Monday, December 21, 2009

the miraculous in the day-to-day

The Beis Yosef asks why we celebrate Chanukah for eight days when there was enough oil found to last at least one day. We should celebrate only the seven days in which the oil miraculously continued to burn, not the first day in which nothing miraculous happened?

R' Simcha Zisel explains that the miraculous seven days of oil burning help us appreciate that Hashem's will, not mere laws of nature, is what governs the universe, and that is what causes oil to burn even on that first day. As the Ramban writes at the end of Parshas Bo, every day is filled with concealed miracles -- Hashem is always present, if only we take the time to notice.

It's perhaps after Chanukah is over when we return to the day to day that R' Simcha Zisel's message becomes all the more meaningful. The menorah may be in the closet, but the light which it revealed can still illuminate our perspective.

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