This week’s parshah has a greater miracle than the Chanukah oil. The שמן המשחה used to anoint and sanctify Aharon and his sons is described as: "... oil of sacred anointment for your generations." Rashi explains that the original המשחה שמן that Moshe made would remain intact in its entirety לעתיד לבא! When the המקדש בית will be rebuilt, we will use that very same flask of oil to anoint the Kohanim.
The miracle is that this small quantity of shemen hamishchah would last forever! We know that Hashem does not make miracles unnecessarily. He could have figured out how many gallons of oil would be necessary to anoint the Kohanim of all future eras instead of merely preparing 12 לוג.
Rav Dovid Feinstein z"l says that this miracle teaches us that the Kohanim did not become sanctified because of the המשחה שמן since the process of transferring holiness from the oil to the person would necessarily consume all the oil. Rather, they became holy on their own, similar to a candle: when a second candle is lit from a first candle, the full brightness of the original candle remains intact. The המשחה שמן "inspired” Aharon and his sons to find and bring out the kedushah that was already inherent in them. There can be an inspiration for the holiness and the המשחה שמן "lit their fire” so that the kedushah came from within.
There is no magic formula to sprinkle somebody with “holy oil” so that he will automatically become holy; kedushah must be self-generated. As parents, we can inspire and persuade our children – but we cannot force kedushah or even chochmah into a child. Our children all have inherent kedushah by virtue of their neshomos. We need to inspire that inherent kedushah to make it blossom.
This is the lesson of the anointing oil. This is why ה“הקב felt it necessary to make such a miracle to teach the enduring lesson that kedushah cannot be imposed – it must be inspired.
Rabbi Gidon Goldberg
Head of School