Courage of Chanukah

Based on a shiur by Rabbi Hanoch Teller

Rabbi Yisrael Miller told me that he once attended a Torah U’Mesorah course on public speaking. The audience was a group of erudite Rabbis. Everyone in the course had to deliver a speech and the job of the audience was to try and distract the speaker. However, once the speaker realized this, it gave him the strength not to be distracted. Once you enter the mindset that life is not real, but a series of tests that Hashem has staged for you, then you can even accept the threat of death calmly and laugh at it. 

It says about the eishet chayil, “Vatischak l’yom acharon -She will laugh at the end of days.” We’re all afraid of death and the judgement, because we know we’ve accomplished very little in our puny life. However, the eishet chayil who used her time wisely will laugh in its face. 

Someone’s annoying you. Are you going to be patient, or will you have a fit?  It’s all from Hashem. The tests continue. They vary in degree, but they never stop.  People can be irritating. Will you be mature or let out your rage? If you find it difficult, picture this person as your personnel director or employer looking through the window watching you. We have these tests of patience all the time. The driver in front of you is too slow. The line at the checkout is taking forever. The Maacabim understood that they were facing a challenge. Remember, the one who is testing us is the Almighty to see how we will react. Just as Avraham Avinu and the Maacabim of old rose above their challenges, we too have the innate strength to come through with flying colors.