Although most of us are still enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers, Hannukah is just days away. Through the latkes and sufganiyot, we sometimes forget that Hannukah is the holiday of rededication. The Temple was rededicated after a duration of defilement and desecration.
Rabbi David Hartman suggests that the real miracle of Hannukah is not that the oil lasted a particular course of time. Rather, the miracle is that a group of people decided to light the oil no matter how long it would last, even if it wasn’t enough time to actually rededicate the Temple. This group of Jews rededicated themselves to possibility. Rededicated themselves to potential. Rededicated themselves to hope.
A recent bat mitzvah student reminded me that sometimes, we need to be our “old” selves in order to be our authentic selves. Meaning, this world encourages conformity and assimilation. We are told what not to be, what to say, how to act and where to go to achieve a particular status. A status that sometimes distances us from the soul God embeds within; a status that causes imagination to fade away. But Hanukkah is the exact time to rededicate ourselves to finding a brighter path…remembering who we are meant to be and how to envision a better world.
The dark nights have a way of creeping into the day. But the setting sun holds no power over the intensity of our combined light. A spiritual light reflecting the miracle offered by our ancestors: we don’t know what the future will hold, but we rededicate ourselves anyway, pushing forward, seeking a brighter way.
Which means, you too can find meaning in this festival of rededication. Opportunity is waiting just for you.
Be the light. Be the miracle. Be the hope.
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Hannukah
In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.