Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Chashmona / Chashmonaim

וַיִּסְעוּ, מִמִּתְקָה; וַיַּחֲנוּ, בְּחַשְׁמֹנָה
And they journeyed from Miskah, and pitched in Chashmonah.
וַיִּסְעוּ, מֵחַשְׁמֹנָה; וַיַּחֲנוּ, בְּמֹסֵרוֹת
And they journeyed from Chashmonah, and pitched in Moseros.

I don’t know who originally came to this realization, but I will relate it to you (someone suggested its from Maseches Shabbos 21b, but I haven’t had a chance to check) . There are naysayers who say that Chanuka is an unimportant holiday and has no basis in our Holy Torah. However amongst many other connections is this :

In Bamidbar 33 (Parshas Massey), it lists the many places that Bnei Yisroel encamped following Yetzias Mitzraim [the exodus from Egypt]. The 25th place they rested was named as Chashmona (33:29-30). As we all know ChanuKa, is the compounding of Chanu, they rested, and Ka [Kaf Hey] 25. For on the 25th day of Kislev the Maccabees/Chashmonaim [the priestly family who fought against the Hellenists ] rested from their enemies. So the 25th place Bnei Yisroel rested was named Chashmona, and the Chashmonaim rested on the 25th. The correlation is beautiful and simple.

I hope you enjoyed that small morsel, we must always remember that the significance of this holiday is the spiritual victory not the military one. In our day and age the Hellenists that we must not succumb to is the pervasive, and corruptive influences of western society. We all must search for that metaphorical bit of pure oil within ourselves and set it aflame so that it may burn until we are redeemed. If every day of Creation is equal to one millennium and the seventh millennium is the inevitable age of Moshiach, then the message of oil lasting for eight days is that we are granted a hidden stock of purity that we can magnify regardless of circumstance and it will last all the way through to Acharis HaYamim.

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