To Burn or Not to Burn (or both!)
The miracle of Chanuka was that one flask of oil burned for eight days. Some say the oil burned, but
new oil miraculously appeared each day. Some say the oil wasn't really burning, that the flame was
miraculous. The theories go on and on. Why do we limit G-d with our logic? Say simply the flame
was burning oil, but the oil was not burning!
G-d can do anything. He could even, as the saying goes, "fit an elephant through the eye of a needle."
So, how would He do it? Would He make the elephant smaller? Or would He expand the eye of the
Neither. The elephant would remain big, the eye of the needle small. And He would fit the elephant
through the eye of the needle. Illogical? True. But logic is just another of His creations. He who
created logic is permitted to disregard it.
When the world was made and done, G-d was left with two lights: A light of boundless energy that
encompasses all things and gives them being, but transcends them, and a penetrating light that
vitalizes all things but is limited and darkened by them.
The first light is a pure expression of "there is none else but He", so from it extend miracles, acts that
deny the world any significance. The second light is an expression of His desire there be a world, so
from it extends the natural order of things, a world of elements behaving as though they are directed
by their own properties.
But G-d did not want a world where there are two gods -- one of Nature and one of the
supernatural. So He made the two lights to play in harmony, to reveal that they both shine from one
How does He do it? Does He blunt the miracles so they could fit into the natural order? Or does He
change the nature of things to compromise with the miracles?
Neither. The properties of each thing remain the same, the natural order runs according to its own
laws, and miracles of the highest order occur. The elephant in the eye of the needle, the infinite within
the finite. Impossible? Plant a seed and watch it grow. And greater by order of magnitude: Plant
good deeds and watch with wonder the miracles that ensue.