THE MIRACLE OF EIGHT BY RABBI CHAIM BRUK
Yesterday, while celebrating Chanukah at the State Capitol in Helena, I was particularly inspired by the words shared by my colleague Rabbi Berry Nash of Missoula. You see, Chanukah has so many interesting angles, so much depth and so many beautiful customs, at times we can forget what the miracle is all about. Rabbi Nash posed a simple question “Why is Chanukah an eight day festival? There was enough oil for one day and so it should’ve been a seven day festival to commemorate only the miracle days?”
His answer, based on Chassidic philosophy, was powerful: seven represents the cycle of nature; seven days in a week, seven musical notes, seven years in a Sabbatical cycle, human’s seven emotional attributes. Eight, coming after the seven cycle, represents the supernatural; a transition from the finite to the infinite. Lighting Menorah for eight days inspires us to recognize the Divine Providence in the story of Chanukah and in our lives today. If we allow the Infinite to penetrate our hearts, souls, homes and communities, we will inch closer to a time when the the finite and infinite will fully sync with the coming of Mashiach.
In this week’s Torah portion, Mikeitz, we read about that same Divine Providence guiding Sir Joseph Jacobson (AKA Jacob’s son). How in the world does a tormented boy who lost his mother at a very young age, sold into slavery by his own brothers, accused maliciously by his master’s wife of attempted rape, become the viceroy of Egypt, the greatest empire of the time? It was logically impossible but with the hand of G-d guiding him, it was even probable. When we question our capabilities as an individual to serve G-d while challenged by so many obstacles, when we question the Jewish people’s chance of surviving as a unique G-d fearing people and to be a Light unto the Nations, we must remember that our Operating System is Infinite and therefore we can and will persevere.
Supernatural is the way to go; Macabee/Joseph style!
May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May He protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L’Chaim!!!
Wishing you and yours a Shabbat Shalom and a bright Chanukah!
Your friends @ Chabad Lubavitch,
Rabbi Chaim, Chavie, Chaya, Zeesy & Menny