Chanukah

    Chanukah is supposed to fill us with light that endures throughout the dark winter months, until Pesach when spring arrives. Why is this so, what makes Chanukah so special?  Chanukah is all about  מי לה’ אלי this is what the Maccabees went into battle with. They went into battle for Hashem not for honor or prestige, but because they saw that Hashem’s name was continually being desecrated.  That the Jewish people were not being allowed to serve Hashem.

    Chanukah is all about bringing the light of spirituality into this world.  How did the Maccabees do this?  They went out to fight against the largest most advanced army in the world at the time, the Greek army, with complete emunah and bitachon. What is Emunah, emunah is the thought process of thinking about Hashem and what he wants from us and how he is always with us. Bitachon on the other hand is translating that thought process into action, and knowing that because Hashem is with us, when we do something for his honor for his name, we will succeed (Rav Shimshon Pincus-Shaarei Emunah). This is the light of emunah and bitachon that the Maccabees brought into this world, by going to battle against the Greeks and it is what guides us through the dark winter months. They chose to be the opposite of the Greeks.  They chose to focus on spirituality, the inside not what is on the outside. The ancient Greeks were all about physicality which is the anathema to the Jewish People.  The Jewish people are aware that while physicality has its place it is supposed to be used as a tool to reach higher spiritual heights.

    We say Hallel all eight days of Chanukah, to commemorate the numerous miracles that took place.  Yet, I think that there is a deeper meaning here which is sometimes forgotten when we look at the physical miracles of the oil and the battle.  Which is that the Maccabees took their cue from Moshe Rabbeinu, when he had to deal with the Jewish people who had created an idol in the form of the golden calf.  After, they had received the ten commandments, he issued a proclamation in the form  מי לה’ אלי and the only people who responded where the Leviim.  So here too we see their descendents, being for Hashem.  Compared to the general attitude of the Jewish people, who were not able to go out and actively be for Hashem.  That is the message of Chanukah that guides us through the winter, to be for Hashem, and He will be with us.

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