Friday, December 15, 2006

Modern Macabees

I can just imagine the scene at the Temple in Jerusalem at the time of Chanukah. Having just defeated the mighty Greek-Syrian army, the Macabees were keen to light the Menorah. To their dismay, they found that all the olive oil had been defiled and wasn't ideal for Menorah-lighting purposes.

While those dedicated souls searched for pure oil, there were probably bystanders who thought they were wasting their time.

"There is no pure oil! Can't you see, any vestige of original oil has been destroyed? You're wasting your time!"

The Macabees taught us that- if you search hard enough, you can find pure oil in the most unlikely places.

Today's Macabees search the alleys of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, the backwaters of Iowa and hostels, retirement homes, prisons and college campuses from Honolulu to Hobart, looking for pure oil.

They are Chabad emissaries, who refuse to accept that the pure oil of the Jewish soul can ever be truly tainted. And, so they keep searching.

And they find.

They find wholesome Jewish souls in the most unlikely places; souls that burst alight when touched.

Every Jew can be a Macabee. Perhaps you know someone who feels "they have no pure oil left". Hold out a Jewish light to them- or even to yourself.

If you really believe the pure soul is there, you will see miracles.

Happy Chanukah!

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