Night Nine

Night Nine

Why are you telling me a story
and why on the ninth night?
I asked.

You thought there were eight nights,
This year you will light for nine.
You assumed ten energies
there are eleven.
You learned four ways of reading —
there are five
– four levels of the soul
there’s a fifth.

What kind of wisdom
Are you pushing?

The kind you live for, he said –
everything that issues from the mouth of God

– the kind you can’t do without.

Eight Angels Eight Nights Eight Stories

Eight Angels Came to Me On Eight Nights
Each one told a story***

On the third night
an angel came to me in the form of a Chasid
he opened with
Darkness IS Light –

God separated the light from darkness
called light day
and the darkness night
And it was evening and it was morning
day one.

In the beginning, darkness and light one
a single seamless sourced good
then the challenge
subdue the dark
illumine the good
– the fearful dialectic.

Temple menorah lit by day to illumine the night
Hanukkah menorah
lit by night to reclaim dark
light from darkness itself
the source of light.

Light from the luminous essence of darkness –
this the Hanukkah light.

The Temple lights seven
Hanukkah eight
seven the spiritual cycle
the seven sefirot emanated from God
all natural cycles given in seven.

Eight –
surrounding the seven
the extra measure laid around nature
the eighth lamp
light from darkness itself
darkness as an aspect of light.

Now stare into a candle
see the flame
see the darkness around the wick
see the dark candle

it’s all light
all over.

Eight Angels Eight Nights Eight Stories

Eight Angels Came to Me On Eight Nights
Each one told a story**

The second night
the Chernobler Rebbe came
dressed as an angel in Japanese embroidered silk.

Are you a man or a lady?
I asked him –
there are so many more possibilities
said the Chernobler laughing.

The Chernobler Rebbe pushed on,
oil is wisdom
poured over the head
of the Priest King Messiah
overflowing like precious oil on the head
running down the beard of Aaron.
The pure finely-beaten, most excellent of the olive oil –
the olive that releases its finest product when pressed.

Smell this, said the Chernobler Rebbe,
pressing his wrist to my nose
another quality of oil
the capacity to absorb.

I smelled yasmina

When I make perfume the scent is absorbed into the oil –
then distilled. Wisdom
is absorbed from the world this way
– both its beauty and its contaminants.

Now, said the Chernobler Rebbe,
one small vial of pure oil
when fired up lights everything.
Wisdom when it is tended burns pure
burns long burns sure.

We are all in the game –
attaching to the pure
resisting the contaminants lurking
everywhere around us within us.

O God — a heart of purity create in me
bind me to the purifications
separate me from the contaminants –

Begin now.