Stumps,

Really encouraging to see you fans out there are on your toes and thinking deep about this stuff. The solution, as far as I can tell, is pretty fundamental:

Once the miracle stops, there's no oil.

You see, the natural state of the oil was to be burning. A miracle suspended the oil in a state of simultaneously not-burning. So, once that miracle departs, we're back to the natural state. In the natural state, the oil burnt out a long time ago. So it's not there.

I'll give you a parallel: At every moment, the Cosmic Creative Force suspends the cosmos in existence. The 'natural' state (we don't really have words for this, so that will have to do) is that the world does not exist. So the world is sort of existing and not existing simultaneously—just like the oil was burning and not burning. Follow so far?

So, what happens if the CCF stops sustaining existence for a moment? No cosmos, right? But that doesn't mean like, "Hey! Where did the cosmos go?!"—that there used to be a cosmos and now it's gone. No siree. Things would fall back to the 'natural' state. There would never have been a cosmos to begin with.

So that's how it works here, with the oil, as well: All the time the miracle is at work, the oil is not burning, but it still retains its natural state of burning—simultaneously. Miracle ends, and everything falls back to the natural state—meaning that the oil has burned.

Hope I've made that clear enough to answer your question. You've got to try to start thinking counter-intuitively, in paradox form, and you'll get your mind wrapped around it. Of course, since you are deep, skeptical, incisive-thinking exposé fans, you'll undoubtedly come up with more questions. And the answers to those will create more questions. And so on. And that's all just part of the game…

From Heaven Exposed by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman. For bio, info and more articles by this author, click here. To order Tzvi's books, click here.
Yoram Raanan takes inspiration from living in Israel, where he can fully explore and express his Jewish consciousness. The light, the air, the spirit of the people and the land energize and inspire him. His paintings include modern Jewish expressionism with a wide range of subjects ranging from abstract to landscape, biblical and Judaic.
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Tzvi Freeman Los Angeles January 4, 2017

For Mike Wonderful to see someone is thinking about this.

First, I need to clarify: The CCF doesn't simply sustain life. It sustains existence. That includes matter, energy, time, space, even 1+1=2 as well as the consciousness of those facts.

So when we say "everything" would never have been, hats not just life, that's everything.

Now, to your question: In the case of creation, everything is sustained by a ccf. In the case of the oil miracle, two forces are at play in tandem—one is a divine force to sustain the natural order of things; the other is a divine force to do something outside of that order.

So when that second supernatural force is removed, the other natural-order sustaining force remains. And according to the natural order of things, that oil burned out on day one. Reply

Mike January 2, 2017

existing but not existing You write that when CCF stops sustaining the universe, there would never have been a cosmos (i.e. life) to begin with.

Doesn't this analogy lead to the conclusion that when CCF stops sustaining the burning/(not burning) of the oil, there was no oil (i.e. burning) to begin with? (i.e. no miracle)? Reply

Sonia I. Menendez Puerto Rico via December 29, 2016

Spanish Translation Since we are in a country that our main language is Spanish, my personal opinion is that the story can be translate for the benefits of those who do not read or speak English. Todah and Shalom Reply

Anonymous Radeane November 26, 2015

Nine days of Chanukah According to this, then why don't we celebrate the ninth day if the Nes lasted all the way to the morning of the ninth? Reply

Tzvi Freeman December 16, 2014

Kate's question Pascal (and others) had the opposite question. Pascal said, "The most difficult question of all is 'Why is there anything at all, and not nothing?'"

The Torah begins with the premise that "heaven and earth" are a creation—meaning, that they do not have to exist. Nothing has to exist. All that is, is by the will of its Maker. Reply

Kate Gladstone Albany, NY, USA December 16, 2014

Question Re:
“The 'natural' state (we don't really have words for this, so that will have to do) is that the world does not exist.”
How is that the case?
How could existence _not_ exist? Reply

Anonymous December 23, 2011

got it Interesting that you chose 8. Installments. Read them all.

It was a fun read. It sure was a lot of writing to make the conclusion that things can be and cannot be simultaneously. You just need to get your brain warped enough to get it. Out of the box thinking won't work. There is no box. No box. Yep, " no box thinking " is how it works. But of course, that kind of thinking needs to answer questions as well. I'm am working on it/answers. Whether we approach this seriously or as a game only depends on our learning styles. We still remain one team of Truth trekkers, all on the same page even though we understand the Words independently. So we are dependent within the team and independent on what we bring to the team. A rose by any other name is still a rose. The trek by any other name is still the trek. One thing we all have in common is " Nothing from Something. " For that we need to throw away the mental box/blocks in order to open a clear mind. Warp your mind around that one. Reply

Anonymous Cape Town, South Africa December 23, 2011

Chanukah - All Glory to our Father and King! Thank you dear Rabbi. My cup is indeed overflowing. I thank our Beloved Father for all that He is doing for us right now in this moment in time. He hears us cry and turns our tears into laughter. What a wonderful Shepherd we serve! Blessed His Holy Name!

Shalom Shalom! Reply

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman December 11, 2010

For Robert Burdman Robert, you need to read the entire Menorah Files from the beginning. You will see how all these solutions are dealt with. Reply

Robert Burdman Prescott, AZ December 9, 2010

The Miracle of the Oil Dear Rabi Freeman, love your writings!

As you have probably noted, G-d tends to be somewhat circumspect about the work being done, no wasted movement or thought to do His miracles.

Instead of a "there-not there" situation, a touch of Schrdinger perhaps?, we have the oil burning "naturally" at a rate corresponding to the time needed for the new oil to arrive exactly as the last of the old oil was about to be totally consumed.
This type of delivery has been adopted by the Japanese industry some years ago and a common practice nowadays; it is called JIT, or "Just in Time" delivery.

The eight day manufacturing and preparation of kosher oil was a well known fact; and without missing a beat all was set in motion at the beginning of the burning of the wick.

It is my belief that they even used the same wick. The Hasmoneans had a head for numbers, all done without computers.
Our G-d is One and definitely King of the Universe. Blessed be His Name.

Shalom, Reply

nosson Beijing, Beijing Shi December 8, 2010

Game? Why use game ...
This is very serious deep stuff.... Reply

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