There’s a famous question that’s asked about Chanukah.
Why is Chanuka eight days when the miracle only lasted for seven days since there was enough oil to last for one day?
There are many, many answers to this question. I just want to share one of them with you.
There was once someone who didn’t have enough money to buy oil so they used vinegar instead and said, "The same One who commanded oil to burn can make vinegar burn." And…it did burn! We learn from this that the very fact that oil burns is a miracle too and is a reason to celebrate another day of Chanukah.
The natural events in our lives are really miracles and we should realize that just because something is “normal” doesn’t mean it will be that way and when things go right and are they way they are supposed to be, we should thank Hashem!
Today, the seventh day of Chanukah, is a special day for our family-it’s Chaya Gitty’s 1st (Hebrew) birthday. It’s a day to reflect upon this past year and realize that all the things that seem so normal and regular for a baby’s development are really miraculous. There’s no real reason why a baby should smile at the right time, roll over when the books say she should, crawl, coo, and start to talk (and almost walk!) before their first birthday. Who says this is normal? Who says this is the way it’s supposed to be? Why is this the way things go? It really is more than just regular to see a little baby begin to develop into a real person!
It’s a day for me to realize that all the little things that go right, all her milestones at the right times are reasons to be thankful.
She’s had her fair share of doctor visits (okay, maybe we’ve been there too many times than I would have liked) but baruch Hashem they were for regular things-ear infections, viruses and well visits. But she is healthy. We don’t spend our time worrying and running from doctor to doctor…She’s talking more than her brother did at a year, saying mommy, tatty, baby, cracker, all done, bye-bye, she waves her hand, she says moo and baa (!!) and she tries to imitate things we say to her. She is a normal, regular, healthy baby but really…who defines normal? Who says this is the way things should be? When things go the way they should and everything is smooth, it is a time to stop and thank Hashem for the regular things.
And we learn this lesson from Chanukah. The first day that the oil burned was just as miraculous as the next seven days. And that is why Chanukah lasts for eight days instead of seven. To remind us that the things that seem so normal and regular are really reasons to celebrate and be thankful.
So spend some time today thinking about the things in your life that are not out of the ordinary. That are the way they should be. Thank Hashem for the regular, the normal, the routine…because they really are reasons to be grateful.
Bayamim haheim bazman hazeh. Yes. Small hidden miracles happen every day and we should look out for, notice and appreciate them!
Happy Chanukah! And happy birthday CG!
Anyone else have any reasons to share for the famous question of why Chanukah is eight days instead of seven? You can comment, submit it anonymously on the right sidebar or send me an email. If I get enough answers, maybe I’ll post it and share it with all you readers :-).