Written by: Rabbi Mordechai Raizman
As we come to the end of Chanukah, I would like to share a message to take us through the winter. There is a famous question from Rabbi Yosef Cairo, the author of the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law), that is asked. If there was enough oil to last one night, why do we celebrate eight nights if the miracle was really only for seven nights?
One possible answer is the first night was the catalyst for the miracle to occur. After the total defilement of the Temple, when the Jews returned and searched for the oil, did they really think they would find something after such destruction? Our ancestors taught us a great lesson. Aside from not giving up, we learn that they were expecting to find something. They were looking to reconnect with Hashem and the service of the Temple. G-d saw their sincerity and responded with the miracle of the oil. We should model this behavior. For when we truly reach for something, His hand guides us to go beyond what one would have imagined. This is not just a message for Chanukah but all year round in all of our efforts to serve Hashem.