As we lit the eighth candle last night, I talked with Littletree about the miracle of Channukah - about 2000 years ago, the temple was destroyed and the people needed specially prepared sacred oil to keep the sacred lamp burning. But in the ruins of the temple, all that remained was one little jar of oil; barely enough to last for one day, and it would take eight days to make more.
By a miracle, that small jar of oil lasted for eight days - long enough to make more, and to keep the flame burning.
For me, this is a true story; one that I've experienced in my real life. So many times I've been in the communal kitchens at Rainbow Gatherings, where communal vegetarian meals are prepared for sometimes up to 5,000 people twice daily.
The whole shebang is run by volunteers, without any structured leaders, workers or organisation. Everything from the collecting of donations, the writing of shopping lists, the shopping, the storage, the kitchen hygiene and the food preparation is done by self-appointed volunteers.
And sometimes we get into the kitchen to prepare food for hundreds or thousands of people, only to find that there's no oil left to cook with.
So I get an empty oil bottle, and I go around the whole festival to people's individual camp sites, and ask: can anyone donate a little oil from their personal food stash.
Even just a splash of oil, every little bit helps. Some people don't have oil, some people can just spare a little, some people give up half a bottle... but I always return to the kitchen with enough oil (or salt, or potatoes, or whatever) to make the meal for everyone to share.
It's a true miracle. When people work together and share as a community, everything is possible.