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Mikeitz - Chanukah Are People Inherently Good or Bad?


Do you sometimes doubt the inherent goodness in humans? Can people ever reach a point of no return? What is the true nature of our core essence? The world in which we live is a complex mix of what is morally good and bad. Ask yourself the following: On a scale from one to ten how would you rate yourself? How do you think your friends and family would rate you? How would your performance compare with your potential? Is the world around us a “good” place to live? Are our leaders well intentioned? In which direction is society heading? Is the world in which we live today a better place then the one in which we as children were brought up? Will the world which our children inherit be better or worse? The miraculous story of Chanukah celebrated by Jews all over the world provides a timeless message into the nature of humanity’s inherent conflict. The focal point of the festival of Chanukah is centred on the finding of a small cask of pure oil with which the High Priest lit the Menorah and which miraculously burned for eight days and nights. Why did the Jewish people have to look for pure oil when under the circumstances even impure oil would have been allowed under Jewish law? The chassidic masters explain that the reason they looked for pure oil was because they knew that they would find it. The mystics teach us that the oil is a metaphor for the Jewish soul. No matter how impure or corrupt the Jew might become, it is only the outward layers of the soul that could be tarnished. At its core the soul will always remain pure. The message of Chanukah in our times is as relevant today as back then. We look around and see a world that seems to be dark and unsettling. There is so much anger and hate all around us. We ask ourselves; Is there any pure oil left? Is man still inherently good? The answer is the same today as it was back then. If you look for the pure oil you are certain to find it. If you search for the good in man you will no doubt find it too. And when you do you will discover that it is infinite in nature. It has no limits.

It has the power to dispel the greatest darkness. And it will miraculously burn for eight days and nights.

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