Quantity Versus Quality
by HaRav Dov Begon, Head of Machon Meir
The central idea of Chanukah is to publicize the miracles G-d performed for us in the days of the Hasmoneans. These consist of the Hasmonean military victory over the Greeks, and the flask found containing pure oil, sealed with the high priest’s stamp, which despite its small quantity lasted eight days. These two miracles, of the few defeating the many, and of the small quantity of oil lasting a long time, reveal the remarkable principle that quality can overcome quantity, and that a small spark can send a giant pile of straw up in flames. Hence regarding Obadiah v. 18, “The house of Jacob shall be fire, the house of Joseph flame and the house of Esau stubble,” Rashi comments (Genesis 37:1): “A spark will emerge from Joseph and will burn and consume all the princes of Esau.”
Today as well, G-d in His kindness is performing miracles for us, and quality is overcoming quantity. The State of Israel, despite its small land and population compared to the surrounding Arab nations with their vast lands and population of hundreds of millions, has with G-d’s help been victorious in all its wars.
The State of Israel is poor in natural resources compared to larger countries abounding in petroleum, minerals and other energy sources. Even so, from an economic standpoint we are much more advanced than they are, thanks to the Jewish brain. Spiritually, as well, Western culture, which is the continuation of Greek culture and has access to the media and to enormous financial resources for spreading its ideas in Israel, would appear to be conquering Israeli society. Even so, there are tens of thousands of Jews returning to their roots, thousands of synagogues stretching over the whole country, and flourishing batei midrash [study halls] everywhere, all of which are bringing light to the House of Israel.
The symbol of the State of Israel is the menorah of the Temple, and this is no coincidence. The day is not far off when this menorah will not only be a symbol, but will spread real light, and not just for the Jewish People but for all mankind. The great miracle of Israel’s survival, and of the realization of their destiny in Eretz Yisrael, will be publicized the world over. Then, all men will recognize and acknowledge that Hashem, the G-d of Israel is King, and His kingdom rules over all.