“Fire consumes with the purpose of transforming, and thus elevates whatever it consumes.
To elevate things means to bring them back to their true nature and reinstate their true identity.
By fulfilling a mitzvah, by transforming oil into light, we accomplish for the world something similar to the work of a psychoanalyst:
We take a person or an object and tell them: ‘You have forgotten who you are and where you come from.’
Our true vocation as men is to free the world of its complexes by creating change, and to upset the laws of a static world by transforming things through the fire of the mitzvah.
Hanukkah is, first and foremost, a religious war in which everything revolves around light and darkness.
The little cruse of holy oil that was used for rekindling the Temple lamp was hidden and very hard to find.
The challenge our ancestors faced was to reveal the light.
We relive this need and this lesson every year on Hanukkah by lighting an additional light on each of the eight evenings of the holiday.”
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From an essay “Man of Light” by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz