The True Hero

Who was the True Hero of Chanukah?

I would suggest it was not Matisyahu, nor Yehudah haMacabee and his brothers.

Look closely at the words of the gemara describing the miracle of oil. “בָּדְקוּ וְלֹא מָצְאוּ אֶלָּא פַּךְ אֶחָד שֶׁל שֶׁמֶן — they searched and only found a single jar of oil, that rested with the seal of the Kohein Gadol.”

It took a search. (\בדק\ as in “בדיקת חמץ”.)

Don’t picture a single jar of oil found amidst the rubble. The Beis haMiqdash wasn’t trashed, it was perverted into a Temple of Zeus. The other jars weren’t shattered, they were defiled. The whole point of the Hellenists was to keep the Temple running, but in service of some god who was supposed to be both Zeus and the actual Creator.

That single jar oil needed to be searched for because it had been hidden.

Who hid it? I would presume some kohein who had the bitachon, trust in Hashem, to be certain that someday the Beis haMiqdash would be restored. That even though things looked bleak, better times would certainly come.

A man with the mesiras nefesh to risk everything by defying the Hellenists for the sake of that vision, and yet with the anavah to do so despite knowing the act couldn’t get him recorded for posterity.

This anonymous kohein, he is the hero, the role model, Chanukah should be teaching us to emulate.

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