Chanukah: Revealing The Essence

Based on a shiur by Mrs. Shira Smiles

 It appears that the greatest darkness is failing to recognize the inherent greatness and tremendous power contained within each of us. This mindset cripples us and doesn’t allow us to develop to our true potential. 

In Al Hanissim we say, “Rabim be’yad me’atim – The many into the hands of the few.”  The Maccabees were few in number but they pushed themselves to the utmost to be the vehicle to deliver the salvation. There is a concept in the Torah, “Mu’at machzik et hameruba -Something small can hold something great.” In a sense we personify this. We are puny but we possess an eternal soul which is limitless.  In Kabalah, the number eight signifies something above nature. The eight days of Chanuka have the power to help us escape our natural confines. It’s a time to break out of our mold and recast ourselves into something different.  There’s a special force in the air which whispers to us, “Find a different dimension, improve, spread your wings.”

There is a spark of the or haganuz-the ethereal light that Hashem hid away at Creation, within our Chanuka lights.  We have to ask ourselves, “What’s stopping me? What is about me that’s not letting me grow?”

We are not simply lighting physical candles. It’s a transformational moment. We are igniting something within ourselves and the sparks of all our ancestors come to join us. It is a sacred time to introspect, reflect, and connect with Hashem. It is also an auspicious time to give charity and to pray for Torah, good middot, righteous children and blessing in the home.  

May we merit to discern the holiness within us as reflected in our small yet infinite Chanuka lights.