Opinion: Finding Oil
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Opinion: Finding Oil

In a world darkened by violence and despair, candles will soon light up the night. From Alaska to Zaire, the gloom and chaos of our planet, will be replaced by the bright luminescence of millions of Menorahs. Society, desperate for some light, will welcome the festival of Chanukah.

Across our community, and the world at large, countless millions will join hands and make a statement; that if a small candle can banish the dark of night, then surely the light and inspiration generated by our acts of goodness and kindness, can, too, illuminate our world.

Regarding the flames of the Menorah, tradition tells us, its purpose is to tell the miraculous story of the cruse of oil - the last bit of oil, undefiled by the ancient Syrian Greek army, that miraculously burned in the Temple's great Menorah for eight days. Because of the miracle it evokes its flames are sacred, and one may not make use of them for personal benefit - save for gazing at them, thus affirming the supremacy of Divine power over physical limitations.

What is the lesson to be learned?

Man's mission is to harness the "light of day," goodness and decency, in order to "illuminate the night:" we strive to cultivate all that is good and G-dly in our world, and direct these positive resources to overcome and transform the negative "dark side" of the world in which we live. This process was exemplified by the lighting of the Temple Menorah: kindled before day's end in the Temple's inner sanctum, the Menorah radiated its Divine glow beyond the Temple to the dark world outside.

But there are times when the darkness invades the Divine lighthouse, dimming the Menorah and defiling its oil. Times when we no longer feel empowered enough, or capable of, or perhaps even interested in illuminating the madness and menace of our world’s ills.

In such times, we must search for the hidden "single cruse of pure oil," the undefilable essence of good that is in every single one of us. We must dig below the surface realities of "day" and "night" to unearth the enormous power that we all have, and transform the ugliness that has surrounded us and seemed unbeatable.

Placed where it can be seen from the street, the Chanukah Menorah teaches us to spread that light to all our surroundings.

Lit at nightfall, it reminds us that even in our darkest moments, our deepest light can be brought to the fore and shine brightly enough for all "still outside" to see and be inspired. Redemption can come to the world with just one more flame.

For more information on the above, email Rabbi Leibel Fajnland at rabbi@chabadrh.org

Community Chanukah Events:

Reservation can be made at http://www.chabad...">www.chabadrh.org.

*Pre-Chanukah Menorah Workshop@the Home Depot

Bring your family and friends for a fun Pre-Chanukah experience at the Home Depot. Craft your own Menorah with tons of different materials. Release that little Van Gogh hiding inside of you. Enjoy Latkes, donuts, Dreidels, chocolate Gelt, chanukah music, and much more.

When: Sunday, Dec. 6, 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Where: The Home Depot,1651 Reston Parkway, Reston

Fee: Gratis.

$50 Menorah Sponsorship. $100 Event Sponsor

  • Chanukah At Lake Anne

Bring family and friends for an evening of Chanukah fun at Lake Anne.

Change the World with your Good Deed! Bring kosher canned food of all sizes, and add it to the Menorah of Kindness later to be donated to the needy.

An exciting holiday celebration, jam packed with activities for the whole family - lots of fun and surprises for all ages. Giant Outdoor Food Cans Menorah - to later be donated to feed the homeless , face painting, salad bar, sizzling latkes, delicious donuts and chocolate gelt, free dreidels, and lots of holiday cheer for the whole family.

When: Tuesday, Dec. 8, 5:30-7 p.m.

Where: Lake Anne Waterfront and the Reston Community Center, 1609 Washington Plaza N # A Reston,

Fee: Gratis.

Event Sponsorship:

Dreidle Sponsor, $50

Menorah Sponsor, $100.

Macabee, $180

  • Chanukah On Ice

Join us and enjoy... Ice-skate to lively Chanukah music with family and friends. Grand Menorah lighting. Hot latkes and donuts. Dreidels and Chocolate Gelt for all. Grand Raffle and more. Pre-ordered boxed dinner (hot dog, snack, juice box) available for purchase $3.50

When: Sunday, Dec. 13, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Where: Reston Town Center Ice Skating Rink. 11900 Market Street, Reston

Admission: FREE. $10 to skate/$12 at the door.

Event Sponsorship:

Dreidle Sponsor, $50

Menorah Sponsor, $100

Macabee, $180