It’s almost a joke: Whichever yom tov we’re celebrating, it’s “the most important yom tov of all.” Can it be true?
I think so. Back in my yeshiva days, there was a teacher who would explain it as follows: Ask someone in the morning what the best meal is, and they’ll say, “A bowl of cereal,” or “A cup of coffee and a danish.” Ask them at lunch, and they’ll answer, “It’s gotta be a fresh tuna sandwich.” Supper? “A nice, grilled steak.”
So which is it?
It depends on what’s needed at that time. Breakfast has its particular hunger; lunch, a separate one; and supper, it’s very own.
It’s the same with our calendar. There is nothing like Shabbos. Rosh Hashanah sets the tone. Sukkos is Hashem’s embrace. And Chanukah with its literal lights of mitzvah is the purpose of it all. Each appears right when we need it, to satisfy the spiritual hunger of that time.
Currently, there is nothing the world can use more than the light and warmth of G-dliness. Everything seems so empty, secular, and politicized. Gathering around the menorah and gazing at its eternal message of purity gives us the strength in this spiritual, if not physical, winter.
May the candle lights give us the spiritual energy to continue lighting up the night until the dawn of the time, “When the night shall shine like day.”
Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos Chanukah,