Photo Credit: Jodie Maoz

The holiday of Chanukah is also called the holiday of lights. For thousands of year since the story unfolded Jews all over the world have been lighting the menorah and celebrating the miracle that was performed for the Jewish people so many years ago.

We are living in such fast times, that with the press of a button we can reach the other side of the world. We can fly into space and we can create almost anything we would like. And yet on this holiday we don’t use electricity to light the candles nor lead lights to make the menorah shine. We use the same fire that was used so many years ago to light up the night, and to light up the Jewish soul.


We are a nation that thinks, contemplates and is constantly reflecting on the actions that happened to us, and to our forefathers so long ago. The small light we light on Chanukah it’s very symbolic of the Jewish soul. As small as the fire is or as small as a person might think his or her soul is, it’s an everlasting fire and is something that cannot be extinguished. That fire is the fire of the Jewish soul that will light forever no matter what the world or people want to do to us as a person or as a nation.

We light one new candle each day which symbolizes a single person and yet we don’t forget the old candle from the night before. Which means every day we add onto the new flame, the old one. This connection makes us go from a separate person to a nation. This means we are our present, our past, and our future. This connection to our nation is what gives us the strength and the belief to go beyond anything that we are experiencing.

On one hand technology makes the distance between people today extremely fast, like sending messages by phone or connecting technically to anyone anywhere. However, the physical connection, is hardly there. We hardly talk to each other face-to-face let alone hug one another or give affectionate feelings in person.

The reason this holiday is so special even more than others is because it’s the holiday of miracles, specifically a miracle holiday. It’s called the miracle of the vessel of oil. Hashem wants us to connect to Him not only on a level of what can be done according to what makes sense, or reality, Hashem wants us to reach out to Him on the miracle level, to go beyond.

This holiday has eight days. The number eight is beyond the realm of the regular. We have seven days of the week the 8th day is beyond. Therefore, G-d wants us to reach out to Him on this holiday beyond what our brains think makes sense or not, what is realistic or what we can understand that makes sense. If we realize that this light that we’re lighting every night of Chanukah is connected 2,000 years ago to the event that happened which was so miraculous we will be connecting to a power that is beyond.

When the great Rabbi Chanina Ben Dosa told his daughter to light candles with vinegar instead of oil not to worry, since the same G-d who put into the laws of nature that the oil will light will also make sure that the vinegar will light as well. This means that we believe that Hashem can go beyond what the brain thinks. Hashem wants us to reach out to Him beyond what makes sense.

Everybody’s always waiting for something to happen in their life. This is the holiday to go beyond, to ask for that extra thing that doesn’t make sense; that can’t be done according to technology or to what doctors say or to what businessmen say. This is the holiday to create something that each one of us is looking for in their hearts, not in their heads. We must believe that Hashem can make it happen just because we believe that He can. Hashem has angels in heaven that do His will every single day. He needs us down here on Earth to go beyond what makes sense to go beyond and make Him great by having G-d perform for us miracles. This means we are limited. However, our Father in heaven, Hashem, is limitless. Therefore, by not asking for G-d’s help we are limiting His ability to help us.

The Maccabi’s went beyond. They knew they needed something and they knew that Hashem would help and not let them down. If we trust our Master, our Father, our King, that He won’t let us down, then we must ask Hashem for anything, even if it doesn’t make sense. Every holiday has miracles. But this holiday is special for miracles. May we rejoice with each other and may we see our own private miracles and the biggest miracle of all with the full redemption, please G-d, Amen.


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