An amazing shiur by Rabbi Yossi Paltiel that explains the relationship between a Jew and Torah (etzem and gilui) and why Chanukah is “the greatest holiday” that has opened up a new dimension in Yiddishkeit: mesirus nefesh, even higher than dictated by Torah.
By the way, in our times, mesirus nefesh is not, G-d forbid, giving up one’s life so that one can remain a Jew, but simply living one’s life al pi Halacha in this world, in the society in which we find ourselves. Keeping a high standard of kashrus, of tznius, of learning, living with Shulchan Aruch even when a particular aspect of it is not convenient or something one is not used to. Not relying on loopholes when you know what’s really the right thing to do.
And the reward is Light. Even the areas of your life and of the world that so far have remained dark become lit — reveal Hashem in them. You remain strong and sacrifice your desire to give in on a simple thing, and Hashem rewards you by giving you an opportunity to make something in your life that has so far been “just something you do” into something holy and connected to Eibeshter.