6 Teves 5779 / Friday, December 14, 2018 | Torah Reading: Vayigash
 
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The Kislev Connection    

The Kislev Connection



The Menorah, which we only light with pure oil, symbolizes the purity of a Jewish lifestyle. This is the very point which the Greeks tried to destroy...

 



Translated by Chana Cohen  

 

How often do we think about essential things, about the things that make up our lives? For example, what’s that inner strength that helps us rise after a fall? What’s the hope, even the smallest one, which helps us face all of the despair in our lives? And in general, how do we take that deep breath, close our eyes, open them and feel energized?

 

The answer which immediately comes to me, and really resonates strongly with me, is that it’s from our inner connection.

 

Yes, when I’m connected internally to that strong and true place inside, then no matter what happens, I know I’m strong.

 

So now you’re probably wondering, what is that internal place?  How do we recognize it and connect to it?

 

The answer is: our soul. That Divine part of us that we received from our Creator, literally a piece of Him inside of us. This part receives sustenance from its source - the Creator of the world Himself.

 

“My G-d, the soul which You breathed into me… As long as my soul is within me, I thank You…” We say this in the morning prayers each day.

 

When the going gets tough, when we’re in pain, when it hurts and the end is nowhere in sight - we raise our eyes to G-d.

 

We now find ourselves in the month of Kislev. It’s a month of redemption and miracles, of light and warmth, of the victory of the spirit over the material. Yes, against all odds, the holiness won over the impurity.

 

When the Greeks entered the Holy Sanctuary and defiled all of the oil in the Holy Temple, Jerusalem and all surrounding areas, the Menorah couldn’t be lit. Our sages specifically write, “They defiled all of the oil in the sanctuary.” The Greeks didn’t spill the oil on the ground or get them all muddy. The oil remained in the jugs, ready and prepared for the lighting. Technically, fire could have been lit with this oil, however it wasn’t fitting to be used in the holy Menorah anymore. It had been brutally vandalized and wickedly defiled. The Greeks wanted the holy Menorah to be lit, but with impure oil.

 

We’re fighting with the Greeks regarding our approach to life.

 

They wanted to “Cause them to forget Your Torah and to force them to turn from the statutes of Your will”. They didn’t mind if the Jews learned Torah as a subject, such as music, philosophy or other wisdoms. What bothered them most of all was that for us the Torah is the source of life!! Our connection to the Torah and Mitzvot is the core of our connection to Hashem, which is a tremendously powerful connection.

 

The Menorah, which we only light with pure oil, symbolizes the purity of a Jewish lifestyle. This is the very point which the Greeks tried to destroy. They were smart. They realized that there, in the place of this connection, the core of our strength can be found.

 

The tragedy of Jews becoming Hellenists began then and unfortunately continues to this day. Why? Because they failed to grasp the main point of Judaism. They thought, what could be wrong with a little Greek culture? This went on until a minority, the Hasmoneans, rose up and fought to preserve the spirit of the Jewish Nation.

 

But the war didn’t end back then. Each one of us is still waging an internal battle. We are required to always shine and act out of pure oil, out of our internal jug of oil. It’s a jug of oil that never gets depleted. Because the jug is filled with the purest of oil, and it fills us and gives us renewed strength to light up, rise and succeed.

 

 

* * *

Talya Levy (B.A. in education) has been in the teaching field for ten years. She has experience teaching brides, is an experienced writer, and deals with mental and emotional awareness according to the Chassidic teachings. She is a wife and a mother to four, thank G-d. Contact her at:  talyalevi226@gmail.com





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