A Post Chanukah Message: Living the Miracle

menorah brightThroughout the Halachic literature, a recurring theme of Chanukah is the need to publicize the miracle of the Menorah.  What, then, is the significance and message of the Chanukah miracle itself?

Nachmanidies, in his Commentary on the Torah (Exodus 13:16), writes a classic explanation of the role of the miracles in the Torah:

“A fundamental Jewish dogma is that everything that happens to us as a nation and as individuals is not a random function of nature’s laws but miraculous Divine orchestration based [primarily] on our virtue.  One role of the large-scale miracles in our history is that by way of thinking about these spectacular events in our history,  a person can begin to acknowledge the less-than-obvious miracles in our history and our lives.”

This idea can perhaps also be applied to the Chanukah miracle.  The presents, latkes, and even the menorah itself all fade away after Chanukah.  The message of Chanukah, that the stories of our lives and our people’s collective life are miraculous, must remain with us every day of the year.


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