I think we might need the holiday of Hanukkah more this year than in quite some time. The incredible reality of light is that, one does not need to share one’s light for someone else to benefit. If two people are sitting in a dark room, and one kindles a light, they both share that glow whether consciously or not, and whether metaphorical or not. That is why light is a powerful force. We need that light right now.
As a Jewish people we need that light as the sting of anti-Semitism has reared its ugly head once again. We need that light now, because her message of religious freedom and tolerance is one that is as relevant today as it was during the times of the Maccabees. And we need that light, because darkness seems to be carrying the day and it is easy to forget sometimes that light will always rise above said darkness. But only if we are the source.
We need Hanukkah now to remind us that we are tasked with being a light unto the nations. In this time of partisan politics and a fractured nation, we as a Jewish community can model the right values and behaviors that can help us forward. Hanukkah is a reminder of these values of religious tolerance, respect for all of God’s creatures, and most importantly that if we hold fast and true that good will rise above evil.