I have a big problem. You can clearly see that there's a donut missing next to the one that's hemmorhaging jelly. Couldn't I at least have waited until I got home to eat it? NO WAY! Actually, I have two problems: first, I can't manage to go food shopping less than five times a week. Every day, something runs out. I don't know how it happens, because I buy so much food! I'm beginning to suspect that there's an eating monster in the house as I suspiciously look over my shoulder with one eyebrow raised. Which leads into the second problem: I pass at least two or three bakeries every time I go food shopping. They're everywhere, because Israel doesn't have a Starbucks to put on every corner. One day, G-d willing...
The eating monster follows me around town, and puts me under a hypnotic spell when I pass the bakery. How am I supposed to resist the smell of fresh baked donuts with 10 pounds of powdered sugar on top? So I bought three, because it was more cost-efficient that way. I'm trying to save money, here. I'm thinking about letting my five kids split the other two, but that wouldn't be very fair, would it? So to save myself the aggravation of fighting and screaming, I think I'm going to eat them before the kids get home. I don't have much time, so I'd better act fast.
So Chanukah is here! Yippee! Eight days of a fried food fest. Does anyone know if you can bake latkes (potato cakes)? Let me know. What does Chanukah mean to me? It means eight days of war. The Chashmonaim may have fought the Greeks to the bloody death, but that doesn't mean that my personal war with the donuts is any less life-threatening.
I have to strengthen myself against those despicable donuts and resist their temptations. Being that it's likely not going to happen, I will use my backup tactic and avoid bakeries at all costs until the following week. That's not really going to happen, either.
As I write this, I'm already sighing in defeat as I see my stomach puffing up like a fluffy, soft, chewy, sweet, doughy, sugary, heavenly donut. AAAARRRGGGGHHH!!!!
The following eight days of donut wars are but a small part of the daily wars that we have every day. That was redundant, no? Every day, we fight a bloody war to the death with our own personal monster, the Evil Inclination. He tries his best to eliminate us by getting us to behave in ways that are, let's just say, not in our best interests.
But we can use this amazing spiritual energy of the next eight days to fight him and win! Chanukah is a time of tremendous spiritual strengthening, and it contains the energy of miracles. By lighting the chanukiah, we can access this energy and put it in our spiritual bank accounts, for when we really need a miracle.
So as I stuff my face with jelly and non-jelly-filled donuts for the next eight days, or until the bakery stops making them, I have one thing to say to my Evil Inclination: DIE, YOU WICKED MONSTER! If that doesn't work, I'm planning to kill him by stuffing his face with donuts until he gets sick and dies.
Wishing all of our dear friends a big Shabbat Shalom and Chanukah Sameach!
p.s.- Don't forget to scroll down to catch Rav Brody's parsha shiur!