More on Chanukah

When the Hasmoneans came and entered the Sanctuary, they found only one jar that contained pure oil, an amount sufficient for only one day’s lighting. Despite all that the Greeks had done to defile the thoughts of the people of Israel, there still remained a modicum of light in their hearts, a single spark of true wisdom which enabled them to know that they were sacred and had been chosen from among the nations. The nations of the world were destined to follow Israel’s light, rather than Israel following theirs.

However, their remnant of light was not sufficient to kindle a perpetual lamp within them, for their thought processes and feelings had been blemished by the ‘wisdom of the Greeks.’ But a miracle occurred and the oil burned for eight days (Shabbat 21b). i.e. Heaven came to their assistance and this spark of true wisdom was fanned into a flame that illuminated their lives in perpetuity. (This concept is symbolized by the eight days of the festival, for seven represents the natural cycle of time whereas eight symbolizes those things which transcend the confines of time).

Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov, Book of Our Heritage

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