Chanuka – Which Side Are You On?

By: Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui

 

When G-d just started creation before much happened, the Bible says “darkness was on the surface of the deep.” The commentators say this darkness refers to the seeds of darkness planted for believers to battle, generations later in the time of the Greek Hellenists.

The principles, ideals, and pursuits associated with classical Greek civilization and the conformity forced upon all to imitate the culture of ancient Greece threatened the survival of believers in an invisible G-d.

After the Bible tells us there was only darkness it immediately continues, “G-d said, Let there be light! – and there was light.” Darkness is temporary until we overcome the challenge and discover the light.

Darkness itself is a creation of G-d, “who forms light and creates darkness”. Anything and everything for it to exist must have a source, a place from which it came from. Nevertheless the characteristic of darkness is that because there is no light a person’s reality can be obscured and fooled. In a state of darkness the truth many times will go unnoticed.

The Greek Hellenists decreed that it was forbidden to practice the Sabbath and the Circumcision. The practice of Sabbath reminds us there is a G-d who created this universe in six days and rested on the seventh day. The Sabbath is a day to reinforce our faith in a supreme being and our commitment to values that are more important than “six days you shall work.”

Circumcision brings a child on the eighth days of his life, long before it is possible for him to logically understand what is happening, into a covenant with G-d. “It will be a sign on your flesh of our eternal bond”.

The Greeks where a highly intelligent people. What they abhorred and stood violently against was the belief and acceptance that there is more to our lives than just the physical.

Recently I was reading an article written by a neurosurgeon who had a near death experience. He writes that while he was always under the impression that it was the brain that produces all that we think and feel, after his most recent experience he has come to a new realization. “We” exist apart from our bodies, and “we” merely operate through our bodies.

The physical world is not where it begins and ends. There is a reality that brought this world into existence and for the sun to rise every day and the winds to blow there is a soul and energy behind and inside that makes it all happen.

The Greeks had no problem with the practice of lighting the Menorah candelabra in the Temple. Their problem was doing it with “PURE” oil. To the Greeks purity and impurity was unreal. The concept of actually applying a belief, was an idiotic fantasy that would not be tolerated.

The small family of priests was determined to prove these Greeks wrong. “It is not in strength or in power, but only in my spirit says the Lord of Hosts”. The invisible and unseen carries with it way more strength than we can imagine.

The Maccabees as this small family of priests called themselves overcame miraculously beyond logic this great big army.  They entered the Temple to light the Menorah with pure oil because that is what “G-d” commanded. They demonstrated for everyone to see, a miracle. Life is way more than what meets the eyes. Don’t accept limitations and darkness as your reality.

They found one small pitcher of pure oil which could normally last for only one night and instead it lasted for eight nights until new pure oil could be produced.

The story of Chanukah reinforces our faith in G-d. Those who don’t accept the limitations of darkness, light surely follows.

 

To read more articles from Rabbi Ezagui visit him at http://koshercaffeine.blogspot.com/