On Tuesday evening, Dec. 12, 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.
So during the festival’s eight days, let us all be inspired by the light that can overcome darkness. May the lights of Hanukkah brighten your homes and warm your hearts, and may this holiday season be a time of hope, happiness, unity and peace for all mankind. Amen!
Rabbi Dr. Moshe P. Weisblum
Congregation Beth Tikvah