Here we are in the Festival of Channukah and how fitting that the HafTorah (the chapter read after the reading of the weekly Torah portion) this past Shabbat ended with the L-rd saying,” not with strength not with force but with my spirit” that Am Yisrael must move forward. This holiday of miracles especially represents what the L-rd said. Why? Because we have a mixture of the miracles of the weak overcoming the many, the simple overcoming enormous powerful armies, the miracle of the oil lasting for eight days, but more than anything else the miracle of emunah- belief in the L-rd of Israel and the light of our faith.
Today Channukah in many ways has been turned into a different kind of celebration -song and music festivals, food, races and many other modern day traditions. This chag- holdiay – is very family oriented as we gather each night around the Menorah- Channukiah- to light the candles (oil) recite the prayers and sing the traditional Channukah songs. The light of the Menorah in each window, even now in the winter cold is heart warming and brings us back to the true meaning of this chag- the light not only from the Menorah- but the light of our Religion and Faith in HaShem- G-d.
What has kept our Nation going through all of the challenges, difficulties and even persecutions? The light of our Faith and like the light from our Channukiah each night we hold it up to the world with love and gratitude that we are the Nation of the L-rd of Israel and are here in our Land by eternal right.
With the intense pressures that our Nation faces whether referring to the up-coming elections, the international pressures, the terror and incitement against us, it is even more imperative that we remember that our strength is not in military success alone- but with clinging to our heritage and the spirit of the L-rd.
Chag sameach and chodesh mevurach amen
Happy holiday and may it be a blessed month amen.