Chanukah Hallel Paragraph Six: Freedom!
“What can I respond to God
for all the good He has given to make me independent?”
The Chashmonaim were convinced that their success was a gift from God; the gift of independence. It was a gift that taught them that their efforts mattered to the Creator of the Universe. “How can we than God for making us independent?” “How can we thank God for giving us a life in which all we do matters to Him?”
“I will lift up the cup of salvation
and I will call out in God’s Name.
I will fulfill my promises to God in front of all His nation.”
The Chashmonaim’s determination to move heaven and earth so they could light the Menorah at the rededication of the Beit Hamikdash with only the purest oil was their raising the “Cup of Salvation” to God. It was, as is our Chanukah candles, a declaration of gratitude “In front of all His nation.” We light the Menorah as our L’chaim of gratitude.
“Death to His pious ones is precious in God’s eyes.”
A small jar of oil that burned far beyond its physical limitations was an expression that God considered the efforts of each and every one of those who died in the Chanukah battles as precious; each soldier was far more than his physical presence.
“Please God, allow me to be Your servant.
I am Your worker, the son of Your maidservant,
You unlocked my chains.”
The experience of empowerment, independence, that their actions mattered, and that each individual was precious to God, was a lesson that when we become Servants of God, He unlocks our chains. We want to be such servants; people unfettered by limitations. We see our Service of God as a process of constant expansion, symbolized by the extra candle we light each night increasing our light as Chanukah unfolds before us.
“I will bring an offering of thanks to You,
and I will call out in the Name of God.
I will fulfill my promises to God in front of all His nation.
In the courtyards of God’s House,
in the center of Jerusalem.