Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Chanukkah: Stop holding yourself back

Hanukkah is the season of outward miracles. Those miracles (the oil lasting 7 days longer than it was supposed to and us winning the military fight against the Greeks) happened because we did something. This is known in Yeshivish as hishtadlut, meaning G-d helped us out because we put in some effort.

Life doesn't happen waiting for things to happen. That's how life passes you by. Existence is constantly being recreated. That means every moment is a new opportunity to do the things you've wanted to do, but for whatever reason were holding yourself back. We are ultimately the only ones who are responsible for succeeding or failing in life.

Every holiday on the Jewish calendar happens when it does because the space/time situation then has certain power, greater potential than normal. The Maccabees couldn't wait to return to serving G-d in the Beit Hamikdash. They had to start as soon as they won, and ran to the Temple. Technically, they shouldn't have lit the Menorah - it's not supposed to be lit if there isn't a continuous source of fuel, and it takes 8 days to produce the oil that can be used in the Temple. However, their desire was so pure and holy, that G-d made the oil of the Menorah last for 8 days. They took one step, and G-d did the rest.

We can all take advantage of this power, this is a gift being presented to us every year at this time. Over the next 8 days, every time you want to fall into whatever bad habit you are trying to break, if you can take the smallest step to move away from that habit, you will be amazed to see what you are actually capable of accomplishing.

I know you can do it, G-d knows you can do it. All that's missing is for you to know - and to do.