The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins Saturday evening. For eight nights we light candles and thank God for “the miracle He performed for us.”
Tradition understands that miracle as one miniscule cruse of oil burning brightly for eight consecutive nights. The burning oil rededicated the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, which had been conquered and defiled by the Assyrians.
The Real Miracle
Consider, however, another miracle: The miracle of the spirit that led the Jewish people to search for the cruse of oil in the first place.
They could have given up on their faith. They could have turned away in fear from the Assyrians, who had a much larger and more powerful army. They could have simply accepted the world as it is.
Yet, something in their hearts propelled them forward. They knew they served a purpose much larger than their own survival. They believed not in the world as it is. They believed in the world as it ought to be.
A Leap of Action
Because of their courage, Hanukkah celebrates not only the miracle God did for an ancient people. Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of faith itself.
Faith is not blind obedience. Faith is not even acceptance of the seemingly impossible.
Faith is the courage to live for something larger than ourselves. It is the courage to take a chance, to take a leap of action, to work for what we know is right. That is what our ancestors did. And it is what each of us can do, wherever we are.
By Evan Moffic,
Grow Spiritually. Inspire Yourself. Live a More Meaningful Life.
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