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Posted on December 17, 2020 (5781) By Rabbi Label Lam | Series: | Level:

A little bit of light pushes away a lot of darkness. – Sefer Tzeda L’Derech

The power of a light bit of light is really remarkable. One can curse the darkness endlessly and attempt to chase it with the biggest and most effective broom and the room will remain as dark as ever. Light a small light and watch the darkness retreat at the speed of 186,000 miles per second. Wow!

Here is a small “Chanukah” story, I do believe, because it’s a miraculous tale about the impact of a little light. Thinking that miracles only happened in the deep past, “B’Yamim HaHeim”, is somewhat akin to searching for signers of intelligent life in outer space. Miracles are happening all the time, “B’Zman HaZeh”, and we are surrounded by evidence of intelligent life.

There was a fellow named Anthony Flew. He was an Englishman and a world renowned scholar. The subject matter  he specialized in was atheism. He was for all practical purposes, he was the Gadol HaDor in denying HASHEM. He was already in his later years, past eighty and something remarkable happened. He received a visit from Dr. Gerald Schroeder, a Jewish Orthodox scientist with a degree from MIT, and another scientist, a religious gentile. They unpacked for Anthony Flew the intricacies, the depth, and the stunning profundities of the mechanical dynamics of DNA.

Anthony Flew became convinced that this could not have happened by accident and must be the product of an intelligent designer. Already in his eighties, he reversed course and became a believer in HASHEM. I have a book by him on my shelf entitled, “There is (the word “NO” is crossed out and replace with the letter “A”) A G-d” It’s one of most stunning reversals in intellectual history.

This bold admission puts a highlight on something that is well known but sits quietly in our conscious like the paint on our walls at home.   Not only are we surrounded by intelligent life but we are made up of and built from superior intelligence. DNA is the stuff that spells out who we are.

The Beis Yosef asked a famous question and offered many answers. Why is Chanukah celebrated for 8 days when there was sufficient oil for one day? Even if that oil burned miraculously for 8 days, still it was on a net miracle of 7 days. The Alter from Kelm, Simcha Zissel Ziv explained that oil burning, that seemingly natural event is also miraculous. The definition of nature is repeating miracles. If it happens often enough and predictably so then we relegate to nature. If it happens only once in history we call it a miracle. It’s no mistake that the numerical value of the Hebrew word for natural world, “HaTeva” (86) equals the name for HASHEM as He is manifest in the material world, ELOCHIM, (also 86).

So we have discovered intelligent- beyond genius life in our midst and perhaps most miraculous is that a human being has been furnished with the free will to deny and defy his creator.  However, if he is armed with enough intellectual honesty then even
the darkest of darknesses can be chased away with a little bit of light.