Cel­e­brat­ing hero­ism dur­ing Hanukkah

The Signal - - Holiday Worship - By Rabbi Mark Blazer of Tem­ple Beth Ami

In the last few weeks, our na­tion and com­mu­nity suf­fered some dev­as­tat­ing losses. Hor­rific shoot­ings and fires of shock­ing mag­ni­tude. We have been hit from all sides in what has been a trau­matic fall sea­son. These events have left us fright­ened, dis­traught, an­gry and some­what dis­ori­ented.

One con­stant through­out these crises was the brav­ery and self­less­ness of our first re­spon­ders. We wit­nessed the brav­ery and sac­ri­fice of Ven­tura County Sher­iff’s Sgt. Ron Helus who gave his life try­ing to stop the mas­sacre at the Border­line. We wel­comed fire­fight­ers from across the state and around the coun­try who left their fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties to mo­bi­lize in fight­ing fires that were un­par­al­leled in their fe­roc­ity.

Hanukkah is a sea­son of cel­e­brat­ing hero­ism. We re­mem­ber the courage of the Mac­cabees stand­ing out­num­ber­ing against the Greek/Syr­ian armies. The story has in­spired peo­ple of many re­li­gions for gen­er­a­tions. For thou­sands of years, it has spo­ken to us as a tes­ta­ment of faith, self­less­ness and sac­ri­fice.

In our own days, we have the ex­am­ples of our mil­i­tary who have fought for the free­dom and se­cu­rity of our peo­ple over­seas, they are mod­ern day Mac­cabees whose brav­ery is also in­spi­ra­tional. Un­for­tu­nately, we of­ten ne­glect to of­fer our ap­pre­ci­a­tion to those who risk their lives ev­ery day in our own back­yard, the men and women of our po­lice, fire and para­medic de­part­ments.

Santa Clarita is a place where so many first re­spon­ders have made a home. Our com­mu­nity is unique with such a high a per­cent­age of law en­force­ment, EMT’s, nurses and fire depart­ment per­son­nel. We are hon­ored to have these won­der­ful rep­re­sen­ta­tives of hu­man­ity’s high­est ideals as neigh­bors and friends. These amaz­ing peo­ple, whose lives are ded­i­cated to pro­tect­ing and serv­ing, are a large part of what makes this com­mu­nity so spe­cial. Their com­mit­ment and val­ues serve as the be­drock of this area, and we draw strength from their strength on a daily ba­sis.

This hol­i­day sea­son please show your ap­pre­ci­a­tion to our first re­spon­ders. Let us all com­mit to giv­ing back to those who give so much. Sup­port the Santa Clarita Val­ley Sher­iff's Sta­tion An­nual Hol­i­day Toy

Drive.

Most im­por­tantly sim­ply by say­ing, “Thank you,” or “we re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the ser­vice and sac­ri­fice you make for our com­mu­nity ev­ery sin­gle day” — can go a long way in re­mind­ing these spe­cial peo­ple that we value the amaz­ing work they do.

May we all share in the glow of this hol­i­day sea­son, and may our lives be il­lu­mi­nated by the light of the love and com­mit­ment of our lo­cal he­roes.

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