Friday, December 11, 2009

Green Chanukah Drasha

A Guest Post By E. Fink

A cute news item has been circulating the Jewish internets recently. I have seen links to the NY Times story on Twitter, Facebook, VIN and YWN.

I was tipped off by my friend and DovBear reader, who works at YU media relations.

The NY Times picked up on a story about a student duo at Yeshiva University who made a very unique Chanukah menorah. Raffi Holczer and Mark Stauber are physics students and they spent 2 weeks making a different kind of menorah.

This menorah is powered by a battery that is powered by a windmill. The whole set up is pretty cool. What caught my eye was their "drasha" on the Chanukah story.

As the story goes, the Maccabees wrestled the Temple from Greek rule and wished to light the lamps. Temple lamps can only be lit with ritually pure oil, none of which would be available for 8 days. A small jug of oil was found. It would only last for one day and the lamp would go dark after the one day. Miraculously, the oil lasted for the 8 days.

One of the duo, Mark Stauber, offers a very nice lesson to be taken from the aforementioned Chanukah story. In his own words:

"In the miracle of the menorah, they got back to the temple and there was only enough oil for one night, but they made it last eight days,” he said. “I see an analogy with the world’s fight for sustainable energy, to take that and make it last as long as we’re going to need it.”

Managing and maintaining our natural resources is definitely something the Torah teaches us. From Jacob lingering to save a few small vessels (according to the Midrash) to the prohibition of destroying fruit trees. The Torah has been teaching "Green" for thousands of years.

I like the application of the principal to the Chanukah story.

Search for more information about sustainable energy at

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