Is That God Smiling?
When does something achieve the status of a miracle? It is almost universal for parents holding their newborn in their arms for the first time to believe that they experienced a miracle. The first smile, the first crawl, the first steps are usually celebrated and appreciated as part of the miracle of life. Teenage issues are definitely not perceived as miracles. Many people considered the victories of the Six Day War as miraculous. Others were dubious. It seems that the quality of a miracle is determined by our perception.
The Chashmonaim rose to the occasion when they credited their victories to God and called them miraculous. Would their claims of miracle survive the test of time? The excitement usually dies down over time, and we begin to question whether that amazing experience was actually a miracle. Chanukah was not declared a holiday for a year. The sages wanted to see whether the people’s experience would hold steady and pass the test of time. The people rose even higher than the Macabees when they looked back over the distance of twelve months and still saw everything that happened as a miracle; an historic miracle. They treated their experiences as extraordinary, and by doing so they achieved the same quality. It was that conviction that we celebrate as Chanukah.
Chanukah is our opporunity to see the extraordinary in our lives and to capture that potential for ourselves.
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