The New Miracle of the Oil – A Hanukkah Celebration

Next week begins the Jewish Celebration of Hanukkah (in Modern Hebrew, also romanized as Chanukah, Chanukkah, or Chanuka), also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE.

One of the traditions associated with Hanukkah is the preparation and eating of Latkes, shallow-fried pancakes of grated or ground potato, flour and egg, often flavored with grated onion or garlic and seasoning. The oil for cooking the latkes is symbolic of the oil from the Hanukkah story that kept the Second Temple of ancient Israel lit with a long-lasting flame that is celebrated as a miracle.

Our Chaplain at Winter Park, Larry Limbaugh, experienced his own kind of miracle associated with the oil used in preparing latkes for residents to celebrate Hanukkah this year. In his own words and pictures:

My wife and I woke up early yesterday to fry latkes in our kitchen for over fifty people for the celebration of Hanukkah in our facility. We cracked eggs, sifted flour, shredded potatoes, and wept over an onion. As you all will remember Hanukkah is the reliving of the experience of the the oil that burned for eight days instead of the expected one day while the Temple in Jerusalem was being reconsecrated.

Karen said as she was lifting the first golden batch out of the foaming oil, “I don’t think that we have enough peanut oil to fry all this batter!”

“What!” I blurted. I worried, “Please God, I don’t want to have to brush my teeth, get dressed, and drive up to Publix and schlep around for Crisco. God remember me and show compassion to me in my laziness!”

Karen bravely fried on with worry etched on her face. And then I said, “Karen, of course we will have enough oil. The is Hanukkah!” We laughed. She cried. Frying continued and we did have enough:

We were asked to create fifty latkes and Karen served up seventy five, crispy creations!

Miracles flow into our lives from all directions. The walls separating religions and people are falling. The oil is flowing to all and it is more than enough.

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