Monday, December 11, 2017
The Great Strength and Power of the Chanukah Lights
Rabbi Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev (1740–1809) was asked. “Why did the sages institute the holiday of Chanukah to commemorate the miracle of the Hasmonean (Maccabees) victory over the Seleucid Army, and a Holiday of Purim to commemorate the victory of Mordechai and Esther over Haman and the Persians, while no holiday has been established to remember and celebrate the victories that happened long before these two, with the prophetess Deborah and Barak over Sisera, or the miraculous victory of Yechezkel the King over Sancheriv?
The Rabbi answered. There are miracles which blast away the rules of nature through a greater involvement of G-d in those events, but they are temporary and fleeting. Then, there are shines of G-dliness that are so powerful, they penetrate into the actual fiber and character of the day forever, and remain embedded in the day, to connect, and draw from this power every year, and such is the miracle of Chanukah and Purim.”
Just like there are foods that are worn out on us in a few hours, and then there are vaccines we introduce into our bodies that can last a lifetime. Certain influences of G-d are onetime events, and other inputs of G-dliness which are eternal.
This is the deeper meaning of the blessing we make when lighting the Chanukah Menorah every night for eight nights, “who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.” The miracle of Chanukah that happened at that time, is available and shining again at this time!!”
Some people may be walking around with “paper” in their pocket not realizing each and every paper is a hundred-dollar bill. As a result, they may misuse this paper not using the “paper bills” to its full potential. Some people may see shiny rocks and stones on the ground not realizing the value in those stones. The same is also with certain days, and time.
Like objects, certain days and certain times of the day are more inclined to certain opportunities. The seventh day of the week, Shabbat, when observed properly has the strength and qualities to literally become a retreat in time, a vacation without the bills and traveling headaches. Unlike any other day of the week, Shabbat i.e. the seventh day of the week has in its DNA the possibility to give one observing this G-dly day, a true deep soul rest, tranquility and peacefulness.
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772 – 1810) once said. “Through the lighting of the Chanukah lights” (at the proper times, and making the suitable blessings etc.) one draws into their life, into their soul, and into their world the infinite light of G-d. The kind of light that we pray for, “the Lord make His countenance shine upon you, and be gracious to you.”
When the lights shine, and there is less darkness, we are able to see where to go and what to avoid. We can see in clarity what is good and what is not so good. The negative forces thrive in darkness and run away from light. The holy Baal Shem Tov had a very strong affinity for light and would say. “In Hebrew the word for “secret” is the same numerical value as “light”. Whoever has “light” (as in, the candle is a Mitzvah, and Torah is light), knows the secret.” Life has less secrets, and more of the truth and reality is uncovered.
The MIRACLE of Chanukah was and is, all about the few and the holy who would not buckle in to the many, and the impure. Today, we are not remembering the ones who in weakness blended in and assimilated. The story and the holiday of Chanukah is a commemoration and tribute to those who believed and dedicated their lives for the purpose of their faith. It is in their merit; we today can still identify ourselves with our faith. It is in their merit, G-d made the miracle of Chanukah and we benefit from the infinite light of our candles.