How “Not Giving Up” Changed the Story of Chanukah
After their dazzling victory over the Syrian- Greeks, the Maccabees found that the Temple was in total disarray. Even worse, the Temple had been desecrated and its holy vessels were badly damaged.
Those that first entered the Temple could easily have decided to wait until the Temple was purified and only then would they light the Menorah.
And yet, one person searched the Temple, hoping to find a pure jug of oil, desperately wanting to light the Menorah that very night.
That person found the oil, and the menorah was lit right away. God blessed that lighting that it would last for eight days until new pure oil could be brought to the Temple.
Who was that person who was so determined to find oil and light the Menorah? Actually, we don’t know. We have no record of that anonymous person..
But this anonymous kohen, presented with an easier path to do the ordinary, chose to do the extraordinary. As a result of his faithful initiative, and his zeal for the mitzvah, the Menorah was miraculously lit for eight days. God responded to that leap of faith and blessed that lighting.
The ultimate hero of Chanukah might well be the unsung anonymous person who with faithful determination sought and found the oil that kindled the holy flames that have miraculously lasted until this very day.
(The Light That Unites, p. 91)
Video based on story told by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach
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