Endless Power Supply

Friday, 30 December, 2016 - 2:14 pm

For a more personal reference point of the miracle of Chanukah, there’s a viral message going around social media:

Imagine if your cell phone battery life only had 10% remaining and it lasted 8 days. Now you understand the miracle of the oil!


The truth is that we all can relate to times when we wish we just had more juice to continue going. It might be a challenge in a relationship, the ability to persevere against depressing environments, or the strength of character to withstand personal temptations.

So, how can we replicate the miracle of Chanukah in our own lives?


In the parsha Miketz, which we study this week, Yosef interprets Par’oh’s dreams and advises him. Par’oh, impressed with Yosef’s wisdom, appoints him to implement the plan of rationing and storing during the years of plenty in order to ensure sustenance during the years of famine.

The simple, yet powerful advice, of Yosef is useful in many areas of life, including our own relationship with G-d and others.  The Mystics explain:

Metaphorically, the seven years of abundance allude to the years of spiritual "plenty" that we enjoyed when the Temples stood and G-d's presence was perceivable in the miracles that occurred in the Temple. This era was followed by the exile, an era of spiritual "famine," when G-dliness became much less perceivable. Today, the ravages of our long exile have made us forget the years of spiritual plenty when G-dliness was revealed during the Temple era.

But, as Joseph advised, we did store up "food," by preserving the knowledge of the Torah during the years of plenty. The inspiration of the Torah sustains us during exile. The Torah will continue to sustain us until the "famine" ends and G-dliness is once again revealed, with the rebuilding of the Holy Temple.

Yes, creating reservoirs of faith, study and commitment will serve us well during difficult times.  A backup tank of spiritual fuel will come in handy when our primary tank runs out.


But, what happens if circumstances deplete our backup tank? What if the ‘Greeks’ overrun our ‘inner Temple’ and ruin our fuel supply? What if we are just too distant from a power supply? Even planning for a rainy day won’t help, right?

The story of Chanukah teaches us otherwise.  The cruse of oil was only enough for one day. But, even one day’s worth of oil can get you through a rough patch. 

The Mystics compare the cruse of oil to the quintessential core of the soul.  It’s the element within you that can never run out of fuel.  Sometimes we call it running on adrenaline. But really it’s running on soul power.  At that wavelength, the fuel isn’t subject to the regular rules. The essence of the soul has an infinite lifespan.

The next time you are challenged with what seems like an insurmountable obstacle, don’t merely look for outside help. Look deep inside for the limitless power that you already possess.

It will shine for eight days. Or more. Or less. But, it will shine for as long and much as you need!

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