Mei Marom: Chanukah: The Jar of The Kohen Gadol
The pure nature of the world, before Adam’s sin, was that everything finite had the potential to become infinite. The boundaries of finite existence were the seeds from which one could grow and flourish and achieve the infinite.
Everything that existed began with limitations, even the life span of a human being. However, before the Primal Sin, a person had the ability to use finite years to achieve the infinite on this world.
Israel is infinite: “Yaakov Avino, lo leit,” – “Jacob, our patriarch did not die,” for just as his children live, so too, does he. (Ta’anit 5b) Jacob used his finite years to become infinite.
The key to infinite existence is hidden in the deepest places, sealed with the great seal of the Kohen Gadol, who enters the deepest enclosed place – the Holy of Holies. “No man may be in the Tent of Meeting, when he enters to atone in the Holy Place.” (Leviticus 16:17) The secret of Infinite existence is protected in its full pure state in the purest most enclosed space.
When the Chashmonaim found a single jar of “pure” oil, with the seal of the Kohen Gadol, they discovered that their finite actions had touched the infinite. It was natural for a small container of oil, sufficient for only one day, to burn without limitation, just as they had acted without limitations.
Chanukah is our opportunity to glimpse the secret of Infinite achievement that is usually so hidden from us.