Persevering in the face of adversity
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Hanukkah is celebrated at the darkest point in the year, the point at which we might be disposed to resign ourselves to darkness. Reasons for resignation can always be found, especially this year. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many of us are still struggling mightily to recover. Even with rockets now raining less frequently on Israel, time is running out on the existential threat of a nuclear Iran. But we refuse to submit.
Instead, it is at this crucial moment of darkness that we fill our homes and our communities with light. Much remains to be done. Now, not when the next storm comes, is the time to put our efforts into fixing the systemic infrastructural problems that made Long Island so ill prepared for Sandy. Now, not a few months from now when Iran has reached the point of no return, is time to be lobbying, to be writing to our elected officials, to be inviting them to our synagogues and community centers and demanding that they explain to us everything they are doing to prevent a nuclear Holocaust.
History challenges us in strange ways. It is precisely when we might feel entitled to give ourselves a pass and allow ourselves time to recover that we must be working and fighting the hardest. We must refuse to submit just as Joseph and the Maccabees refused to submit. Their persistence was rewarded. May ours too be rewarded.