Channukah 5783 / 2022

It burned for eight days. So what?

When we light the candles during Chanukah, we do so in order to commemorate the miracle of the small “one day ” pure oil canister, lighting the Menorah in the Beit Hamikdash for eight days. 

That’s great. But frankly, it does not seem to be such an important matter. (Halachic, they were allowed to use “non-pure” oil in the absence of “pure” oil) So what was it all about? 

I was once listening to my father ZT”l speaks about it. He said the question was not the oil. The matter was much more profound. Having recaptured the Capital city, Jerusalem, The Hasmonean moved into the Holy Temple. They were however not sure whether it was still a Beit Hamikdash – a place in which the Shechina, or divine presence, is still residing. Or did it by now “lose” its special holiness. As it would, more than 100 years later. 

By carefully observing the light of the small canister extending to burn for a full eight days, they knew that the Shechina was “still with us”, and the close connection between the Jewish people, Am Yisrael, to Hashem is still there in Jerusalem’s holiest site.

May I suggest that we, as individuals in our own small world, can also observe and sometimes feel a “mini miracle” in our own day to day lives? When that happens occasionally, it indicates that we have merited having a closer relationship to the almighty. 

Kind regards. Shabbat Shalom and Happy Chanukah

Rabbi Chaim Michael Biberfeld