The Baal Shem Tov asks, “From where do the Channukah candles derive their power not merely to dispel darkness, but to transmute it into light?” He explains the answer is that the first two letters of Chanukkah spell “chen,” one of 8 synonyms in Hebrew for beauty. It also means “grace” and “favor.” But chen refers to the kind of beauty that has to do with graceful symmetry. The Kabbalah teaches that chen is that which is composed of two opposites that reflect each other. At Chanukkah, these opposing forces are light and darkness.
Last night I realized that in preparing for Chanukkah this year, it has been the struggle of idolatry and the worship of the G-d of Avraham,Yitzhak and Yaakov that have been the elements in contradistinction to one another inside of me that have illuminated the truth that Jesus (Yeshua) is not the messiah. The hidden light of truth contained in the darkness of deception ultimately gave me the strength to be honest about what I knew deep down.
Interestingly, if you add up the Gematria of the letters of the dreidel, you get 358; Nun (50) + Gimmel (3) + Hei (5) + Shin (300). This is the same value as Mashiach; Mem (40) + Shin (300) +Yud (10) + Chet(8). The light and miracle of Chanukkah for me this year is discovering the truth of the messiah of Israel and embracing my desire to join the Jewish people fully.