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Lights XXIX

“Why does He give light to the sufferer and life to those bitter of soul; to those who crave death but it is not there, who seek it more eagerly than hidden treasure; to those who exult at a joyous occasion, who rejoice when they find the grave; to the man whose deeds are concealed, before whom the Lord has raised a barrier?” (Job 3:19-22)

The Ramban explains that Job constantly lived in fear of the future, not that he would suffer, but that his children would fail to live good lives. His fear deprived every day of his life of some of its light.

These verses describe someone who cannot even rejoice without experiencing fear of when that happiness will be lost.

Job extinguished his own happiness and light even when all was well. He sensed that he would only feel safe in the grave.

Such is not real light, for the person foresees its disappearance as soon as it appears. We cannot be assured of joy and success in this world, just as the Chashmonaim could not feel assured of victory, or even security in their temporary victory.

The Chashmonaim’s accomplishment was their ability to appreciate each moment of light as it appeared, and through that appreciation, make it eternal.

When you have a positive moment on Chanukah, appreciate it and understand that the act of appreciation will make it eternal.

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