The Fire In The Flint
Chanukah expresses the power of Judaism to survive the forces of
assimilation. At the time of the Maccabees many Jews had adopted
the Greek way of life. They abandoned Judaism completely and
worshipped idols together with the Greeks. However, the Maccabees
succeeded in reminding people that they were Jews.
According to Chassidic teaching, within each Jew is a spark of the
Divine which cannot be extinguished. It is compared to the 'fire
in the flint'. A glowing coal contains fire, but if it is put into
water the fire is extinguished. A flintstone has the power to
produce fire, and this power is not effected by the way the stone
is treated. It can be immersed in water for a long time, and when
it is removed it still has the power to produce a spark. The 'fire
in the flint' is always present as a potential force.
In the same way, Judaism is always present as a potentially
powerful force in the life of any Jew, however remote he or she may
have become from Jewish life. The single flask of pure oil which
was found in the Temple, and the Chanukah lights which it fuels,
represent the eternal Jewish flame which might be hidden but cannot
be put out. It is simply waiting for the opportunity to express
its beautiful radiance.