Just a Moment
Written by: Rabbi Mordechai Raizman
During Chanukah, the special prayer, Al Hanisim, is added to our tefillos (prayers). This tefilla thanks Hashem for the miracles He performed for the small Jewish army during the battle against the more formidable Greek one. When one looks closely at this prayer, there seems to be a glaring omission. There is no mention during the prayer of the miracle of the small jug of oil that was found allowing the candles to remain lit for eight days. In fact, there is no mention of the candles until the last line which states, Afterwards (referring to the battle) they lit candles and this line seems almost an afterthought. However, if one understands the true focus of the prayer, this line becomes the most powerful one.
After the war, what was the first thing our ancestors did? They did not sit back and enjoy the moment or run a ticker-tape parade to celebrate. Instead, they immediately returned to the Bais Hamikdosh (Temple) to re-establish the Avodah (Daily Services) there. They were inspired by the miracles they witnessed during the war and acted on that inspiration right away. These actions, in turn, brought about the miracle of finding the jug of oil.
This series of events is what we need to keep in mind and to teach our children. When moments of inspirations are acted upon at once, good things will follow. A famous quote states, “Moments can be momentary or momentous; it all depends on how you use it.” Remember, a moment of better concentration in tefillah or a moment of doing an act of kindness with more thought or a moment of thanking Hashem for all that He gives us can make a monumental change in our lives.