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Purifying the Oil IV

“And may the Lord give you of the dew of the heavens and of the fatness (Mishmanai) of the earth, and abundant grain and wine.” (Genesis 27:28) The Sanzer (Divrei Chaim) explains this as a blessing of both the spiritual and physical worlds: “The dew of the heavens,” is the ‘Shefa’ of Kedusha, Holiness, and “the fatness of the earth” refers to the ‘Shefa’ of physical blessings.

The Sanzer does not speak of “the Shemen of the earth” as physical blessings, but the ‘Shefa’ the flow of Divine Influence and blessing. Isaac was not blessing Jacob/Eisav with the physical world, but with the gift of living with a constant sense of ‘Shefa,’ a flow from Above. The “Shemen,” or, oil, in the verse, is a sign of living with ‘Shefa.’

We can imagine the Chashmonaim desperately searching through the disaster in the despoiled Beit Hamikdash for some pure oil. They were Halachically permitted to use impure oil, but they, exhausted from battle, pushed on in their search for pure oil, insisting that their rededication of the Beit Hamikdash, their Chanukah, no matter how unspectacular, be with pure oil, the sign of this ‘Shefa.’ They were making a statement about the purity of the Beit Hamikdash, and of the House of God as the place through which all Divine Abundance flows. They wanted the purest Shefa. They found just what they needed, one cruise of oil, and the Shefa began as it burned far beyond its potential for eight days.

There is a difference between requesting our physical needs from God and asking for Shefa. The former asks ‘small.” The latter, the ‘Shefa Seeker,’ asks for the unlimited.

Chanukah, symbolized by the miracle of the oil, is a reminder that we must all become ‘Shefa Seekers,’ asking God for abundance, for a constant sense of receiving Divine Influence.

Spiritual ToolboxWe can best prepare for Chanukah by becoming Shefa Seekers, requesting that all our efforts, spiritual and physical, be animated by the same Shefa that empowered the Chashmonaim.

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