SHIUR 1700 Berlin Hanukkah: Rededication
Source Sheet Prepared by Micki Weinberg

“The most splendid color they displayed, a dreamlike lovely azure, was, so Jonathan instructed us, no true color at all, but produced by fine little furrows and other surface configurations of the scales on their wings, a miniature construction resulting from artificial refraction of the light rays and exclusion of most of them so that only the purest blue light reached the eyes.
‘Just think,’ I can still hear Frau Leverkühn say, ‘so it is all a cheat?’
‘Do you call the blue sky a cheat?’ answered her husband looking up at her. ‘You can cannot tell me the pigment it comes from.’
(Thomas Mann, Dr. Faustus p14 (H.T. Lowe-Porter trans.), 1948)

The Italian playwright, poet, mystic and Rabbi, R. Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (1707-1746) likens “knowledge” to a “live coal that could burst forth into a flame” should we choose to engage (Derekh Etz Chaim).

“When you behold a burning coal which has not yet inflamed but retains its flame concealed and enclosed within it, when one blows on it, it spreads and burns, and goes and bursts out broadly. Within the flame, different shades of color, which could not previously have been seen, appear. They all originate from the live coal.” (Ibid)

“…the redemption can be brought about in either one of two ways: either Israel will have the power to withdraw all the sparks of holiness from [the realm of] the kelipah so that the kelipah will wither into nothing, or else the kelipah will become so filled with holiness that because of this repletion it must be spewn forth…”
The Sabbatean Heretic Nehemiah Hayun (17-18c.) as quoted by Gershom Scholem The Messianic Idea in Judaism p119)

“Darkness is black in the Torah. Light is the white in the Torah.” (Zohar I: 23b)

“The eight days of Chanukah were fixed for future generations on account of the victory that was not according to nature…a person in their natural state thinks to themselves, “I am in my natural state”…and wants to continue to behave in comfort and without effort and to combat nothing!..It is possible to behave in a way that transcends our natural given state. The victory and miracles of Chanukah were simple for the one who behaves in a way
beyond the accepted natural state. The world treats one according to how they treat the world.”
Based on the lectures of Rav Nathan Meir Wachtfogel in Sefer Leket Reshimot, p87-88

“It is not men’s consciousness that determines their existence, but on the contrary, their social existence that determines their consciousness.”
(Karl Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy)

“Israel is not subject to the constellations.” [Ayn Mazal LeYisrael]
(Bavli Shabbat 156a)

“There is not a single great individual creation which is not enmeshed in the centuries, which does not trail after it the slumbering grandeurs of the past. Our inheritance is not handed down; it is one to be achieved.” (Andre Malraux, The Work of Art, Speech to the International Association
of Writers For the Defense of Culture, Paris, 1935)

“I really believe in history, and that’s something people don’t believe in anymore. I know that what we do and think is a historical creation. I have very few beliefs, but this is certainly a real belief: that most everything we think of as natural is historical and has roots — specifically in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the so-called Romantic revolutionary period — and we’re essentially still dealing with expectations and feelings that were formulated at that time, like ideas about happiness, individuality, radical social change, and pleasure. We were given a vocabulary that came into existence at a particular historical moment…We’re talking about processes, not just objects: it’s really the nature of our situation to be extremely complicated, and you have to keep directing your attention to what is contradictory and try to sort these things out, try to purify them…” (Susan Sontag, Rolling Stone Interview, October 4, 1979)

“We learn from the creation of the world, that in everything, the night comes before the day, as the Talmud teaches. (Talmud Bavli Berachot 2a) For in everything, absence precedes existence…
For all of a person’s life is such that time is composed of darkness and light, day and night, and that cycle repeats itself as a circuit, with the darkness always coming first, as the peel precedes the fruit…
For one that has already arrived at holiness, the day is first, like one who is already inside the fruit; from his perspective, the fruit comes before the peel.”
(Reb Zadok of Lublin, Tzidkat HaZadik 11)

“Because the appropriation of metaphors is self-implicating, adopted metaphors can literally create worlds and determine their nature…On this view, religious truths that were first justified instrumentally will eventually be confirmed by their ability to lead us to a level of experience which is recognizably beyond that which we have previously known not only on
the existential and subjective level, but even in terms of the infinite possibilities capable of being realized in our external reality.”
(Tamar Ross, The Cognitive Value of Religious Truth Statements, p524-525)

“Light breaks where no sun shines”
Dylan Thomas

“Apprehension through prophecy is..of darkness, through scholarly thought is…of light”
Reb Zadok of Lublin, Resisay Layla, 56

“Ameimar said, ‘A scholar (chacham) is preferable to a prophet (navi).”
(Talmud Bavli Bava Batra 12a)

“The Zohar explains the difference between a cistern (bor), which has no water of its own, and the well (be’er) with its own running and living waters. The bor has to be filled from without, the be’er replenishes itself. While on high, the soul enjoys the good but only in the category of the bor. But once the soul has descended to earth and has made the good her own by engaging in the struggle provided by bodily life in the material universe, the good she has acquired makes her category that of the well of living waters, the be’er that requires no other for its existence and refreshing powers.”
(R. Arye Leib Heller, Introduction to Shev Shema’tata, Translation by Louis Jacobs)

“In fact, the internal obstacles seem almost greater than external difficulties. For even though the question ‘where from?’ presents no problems, the question ‘where to?’ is a rich source of confusion. Not only has universal anarchy broken out among the reformers, but also every individual must admit to himself that he has no precise idea about what ought to happen…
However, this very defect turns to the advantage of the new movement, for it means that we do not anticipate the world with our dogmas but instead attempt to discover the new world through the critique of the old… Our programme must be: the reform of consciousness not through dogmas but by analyzing mystical consciousness obscure to itself, whether it appear
in religious or political form. It will then become plain that the world has long since dreamed of something of which it needs only to become conscious for it to possess it in reality. It will then become plain that our task is not to draw a sharp mental line between past and future, but to complete the thought of the past. Lastly, it will become plain that mankind will not begin any new work, but will consciously bring about the completion of its old work.”
(Karl Marx, Letter to Arnold Ruge, September 1843)

“The history of human growth and development is at the same time the history of the terrible struggle of every new idea heralding the approach of a brighter dawn. In its tenacious hold on tradition, the Old has never hesitated to make use of the foulest and cruelest means to stay the advent of the New, in whatever form or period the latter may have asserted itself. Nor need we retrace our steps into the distant past to realize the enormity of opposition,
difficulties, and hardships placed in the path of every progressive idea.” (Emma Goldman,
Anarchism: What It Really Stands For, 1910)

“When a coal does not come alight, poke it, and it will shine.”
Zohar III 168a