Tonight marks the first night of Chanukah. It comes at one of the darkest times of the year, literally and figuratively. Fortunately, these dark days are brightened by the beautiful lights of Chanukah, bringing us joy and hope, when we need it the most.
The Chanukah story is one of miracles and faith. We recall that the Greeks ransacked the Jewish temple and destroyed everything, leaving only enough oil for the eternal light to burn for one day. Miraculously the oil lasted eight days. Chanukah reminds us that even in the darkest and most challenging times, the strength of our people, community, traditions, beliefs, and history gives us the determination and resilience to overcome the greatest obstacles.
The miracle of Chanukah goes far beyond the oil. The oil that produced the light is a symbol of eternal potential and optimism. The light of the holiday reminds us, implores us, to remember that we do not have the luxury to give up on miracles, or on each other. Each of us brings light into our community and together we illuminate and amplify the brightness.
As we light our Chanukah menorah each night we see that a single candle can spread its light to other candles without diminishing its own light. We too, have the power to share our light with others and bring joy and light during these dark times. I continue to be so inspired by all of our community members throughout this pandemic, who have given so much of themselves to ensure the health and safety of our community. From health care workers on the frontline, to clergy, delivery people, community leaders, service professionals and so many others we can see the goodness in humanity.
This Chanukah, and all year long, let’s remember to see the humanity in all people so that we brighten our world not only during this festival of light, but also all year long.
Speaking of miracles and our humanity, last week, in the midst of a pandemic, a new wave of Ethiopian immigrants arrived in Israel, hopeful and elated to start a new life. This is one small example of a truly modern day miracle that we made happen. Please click here
to watch a very moving and short video about their arrival.
Last, but not least, we are excited to be hosting a Chanukah event on the seventh night with Jill Kargman – actress, comedian and creative writer, producer and star of the Bravo comedy “Odd Mom Out” where she plays a satirical version of herself, navigating the hilarity of raising children on the Upper-East-Side of Manhattan. It will be an interesting evening as we talk to Jill about what inspires her Judaism, how she has faced antisemitism, and hear about her antics in New York City. Click here
May these dark days of winter be bright through the holidays for you and your family and may this Chanukah serve to inspire all of us to continue illuminating each other. I wish you a very happy, bright and miraculous Chanukah.