One year when lighting the first candle of Hanukkah with Rabbi Baruch from Mez'ibose' , the flame jumped and disappeared from the candle, with no signs of smoke.
How does the flame, the darkness and the exile connect Hanukkah?
The House of Israel is unlike other nations. Every other nation can replace its culture for another without causing any damage whatsoever to the nation. This is not the case with the Jewish people. Our nation is no nation at all without its Torah.
The rise of The Saducees, eventually encouraged by Alexander Yanai, the most powerful of the Hasmonean kings, undermined the peoples’ faith in Torah and rabbinic tradition. So why is there such a big deal over the matter of Chanuka?
“The light shall triumph,” proclaims the Chanukah candle. It conveys the story of the small Jewish nation that stood up to the colossal Greek culture and emerged victorious. Does it also have the power to reveal to me what Jewish culture is?
On Purim, the faith in God's omnipotence and the Torah's divinity were revealed. On Chanukah, the faith in personal Divine Providence was revealed: God delivered the many into the hands of the few. We, too, must strive to see God's providence in all.
The turning point in Hellenist culture came when classic paganism became a general idea. This happened when they stripped paganism of its religious content and transformed it into a cluster of ideas - purposive, active forces became laws and domains.
Chanukah is a time of praise and thanksgiving to God for the miracles and wonders that He performed on behalf of our ancestors “in those days at this time.” It is also a time to reflect upon and learn from the great events which happened in those days.
Unlike Greek thought, Judaism teaches that all of man's actions possess value and make an impression upon the heavens and earth - momentarily and eternally. The morality of man is not mere courtesy; our commandments are not some external performance.
We cannot be satisfied with strengthening only one portion of the people, no matter how important its task be. We must designate persons for each of our national goals, whether the strengthening of the Torah or the building of the nation.
In a bustling world of progress and development, in a day and age when the electric light bulb is taken for granted, we continue to light the Hanukah candles - just as we did some two thousand years ago.