December 24th, 2022 — Hanukkah Kavanot 2022/5783
Hi, i’m Hannah Jensen, one of the rabbinic interns here at. IKAR. When we talk about Hanukkah, we talk a lot about miracles. And the ultimate of these miracles is one that many of us learned about as really young children. And that is the miracle of the oil.
When there was all of this fighting in this temple, then in the rubble, they were able to find only a tiny amount of oil, enough to last one day.
But they wanted enough oil for eight, and so they burned the oil, assuming it would last one day and it lasted all eight days.
This miracle has been so important that it has sustained our stories about Hanukkah for generations, and miracles have even found their way into one of the blessings we say every night of Hanukkah.
She-asah nisim la-avoteinu, Blessed are you God who made miracles for our ancestors, bayamim hahaeim, in those days.
But then something strange happens. It concludes ba-z’man ha-zeh, in this time. In our time. It’s as though there’s a coma or something.
Yes, God made miracles for our ancestors in their time, but also for us in our time. We’re so focused on these ancient miracles. They feel so big, so deserving of being part of our lore. But we miss so many other miracles.
What miracles are we missing with our gaze focused solely on our ancestors?
There are so many miracles that take place just for each of us to get out of bed in the morning and go about our day. Every breath, every step we take, every story we tell is a product of miracles.
What miracle brought you to this moment?
As we find ourselves in this Hanukkah season, just remember yes, she-asah nisim la-avoteinu ba-yamim ha-heim, yes, God made miracles for our ancestors in their time, but also b’az’man hazeh. God also makes miracles for us in our time.