The mir­a­cle and the light

The News-Times (Sunday) - - Opinion - By Can­tor Deb­o­rah Katchko-Gray Can­tor Deb­o­rah Katchko-Gray is a res­i­dent of Ridge­field.

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.

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