Last year was my 1st year in Israel and my 1st Chunuka experience. While being in seminary I was inspired to write a short idea for each night. This year I wanted to share my thoughts with a wider audience as well as expand on the ideas that are within.This specific one I wrote many years ago however the message still holds strong.
‘Chanuka has so many miracles: finding one, small, sealed bottle of oil in a vandalism Beit Hamikdash. That small bottle of oil, enough for 1 day, lasting for 8. Then there’s the small army of Meccabees defeating the huge, strong Greek army.
The Greeks didn’t allow us to learn Torah, keep Rosh Chodesh or do Bris Millot. They tried to destroy spirituality, our Judaism. However we still learnt Torah. We had our learning by pretending to play with dradles. Despite the hard times we still kept our faith!
We were able to hide our learning, we had no warning to when they would come in, and yet we managed to hide our learning. I feel this is also a miracle.
Miracles don’t have to be big things, out of the ordinary. How about trees and plants growing from a small seed or waking up healthy and breathing. Chanuka can remind us that miracles are all around us. We are used to the world we live in. It’s a world full of little miracles. Everything we have is from Hashem!’
This year is my 1st as an Israeli. For 5 years I was thinking and dreaming of living in Israel and now I am. When I light my candles this year I am remembering my journey and the small miracles it took for me to be here lighting the candles and saying נס גדול היה פה.. A big miracle happened HERE!
Last year while learning with a chuvruta I came up with the idea of the spiritual doughnut challenge. The doughnut challenge for those of you who dont know is a fun challenge involving eating the number of doughnuts corresponding to each of the nights. So the spiritual doughnut challenge is a similar concept however no food is involved. Just a pen and paper. Every night corresponding to the number of nights (1 on the 1st…2 on 2nd etc) write a list of the small ‘miracles’ Hashem does for us each day or within our lifetime. Also for a feelgood one write a similar list of things you have done that day… and try to do something good corresponding to the number of the day.