To date, Israel prides itself on having twelve Nobel Laureates, awarded for literature, chemistry, economics, and “peace,” a peace that never happened.
Dancing in their glass holders, the wicks in our chanukiyah burn brightly, an opportunity for reflection, “the strong in the hands of the weak, the numerous in the hands of the few, the profane in the hands of the sacred,” reflection for the miracles of past centuries, and for abundant here-and-now blessings. We don’t rely on miracles, but we are witness to them in our homes, on our streets, battling our enemies daily.
Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, an entire week of l’hodot ulhalel, of thanks and praise to the Almighty, also a time to express gratitude for magnanimous growth and expansion; and for keeping our sea and airports safely open to Jews who wish to return home to the Land where we continue to fulfill our traditions faithfully.
Today, like fifty years ago, noble personas who emit light to the world are often honored, and we keep in mind that the much sought-after light of peace that prime ministers and foreign presidents desire will not derive from awards in Stockholm. That ultimate peace will proliferate from the stoic strength of Jews, and blessing from the One Above.