Relating Chanukah To The 21st Century


Living in the 21st century, it is difficult to connect to the to the Chanukah story, which happened so many years ago. Yes, we defeated a bunch of people who didn’t like us. And, yes, some oil lasted a while. Most teens today, like myself don’t fully understand how important it was that one small bit of oil lasted for far more time than anticipated.

Okay, so the menorah in the Beit HaMikdash lasted a while?

Recently, my uncle sent me a meme that very simply and humorously put the context of Chanukah into terms everyone today could understand: “Imagine that your phone was at 10 percent and it lasted for 8 days. This is truly the miracle of Chanukah.”  Imagine that! Imagine having no charging cord or even a charging case, just you and your phone at 10 percent.

Think of the menorah in the Beit HaMikdash like your phone, it was so important, so dear to the Jewish people—some people treat their phone with such importance. It was lit every day, as your phone is used every day (except for Shabbos).  So, having that taken away, and having the fear of not being able to light it for enough time could be related to the constant fear of your phone dying and the risk not being able to use it.  Something so dear to them was recognized by Hashem and he blessed them with that one little jar of oil lasting eight whole days.

The miracle really wasn’t the physical sense of the oil, but rather the recognition of Hashem’s presence in times of need. While we don’t need our phones to survive, and of course this analogy is an exaggeration, Chanukah makes us think about we have, what we are thankful for, and gives us the opportunity to thank Hashem for always being there when we need Him.

Bella Rudoy is a sophomore at Westchester Hebrew High School in Mamaroneck, NY.