Hanukkah 2018

Hanukkah in the Lodz ghetto – circa 1940s

At sundown today Hanukkah begins. It is usually celebrated as the time of miracles, remembering events that seemed impossible. This year we are remembering events that seemed unlikely just a few years ago. Acts of antisemitism are now daily occurrences.  Faithful murdered in houses of worship while celebrating the miracle of life.  Swatiskas spray painted outside buildings and inside personal spaces.  The number of reported acts of vandalism to Jewish property have increased in every state since 2016.  Hate is joined with intolerance at every turn.  Yet –  we are supposed to be joyous at this time of year.  Jews are hardly the only people who have felt the grip of pain this year.  Many, many of our dearest neighbors have suffered inexplicable loss and pain- children dying in school shootings, police violence on the rise, migrants who have walked for months only to be teargassed for wanting a better life, children and parents separated in detention camps, the list goes on and on.  There are no easy answers for the world’s most vexing issues.  However, there is one truth above all others.  Love.  Love is always the answer.  Love, compassion, kindness. So as each one of us celebrates the season in whichever way we prefer, please remember that love is always the best gift.   

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