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Monday, January 02, 2006

The Completion and Faith of the Jew

And so eight days have come, each day an added light until eight lights in cups brimming with olive oil shine amber and gold, burn.

In the first Chanukah, the first renewing, they must have watched the single light burning wondering if it would continue to burn, hoping and not daring to hope that the miracle would continue and endure. They had won great battles at impossible odds and in the thunder of bow and spear, the crash of chariot and elephant, the triumph of the few over the many they could see the hand of G-d. But it was an intangible hand. A hand that works behind the curtain, that allows men to accomplish what should have been impossible and yet it remains unseen.

But in the single flame burning when it must go out, they could finally see the visible hand of G-d. In that lonely impossible flame was the statement that G-d had been with them all along and the same power that made a light inextinguishable had triumphed for them through impossible odds and impossible battles.

Little did they know that a battle had been won but a long exile awaited. Little did they know that in that exile each Jew must keep his and her lights burning on, impossibly, against inconceivable odds fueled only by the faith that G-d would not abandon his people. Little did they know how great an act of faith it was to command the Jewish people to maintain the lights of the Menorah for thousands of years while kingdoms fell into dust, cultures vanished, ages passed, miraculous technological wonders came upon the earth and in massive cities towers were raised to the sky and in those towers burned Menorahs too.

In those eight days that they waited to see if the light would burn on, each day the light endured was a miracle. Each day of every year of every millennium of every century that the out Chanukah lights burn is an act of faith. In partnership with G-d we rekindled the lights of the temple. In partnership with G-d we have endured and we are here today.

Eight lights. Eight days. Thousands of years.

We are still here and the lights are here with us still.

1 comments:

ruth2 said...

amen

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