In this week’s sedra/parasha מקץ Jacob says to the brothers ‘May G-d Almighty give you mercy…’ it is strange that he says it in this way. Wouldn’t it have been better to say ‘May G-d be merciful to you’? Jacob’s words here were more than just a prayer, they were there to teach the brothers that if they wanted to recieve mercy from the Egyptian ruler (Josef) then they must 1st be compassionate themselves. They must 1st make a step themselves then they would see the benefit with others. (from living each week, Rabbi Twersky)
I think this idea of working on yourself or starting of the actions comes a lot within chanuka. Not necessarily in the way of character traits but simply in actions itself. The macabees had to 1st start of the battle even though the chances looked small and only then did Hashem preform the miracle that they would win. So to with the oil, 1st they had to take the initiative and light the 1st day and then did Hashem make the miracle and the oil lasted throughout. This shows us that if we want ‘miracles’ 1st we must start the process.
May we all have the strength to start our own small ‘miracles’.