The miracle and the light
Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, celebrates the bravery of the Maccabees and the miracle of light. Overcoming the powerful Greek army and rejecting the Hellenistic life, a small band of Jews fought to keep our traditions and culture alive; and yes, we are still here! After three years, the Maccabean fighters were able to rededicate the Second Temple in Jerusalem and light one day’s worth of oil, which then lasted for eight days, a miracle we remember and observe with the lighting of our menorah during the holiday.
The symbolism of light is a powerful metaphor. It represents freedom, hope and spirit. The battle against the powerful to retain our religious freedom has been a recurring historical theme, but one with a positive ending each time. Israel continues to overcome the hatred surrounding her.
After Pittsburgh, we know that hate speech can lead to murder. Those who hide behind anti-Zionism reveal themselves as anti-Semitic. We know that love and light are stronger than hate. As we go forward, let us dedicate ourselves to bringing more light into our world — lighting our menorahs and remembering the bravery of the Maccabees, the Jewish Legion and the State of Israel. May the light banish the darkness of the anti-Semites and extremists on the left and the right.
Miracles and light, faith, joy and freedom — may these ideals move us forward into greater light and a more compassionate world.