Yishayahu (54:1) said: ‘Greater are sons of the desolate one…’ upon which the Sages expanded: more righteous ones arose for me in a time of destruction than in a time when the Temple stood.
Rav Hutner in his classic work Pahad Yitzhak develops these sources to explain the role of the Anshei Knesset HaGedola, the men of the great assembly, and the place of Hanukah in Jewish history. In doing so he touches upon key questions at the heart of Jewish thought: what marks the line between the Biblical and post-Biblical periods, what is the relationship between wisdom and prophecy, and what it means to listen not only to God’s words but also to his silence.
A piece for Hanukah and for ‘light in the darkness’ in the deepest and darkest sense of the phrase.
Recording and sources here