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Tzvi Schectman
BY Tzvi Schectman

What the Search for Oil Can Teach Parents of Children with Special Needs

Every parent of a child with special needs has had the feeling of being in over their head and not being able to handle.  Your world is filled with chaos, this challenge is just too much, can’t I just say I give up and call it a day?

The Story of the Maccabees

Lets take a look at the Holiday of Chanukah (which starts Tuesday night)  for a minute, specifically lets learn about a small Jewish group called the Maccabees.

More than twenty-one centuries ago, the land of Israel was ruled by the Greeks who sought to forcefully Hellenize the people of Israel. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews known as the Maccabees defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of G-d.

One of the regular services that took place daily in the Temple was the kindling of the Menorah. When the battle was over the Maccabees re-entered the Temple and found it ransacked and in unusable condition.There was no pure olive oil left to light the Menorah. After a thorough search among the debris, the Maccabees found a tiny cruse of oil. It was determined that this was only enough oil to last one day. They went ahead and lit the Menorah with what they found and the rest is history. That little bit of oil lasted for eight days.

The Real Chanukah Miracle

On Chanukah we commemorate this miracle of the oil lasting eight days. But the bigger miracle we should celebrate is the fact that the Jewish people even bothered to light the menorah in the first place. After all, the effort would be seemingly futile. There was no chance that the flame could burn for the necessary eight days.

Imagine the sadness they must of felt when the saw the scene. Most people would have called off the search, wait till everything had been cleaned up, produce more olive oil and a few weeks later start lighting the menorah.

But the Maccabees did not through in the towel. They could have given up when they saw the mess, they could have stopped when they didnt find enough oil, but instead they did what they could and G-d took care of the rest.

Lesson Learned

Sometimes our personal home could be a mess, sometimes there can be chaos. Being a parent of a child with special needs can leave you overwhelmed. But instead of throwing in the towel lets take a little lesson from the Maccabees. Lets take one step at a time. Focus on what you can do know, one day at a time. Only have a little oil? Just go with what you have, don’t worry what is going to happen in the future. Do what you can today to make things a little better and G-d will take care of the rest!

 You may also be interested in these Chanukah Posts:

I Have A Little Dreidel: An SPD Hanukkah!
Five Lessons Parents of a Child with Special Needs can Learn From Chanukah
How to prepare your child with special needs for Chanukah

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Tzvi Schectman

Written on December 15, 2014 by:

Tzvi Schectman is the Family Coordinator for the Friendship Circle of Michigan and the Editor of the the Friendship Circle Blog. You can connect with Tzvi on LinkedIn and Google+
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