Tonight we light the first branch of the Menorah, commemorating the miracle of the victory of the Jews over their Greek oppressors.
One part of that miracle was that despite the Greeks’ defiling all of the cruses of olive oil in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, the Jews managed to find one untouched cruse to light the candelabra in the Holy Temple.
From this unadulterated vessel came the miracle that even though it should have only been enough to light the Menorah for one night, it managed to last for eight nights — long enough to process fresh virgin olive oil.
The message of Chanukah is radical, relevant and universal:
No matter who you are, no matter where you are, no matter what you have done, or what has been done to you.
No matter your age or stage of life.
No matter the family you were born into or your social circle.
There is a part of you that can never be defiled.
There is a place in the essence of your being that is pure, unadulterated and cannot be tainted.
There is no army, there is no darkness that can break that seal.
If you dig deep enough, you will reach your cruse of oil.
And just when you think it will only get you through the night, miracles happen and it fuels your life.