The holiday of Chanukah recalls a victory of the qualities that typically do not receive accolades in this world: quality over quantity, the physically weak over the strong, right over might, the spiritual over the material.
Chanukah celebrates the victory of the authentic over the pretense, the inner depths over the superficial. It is a celebration of the inner life over the outer existence.
This is why the central activity of the holiday is to light the menorah at home.
At Tzarich Iyun Miriam Kosman writes that
It is not in the public sphere, but in the home — that fortress of internality — where a person meets his real self and where real growth germinates.
Aligning With the Seasons
In the cycle of the seasons, Chanukah arrives at the darkest time of the year, a time when nature is retreating. Energetically, this is the yin time, the time for going inward.
The upcoming Winter Solstice a time for coming home into oneself, for finding the stillness, introspection, and rest that all living species require for growth
Unfortunately, the value of stillness has been lost to the pressures of our modern materialistic culture. In most years, this time of year is marked by an endless stream of parties and commitments, a feeling that we need to race to “get it all done” by the arbitrary December 31 deadline.
The energy of rushing and sprinting that usually dominates at this time of year is at odds with what nature and spirit dictate.
It feels fitting, in many ways, that this year we are being forced by the pandemic to alter our normal routines and stay at home.
As it has done all year, the pandemic is forcing us to disrupt our modern destructive habits.
With renewed lockdown measures in place in many areas, and large gatherings already prohibited, we get the opportunity to find stillness, to recharge and rekindle our inner flames, to stoke the fires of desire and inspiration, and to align with the energy of the season.
This is part of the great reset, a transition to a new era in which the qualities and values that we celebrate in the Chanukah story will come into higher regard.
We are at the dawning of a revolution that begins in the home.