When they found the one jug of oil and they went to light the menorah, it says in al hanisim: hidliku neiros bechatzros kodshecha, that they lit the candles outside in the courtyards of the bais hamikdash, why did they go out?
When we think of something inside out, we generally think of something uncomfortable, like your sock is inside out. That feels all weird and squirmy. And apparently even when you turn the sock inside out the hole still doesn’t go away. Who knew? But there is one time that inside out is actually a very important thing. And that is on Chanukkah.
Mr. P. G. Waxsman a”h, may this be a zchus, a merit in his memory, brings a question from Rav Chaim Kanievsky who says that we know in the story of Chanukkah, when they found the one jug of oil and they went to light the menorah, it says in al hanisim: hidliku neiros bechatzros kodshecha, that they lit the candles outside in the courtyards of the bais hamikdash.
We all know that the menorah was in the bais hamikdash, and that is where it was generally lit was inside the bais hamikdash. Why did they go outside to light it? And as a matter of fact, we kind of do the same thing and mimic that on Chanukkah. We light by the window or we light outside. The point is that we’re facing outside. Why is that?
And P.G. Explained that the technique that the Greeks used, trying to get us to assimilate, was to first just tell us don’t worry, inside your house keep Shabbos, do the mitzvahs, do everything you need to do, just when you come outside and you’re joined with us, be more like us. And that was kind of the slippery slope that they tried to introduce in order to push them toward assimilation.
And therefore our response to that was no, no, no. We’re going inside out. That’s right. We’re taking the inside, everything we have from our families and from our Jewish values and the mitzvahs that we do and we’re shining it out to the world. So yes, we’re going to go out in the courtyards of the bais hamidkash and we’re going to shine it from our windows or outside of our home in order to impress this idea that we don’t keep what we do inside our house. No, we shine it to the world and let the world appreciate and enjoy the beauty of Judaism.
Wishing you all an enjoyable and happy Chanukkah.
Avraham Kohn produces marketing videos for companies and organizations, helping them make money.