Chanukah: Purifying the Oil II
“You prepare a table before me in view of my tormentors. You anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows.” (Psalms 23:5) The Maharsha (Yoma 76a) understands this verse as David’s description of Samuel the prophet anointing him as king.
David was anointed as king in a private ceremony, and then…
nothing. Samuel left and life continued. The new king was sent back by his father to shepherd the family’s flocks. Yishai uses the new king as a messenger boy. King Saul hires him as a musician. David’s anointment certainly did not seem to be auspicious.
We know from David’s words to Saul and his generals after volunteering to fight Goliath that something important changed in him after his anointment: He began to dream of great things. He began to dream as a king.
The Chanukah oil, one small cruise of oil, may have been a sign of hope, but it was a small, inauspicious sign. However, the Chashmonaim chose, as did David, to use that seemingly small miracle as a stimulus to dream big.
The Chanukah challenge is not to look for big miracles or significant signs of blessing and potential. It is to take notice of the inauspicious indications of potential and begin to dream as kings.