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The History of Chanukah

The Menorah Files

   Light 1: The Contract

Light 2: The Consultant

Light 3: Quality

Light 4: Quantity

Light 5: Prozac

Light 6: Miracle Whip

Light 7: The Battle

Light 8: Darkness Shines

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 Light 3: Quality Light 5: Prozac

The Menorah Files

Light 4: Quantity
Published and copyright © 1997-1999 by by Tzvi Freeman
In memory of Rabbi Yosef Y. Kazen o.b.m.

Official Report Card: Quality Miracles Proposal.


  • Excellent multimedia presentation, esp. audio effects.
  • Provides a miracle for each of the eight days.
  • Elegance: Supernatural miracle produced without disturbing the natural order.
  • Fulfills most halachic requirements, such as use of authentic olive oil and natural burning of oil to produce flame.


  • Lack of coordination between team members.
  • Actual implementation not well conceived. Little consideration given to human interface issues.
  • One major halachic concern: The Menora regulations require that precisely the amount of oil to burn through one winter night be placed in the cups of the Menora. It is also preferable that the cups all be completely filled. With Quality's proposal, there is no way both these conditions can be mutually fulfilled. It has even been proposed that, under such conditions, the use of impure oil in proper quantities would be preferable over using the limited amount of pure oil that was miraculously discovered.
Rating: 3.5 wings

The man from OutaNowhere appeared from out of nowhere pushing a trolley cart with coffee and Danishes. "Your esteemed judges have been having an intense session here," he announced. "Let's all take a break for refreshments!"

The judges noticed coffee mugs on their desks. The sales rep held only a tiny coffeepot, but proceeded to fill cup after cup with heavenly coffee- not stopping for a single refill.

Continuing to pour, he started his spiel: "Yes, esteemed judges, I'm sure you'll agree we've got a supernatural, nifty technology here. But don't imagine this is some useless gimmick! As a matter of fact, OutaNowhere technology was originally developed to fulfill a real need. To fill you in on the history of our product, just listen to this testimonial from our first successful client, none other than the prophet, Elisha!"

All eyes turned to the 3D video, now filled with the scene of an agent of OutaNowhere sitting on the edge of a sofa in the Garden of Eden, interviewing Elisha who sat across the coffee table from her.

"Elisha, you are well known for your compassion and wonderful acts of kindness in the earthly realm. Much of your good work was possible due to your ability to transcend the present tense and see matters from a higher time-definition. You also developed an amazing and unique repertoire of record-breaking miracles. But there was one time you turned to OutaNowhere technologies for assistance. Why?"

"Truthfully, everything I know I received from my teacher, Elijah. But then came a very difficult case, a woman who's husband had been a member in good standing of the Professional Prophet's Association until his premature passing. The poor woman was left with two little boys to support, no pension, no real source of income. Neither her landlord nor the rental board had any sympathy. By the time she came to me, she had in her hand a notice that if she didn't pay the rent fast, her two boys would be seized as payment!"

"That's horrifying! But couldn't you just co-sign on a long term loan or something?"

"That wouldn't be professional. I'm a prophet. My job is to help people discover their own inner wealth, not breed dependence, as you suggest. So I followed standard case analysis technique and asked the lady to describe her assets."

"Which were two boys..."

"Which I understood as a reflection of the love and sense of awe within her. This, however, was apparently in real danger- as reflected by the collection notice mentioned earlier."

"So all these material concerns and details were all merely reflections of a higher, spiritual drama?"

"You're with me now. She also had a small flask of olive oil, reflecting her essential spiritual self. I needed some way for this inner spiritual wealth to release itself to the point of becoming manifest in her earthly domain."

"Now, how could you do that?"

"Well, that's when I remembered a business card I had been handed just the day before, while wandering about the higher spheres. I checked my pocket, and there it was, 'OutaNowhere Technologies, inc.'."

"Was OutaNowhere responsive when you needed them?"

"Their tech support was fantastic. Immediately, we put together a plan whereby all the lady had to do was visit her neighbors and borrow their jugs, pots, pans- any types of physical-realm vessels and containers. We realized this was basically what she was missing- tangible, practical ways to express her inner soul. She gathered all this stuff in her house, closed the doors, let down the blinds and then started filling everything up with her little flask of oil."

"That must have been an exciting scene."

"It certainly was. The little boys were running back and forth, back and forth, bringing containers and more containers, while the oil just kept pouring and pouring out of the flask. Finally, she asked for one more pot and her boys told her there wasn't a single one left. And neither was there any more oil."

"And what happened to that nefarious landlord?"

"With sales from the oil, she was able to pay him off, with enough left over that she could just live off the interest."

"So, thanks to support from OutaNowhere, another great act of compassion was accomplished in the physical realm."

"Not only that. This episode was reported and discussed in all the major prophetic journals. It was recorded as a classic for all times in the Book of Kings. You see, it wasn't just that lady who was helped. Since that time, anyone that is in a dire state of spiritual poverty is able to overcome his or her situation by doing the same as she did- but in spiritual terms. By temporarily ignoring their state of spiritual poverty and just collecting vessels of mitzvahs and acts of kindness and allowing that essential self to pour into them, unlimited- eventually all those deficiencies are spontaneously overcome. I'll challenge everyone in our audience to just try it out and see."

"And that message to the world is all thanks to OutaNowhere."

"That's right. Like another cup of coffee?"

The shot of Elisha pouring a cup of coffee for his host spun out to make way for an animated "OutaNowhere" logo, accompanied by a snappy "OutaNowhere- there when you need us" jingle.

As the judges were sipping their heavenly coffee, Yosef Karo was busy taking notes. Once in a while, he stopped to shake his head. It was obvious something about the presentation was bothering him.

 Light 3: Quality Light 5: Prozac

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