Impossible mathematical equation, right?
It depends, if we talk about Chanukah, it's not only possible, it actually happened.
Chanukah evening. The entire family has gathered, the candles already burning on the Menorah by the door, quiet but very warm atmosphere. The smell of olive oil deep frying is coming up from the kitchen, the famous “Latkes” are almost ready, you can “taste” them in the air. The family sat watching the flames of the menorah. Trying to “listen” to the story of the candles.
The candles have a lot to tell, about a time of darkness — spiritual and physical darkness. A time that the Jewish people had suffered from physical and spiritual oppression, a period in which he was separated from his temple in Jerusalem, which was controlled by a foreign occupier and desecrated.
But then a time of light appeared.
When the first Jews, the Macabees, entered the Temple, cleaned it, arranged it and started to bring it back to order, they couldn't find a proper pure olive oil. A beautiful golden Menorah was there, ready to be lit, but no oil. Only after a long time of searching, they had finally found a small jar of oil. Normally the amount of oil in the jar would be enough for the seven candles of the Menorah for only one night, but the new oil supply can come only after eight days.
“What will we do? How would we light the Menorah?” wondered the Macabees.
And then, the little candles tell, the miracle happened and saved the situation. The seven candles of the Menorah had burned for eight nights (=56) until a new pure olive oil arrived.
The flames went out, and the story finished.
“These flames were so small and yet they made so much light” thought some of the family members. So the grandfather turned to the family. “If one day you'll be in a ‘darkness’, do a good deed and it will chase away all the darkness, even as one little light chases away lots of darkness.”
“True and great idea,” said the grandmother. “Do you know what i have learned from the Menorah? As great and wonderful one candle is, and it's the best for the first night of Chanukah, on the second night we have to add another one, they'll illuminate much better together.
“But this is great and the best for that night only, and in the following night we have to add another one.
So if you do one good deed it's the best, but on the next day, or the next opportunity, try to do two good deeds, and then more and more.”
“Wow,” said the sister. “I guess Chanukah is not about Latkes and Draidls only, the candles have a lot to say. I'll never get scared of any darkness, I'll just do a ‘bright good deed’, and every time I'll add more and more.”
If anyone in the Emerald Coast needs a Menorah kit, feel free to contact Chabad of the Emerald Coast at firstname.lastname@example.org or 786-468-4101 or just come to the HarborWalk Village at 5 p.m. Dec. 1 for the Grand Menorah Lightning.
Happy Chanukah to everyone.
Shaya Tenenboim is the Rabbi at Chabad of the Emerald Coast in Destin.