Thursday, December 22, 2011

Essence of a Miracle

2nd Day of Hannukah
Parshat MiKetz
26 Kislev, 5772
December 22nd, 2011

You’ve got to wonder what our Rabbis were thinking. Oil? Eight days? That’s the miracle? What about that other miracle, where the Jews won their freedom from an enemy better armed and more powerful? A lamp burning for eight days seems like one of those stories where somebody sees the face of a religious figure in a bowl of Cheerios: as miracles go, this one just doesn’t seem to cut it.

As with understanding anything of past years, imagination is everything. So, imagine for a second. Imagine that you, battle-scarred, grime-smeared, and battle-weary, stand inside the Temple in Jerusalem. When you got there, the place was a disaster: torn to pieces, the sacrifices of pigs to pagan gods still evident. Imagine that you have fought in a particularly vicious, bloody guerilla war. Imagine that the war was not just against a foreign invader, but also a kind of civil war, against Jews who allied themselves with the Greeks. Imagine that you have fought even against your brothers.

In these circumstances, I imagine this question: will God come back to this place, or are we abandoned forever? After this war, has God forgotten us?

 And as the light burned steadily, night after night, we knew that we were not alone.

חנוכה שמח
Happy Hannukah

No comments:

Post a Comment