The Fifteen Stages That Form the Backbone of Our Pesach Ritual and trace the soul’s journey from conception, birth, childhood, maturity and, finally, enlightenment.
The kabbalists read into Chanukka’s eight days, a journey of progressive tikun down through the sefirot from Binah to Malchut. Curiously, Binah associates with the higher Shekhina called Ima (literally, Mother) and Malchut associates with the lower Shekhina called Nukba (literally, Woman). Chanukka thus begins and ends on a feminine note. The first candle (of Binah) accompanies all the subsequent lights, and its last candle (of Malchut) gets honored with a name of its own—Zot Chanukka—(in part) because it enacts the last frame of the Shekhina’s moonlike odyssey (as we shall see).