The whole story of Hanukkah is about the fight for light. And when even season-wise the world is at its darkest and coldest due to the absence of light, that is when the miracle of light happened. But as we know the manifestation of the physical is only the result of the spiritual.
In the case of Hanukkah, the very survival of the soul was at stake. The Greeks slowly started to pull the noose tighter around the Jewish soul, meticulously and steadily trying to wean the Jewish people off their beliefs. For the Greeks it was all about a state of mind, a philosophy. They wanted to disconnect head from heart, by focusing on the material and physical beauty and indulge in the joys and pleasures it brought.
But when they saw that these enticements were unsuccessful, they decided to cut the Jewish faith at its source. After prohibiting the core connections of Shabbat, circumcision and the sanctification of the new months, they went for the big one – the Temple. They ultimately defiled the holiest of places by sacrificing a pig to Zeus and bringing its blood into the Holy of Holies.
It is then that the Maccabees, priests in service of the Temple, not soldiers, took up arms and liberated the Temple. The Ancient Jerusalem bears witness to these battles. The colossal fortification called the Akra built by Antiochus IV in order to control Jerusalem and monitor activity in the Temple was located in the neck between the city and Temple Mount. Pottery and arrowheads from the Hasmonean revolt found during the excavations, attested to the fierce battles that took place around the Akra and Temple Mount area.
Sometimes when you have to fight for your soul, the fight is physical. Sometimes when you have to fight for your physical life, the fight is spiritual. This is the significance difference between Purim (the Story of Esther) and that of Hanukkah. During Purim when the People of Israel’s physical existence was in danger they went out full throttle on the spiritual – they fasted and prayed.
But when the very essence of their spiritual survival was at stake, they got physical. And after an intense and fierce battle to liberate the Temple, the place where heaven and earth “kisses” according to the sages – they were rewarded with one small flask of pure oil to light the Menorah. The flask would last them a mere day.
What about the other seven days that it would take to render new pure oil? Did God not take into account the very laws He laid down?
Just light it.
God knows the rules. He made them. And He knows where you are at. Your absolute surrender and final (oil) press of pure faith will allow God to help you not only finish the seven (days), but to carry you beyond the physical (represented by seven) and transform you to enter the eighth (the next level, the next phase of your life’s journey).
What seems as an unfair miscalculation from His side, might be the very catalyst to catapult you to a higher spiritual level.
Do not let the enemy lure you away until you become completely desponded.
Fight for the light. Fight with the Light. Do not give up.
We have eight days of light coming our way. Eight days to draw down miracles. Eight candles to light.
Just light them.
And let one of your requests be for the complete restoration of Zion, the Ancient Biblical Jerusalem. That she will ultimately become a Praise to the Earth. And soon we will celebrate Hanukkah (which means dedication) in a whole new light that will shine forth from Zion.
Wishing you and yours a miracle filled festival of lights!