Tonight is the last night of Hanukkah and I have learned not to let the gift-giving and commercialization infect the true meaning of the holiday. I’ve been talking to my kids about the historical meaning of the holiday, but tonight I will be talking about the religious/spiritual aspects of Hanukkah. It’s not about gifts, it’s about dedication to being the light to the nations, to the people of the world, to dispel the rampant darkness we see around us.
The miracle of the lights was that Jews had enough oil for one night only and they lit it, this was us saying, “We see you Hashem and we love you.” The other seven nights that the oil lasted was G-d saying, “I see you too, and I love you.” You see, we aren’t lighting the menorah/Hanukiah just physically, but we’re lighting the menorah in our hearts and in our souls, to be better, to do better, and to surrender over to Hashem that which is our all.
The miracle of Hanukkah isn’t just that the oil of one night lasted eight nights, it’s that in spite of the struggles and attempts to wipe out the Jewish people, their light still shines thousands of years on. Although Hanukkah is considered a minor holiday in Judaism, its message is a major one that needs to grow to spread the light and love of Hashem.