The Real Meaning of Chanukah's Miracle

Michael Medved

12/8/2011 2:40:00 PM - Michael Medved

One of the best known stories about the Jewish holiday of Chanukah describes the miracle of the oil: with the devout Maccabees who recaptured the Holy Temple finding only enough oil to illuminate the candelabrum for a day, but seeing the scant supply last for eight days before replacement was located.

This is curious because the Jerusalem area always featured olive trees producing plenty of oil. The problem was a shortage of pure, consecrated oil—but the one uncontaminated vial provided more light than expected. This connects to the religiously uncompromising rebels who didn’t seem to have the strength to overcome the powerful influence of Greek secularism. In the end purity and dedication can shed more light in a dark world than logically expected.

The Hebrew word “Chanukah” means dedication—relating directly to the word “Chinukh,” or education.