In the Presence of the Mystery

LET’S ASSUME FOR THE MOMENT that the Chanukah story is true (or at least as true as any myth or legend) …

Basking in the glow of three candles a little while ago, it occurred to me that to the Maccabees, the oil-miracle’s second night was the most exciting.

They had already used up the one cruse of oil (or so they thought). When the flame didn’t go out as expected, however, they knew something strange and/or miraculous was afoot.

With the Temple menorah still alight by the eighth day, they might have become used to the miracle; taken it for granted even.

But that second night — that must have been the best.

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