Honorable Mensch-ion

The Ninth Night of Chanukah

In any other year, we would put our Chanukiya away today and tonight we would kindle the Shabbat candles. We know this is not any other year.

The day after is a stark contrast. We just felt the warmth of a full chaunkiah and now we feel the emptiness.

This year we make a request. Keep your Chanukiya out, and before Shabbat, light the Shamash. The Shamash has a distinct role, to light the other candles. While no other candles will be lit, seeing the Shamash will allow us to recognize that is is now up to us to carry the light into the world.

The light that you will see flicker from the Shamash must be the light of hope.

This light must be the light of the hostages whose families yearn to be reunited. This light must be the light of over 100 IDF soldiers who have given their lives in service of the State and people of Israel. And this light must be the light of the future that we must create for our children.

When you light this Shamash tonight, no blessing will be recited. Instead, use your own words, your own intentions, and your own hopes for a brighter tomorrow.

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