Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Chanuka Message

Chanuka is probably the most powerful of all the holidays. Although it is only from the Rabbis, it has an energy and longevity that many of the other holidays don’t. Although many Jews have never heard of Shavuot and a good number don’t know what a Sukkah is, almost everyone knows what Chanuka is.
The story of the Macabees, of the few standing up for their principles against seemingly insurmountable odds, resonates well with every person no matter what their denomination.
And the story of the little jug of a day’s worth of oil lasting for 8 days appeals to all of our magical minds.
But there is a lot more. There is another reason that Chanuka remained the most celebrated holiday during the course of this long exile. Because the message of Chanuka always hit home the most in the past and is needed more than ever for us now in these very trying and uncertain times.
The message is of the little light in the blackest darkness. Chanuka always falls out during the darkest part of the year, during the shortest days and longest nights (at least in the Northern Hemisphere). Although one may feel that there is no end to the darkness, in a couple of weeks the days start to get longer and then it’s summer again when the days are real long.
We are living in very volatile times and it looks like there is no natural solution to the world’s problems. And maybe there is no natural solution but Chanuka teaches us that miracles CAN happen. Just follow the directive of Yehuda Macabee “Mi la Hashem Ailay”, “who that is for Hashem come with me!”
Stay true to your Torah principles
Don’t give up even though the odds don’t look good
And do that good deed, light that light, even if you think it can’t accomplish too much in face of the great darkness. Because Chanuka teaches us that even the smallest action can accomplish, “Me’at min ha’or doche harbe min ha’choshech”, “A very little bit of light can push away a lot of the darkness”.

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