Countdown to Chanukah 16 – This Is My Chanukah
We are taught that Chanukah is an Oral Law Festival. It isn’t a biblical festival. It was instituted by the Sages. All of Chanukah’s laws and practices were designed and determined using the Courageous Creative Process of the Oral Law.
There is another way to view the relationship between Chanukah and the Oral Law. One I regularly experience when learning Torah with an extraordinary group of people.
I can introduce a simple insight into a story or verse. I light the Shamash, the candle used to light the official Chanukah candles, the candle from whose light we are permitted to derive benefit.
A member of our group will offer an insight or question that will shed an entirely new light on the topic.
Every participant will honor the insight. All listen and absorb.
There is no sense of personal honor.
This first candle is treated as holy.
Someone will inevitably be ignited by the first candle and a second insight or question will shine. The candles light each other. One idea follows another until there is a hum of energy from our fully lit Menorah; an energy of ideas and joy expressed much as a song, a Hallel.
This is the real Menorah of the Oral Law.
When we light our candles we are expanding the miracle of the oil to more than two Millenia.
When we continue to study the ideas and concepts suggested over the ages and expand on them, we sing the Hallel of the Oral Law.
This is not the Countdown to Chanukah but the expansion through the year.
It is our way to ignite more candles each time we study Hashem’s Torah.
It is the unceasing Hallel of Chanukah-Oral Law that never ends but continues to inspire us and to fill us with joy.
This is my Chanukah.
This is my Menorah.
This is my Hallel.
This is my Oral Law.
ZOT Chanukah, the eighth day of Chanukah and every day after.