On Thursday evening, Dec. 10, Jews in America, Israel and around the world will come together to light the first candle of Hanukkah—the Festival of Lights. At its heart, this uplifting holiday is about the struggle for justice in the face of overwhelming obstacles. It is an opportunity to reflect on the triumph of liberty over tyranny, the rejection of persecution and on the many miracles that can happen even in our darkest moments.
Though they were outnumbered in people and in means, the Maccabees’ dedication to their faith was impeccable, and thus they emerged victorious. The small beam of hope became a huge flame of triumph and everlasting happiness. This light of hope, which burned continuously in their hearts and in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem thousands of years ago still shines bright in Jewish homes and synagogues throughout the world. The glow of the Menorah reminds us of a just and loving Creator’s blessing, and of the countless sacrifices made over the centuries for faith and freedom.
This past year especially, the challenges that we have and are facing as fellow global citizens are immense, but our ability to have faith, feel hope and seek healing remain strong.
So during the festival’s eight days, let us all be inspired by the light that can overcome darkness. Let us all find that light inside us which can radiate for a long distance and change lives.
We pray that the Almighty will shine His everlasting love and light upon us, and bring strength, peace and blessings to our troubled world. If we combine all of our lights together the illumination and great warmth will be everlasting, both in our minds and in our hearts. It only takes one candle to start.
May the lights of Hanukkah brighten your homes and touch your hearts, and may this holiday season be a time of continuous health, hope, happiness, love, unity and peace for all mankind.