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Purifying The Oil X Print E-mail

Hannukah“I have found David, My servant; with My holy oil I have anointed him.” (Psalms 89:21) The Sages said, “Where did God find David? He found him in Sodom.” (Bereishit Rabbah 41:4) This means that David’s soul was among the other nations for many generations until its light was revealed amongst Israel. This was because the power of evil would not allow such a great soul, the root of all souls of Israel to come down to this world. Evil had the power to stop David’s soul from being revealed because of the Evil Eye that went against Israel at Revelation. - Divrei Binah of Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov of Bialeh

It’s interesting that the verse describes something being found and then anointed with oil, which parallels the Chanukah miracle of the oil. We understand the Evil Eye at Sinai as the result of its huge public manifestation, and yet on Chanukah we light the Menorah in a public demonstration without fearing the evil eye. In both the verse and Chanukah, the oil seems to protect that which is found, David in the verse, and the Chashmonaim’s victory in Chanukah.

I suspect that it is the “finding” that allows the oil to protect: The search for something special bespeaks its value. When we treasure that which we find, God “anoints it with oil,” so to speak, to protect it from the Evil Eye.

Spiritual ToolboxWe can prepare for Chanukah by searching with a a deep appreciation for that which we search. We focus on miracles on Chanukah, not just the miracles of the past, but on the miracles in our lives. The search, or review of the miraculous moments, must be with that sense of treasuring that for which we search. We can only safely publicize the miracle if we live with an appreciation of the pricelessness of all the miracles in our lives, large and small.

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