Tonight, in a few hours we will light the full Hanukkah menorah, in this year 2011.
And, before the holiday leaves us until next year, there are some thoughts I'd like to share with my readers.
Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Light, when we are reminded that in the darkest of times, there is One Light always there to be seen by those who fervently believe...
It's the Light of G-d, allowing us to feel His Love for His Children, His Beloved Chosen People...
When I speak about Chosen people many ask me "And, what are we...? Are we not His People as well...?" Well, G-d chose us and we took Him in as well. It was mutual acceptance...
I have recently introduced my readers to the notion of the Erev Rav, the fake Jew, those who turn against their own brethren and who unfairly and unduly defend the rights of the enemies over their own.
Our sages teach us that it is only when the Jews will extirpate from their midst the evil erev rav and they will march like "one man" towards G-d and obey His Commandments and follow His Teachings, only then G-d will answer their prayers and protect them.
And, we are taught, that it is only then that the outer world will understand that G-d's Children now deserve Him and His Goodness, and only then peoples of the world will turn to the G-d of Israel... So, in the end, we are all children of G-d but there is a defined path to follow...
On the other hand, we are also taught that the events and developments of the world, all, are mentioned in the Torah.
For instance, Hanukkah is the Festival of Light, thanking G-d that he allowed His Children, the miracle of light from one drop of oil that lasted during eight days until they could receive enough oil to rededicate the Temple.
Hanukkah, the Festival of Light, begins on the 25th day of the month of Kislev...
When we read Bereshit in our Torah, at the very beginning... we know that there are no coincidences:
The 25th word of the beginning of the Torah is the Hebrew word: OR -which means LIGHT...
In fact, the Maccabees were not soldiers, but they were the priests, the only ones who clang to their Judaism that was under attack as the Greeks, lead by King Antiochus, took off from the Jews the very core of their religious traditions: the Brit Milah or circumcision, the celebration of Shabbat and also of Rosh Chodesh when Jews commemorate and bless the arrival of the new month.
But the courageous Maccabees did not go along. Their fought the powerful enemy and with G-d's Help they were victorious.
Another important information is that the word Hanukkah has also the same roots as the word "hinuch" which means 'education'...
Thus, Hanukkah is the time where one can appreciate the importance of Jewish education as opposed to what was "Greek education."
As a matter of fact, the Hebrew word OR is written in two words and each of them has a different meaning:
The word OR (written with aleph, for those who speak Hebrew) means LIGHT.
The word OR (written with ayin, for those who speak Hebrew) means SKIN, physically superficial.
Therein lies the antagonistic parallel of the word OR for Jews and for Greeks.
Jewish education is OR meaning LIGHT because it gives LIGHT and grants Divine Guidance to the soul.
Greek education, before and under Antiochus, gave more emphasis to a superficial, physical, education.
Hanukkah is the time to remind us, Jews, the Divine Presence of Our Father, Our King, who can make miracles to save His Children, who can make last one drop of oil during eight days to light the Hanukkah menorah.
As Einstein said, there are two ways of looking at the world.
You either see no miracles at all throughout your entire life. Or you see the Hand of G-d everywhere.
I choose the latter.
And as we will light tonight the eight candles on this last night of Hanukkah 2011, may you be receptive to the Divine miracles and see the Hand of G-d in every miracle, every day of your lives.
G-d bless you and your loved ones... Hanukkah sameach...