Chanukah: Questions and Answers by Rabbi Herschel Solnica

(2004/5765) The Nerot of Chanukah have a very special and
hidden meaning in Talmudic sources. They are not simply
lights of the Temple, and they are more than the miracle of
one cask of oil that remained lit for eight days, instead of
its expected one day.
Our Rabbis teach (Ateret Zekeinim): “Kol
Hamoadot Yihiyu Beteilim Chutz Michanukah UPurim…
Vizeh Anu Mevorchim Lehadlik Ner Shel Chanukah Moreh
Gam Al Heatid…Al ‘Hamizmor Shir Leyom Hashabbat’…
Leyom Shekulo Tov,” “At the time of the Messiah, all
biblical holidays will be cancelled, except Chanukah and
Purim…and therefore we make the blessing to light the
Nerot which teaches us to look to the future…to the day
where all will be good…”
The Sefat Emet (the Rebbe of Ger) commented
that light usually comes at the cost of residue or ash.
However, the light that was created by Hashem, Or
Hamaor, is in the category of Meir Ve’eno Soref, that
which is lit but leaves no residue. Therefore, Hashem hid
this light for the future reward of the righteous. “Ukemo
Kein Beneis DeChanukah Shehayah Doleik Beli Shemen,
Af Kan Hu Bechinat Or Haganuz,” “Similarly, in the miracle
of Chanukah, the Nerot stayed lit without additional oil, and
this is similar to the light that is the future reward for the
righteous.” This explains why our Rabbis stated that in the
time of the Messiah, Chanukah will still be observed: the
Nerot symbolize the light of the future.
This fits very well with the Parsha that speaks of
understanding the dreams of Pharaoh’s dreams. The
dreams are not simply examples of the past, but rather are
signs and prophetic visions of the future. This should be a
life lesson to each of us. What we face today gives us the
incentive and the inspiration to succeed tomorrow.
This concept of looking to the future permeates
every aspect of life. Our rabbis in Pirkei Avot extol
“Haroeh Et Hanolad” one who can anticipate the future. When daily occurrences do not inspire us to grow and to learn,
we are doomed to suffer from their consequences. In every
respect, our daily experiences and existence must focus on the
future.
I feel that an entire class of questions begs to be
answered but is left out to dry! The learning of Torah scholarship
must lead us to improved values. Have we started to reach such
heights? Has our outstanding secular education led us to
appreciate all that Hashem created? Has our knowledge given
us “food for thought” in planning for life’s lecture?
When will our Torah knowledge and secular background
be put together to produce a Jew with a higher level of
humanity? Isn’t this the concept of Or Beli Pesolet (light without
residue)? When will we appreciate the gifts of our good health,
loving parents and beautiful pleasures, as God’s presence is a
gift to each of us? When will we truly appreciate the love of our
parents, devotion of our teachers and incredibly positive direction
of our beloved Yeshiva? These questions are some of those
that Chanukah begs of us to note and then to seek meaningful
solutions. May we be Zocheh to realize the Kedusha (and the
message) of the Nerot and to grow in our Avodat Hashem.

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